Own Your Experience and Take Ownership of Your CareerI was attending an accountability group for entrepreneurs last week where we talked about the new structure for meetings.

As we were listened to new structures and asked questions, one of the veteran members of the group said:
“It’s really important to own our experience!”
She went on to suggest two items:

  • you will only benefit from the group what you put in
  • if you are having questions or concerns, bring them up

If I am going to be committed to this group, attend all the meetings and pay the money to join, then I need to do my part and own the experience. I’m not a passive participant in this organization.

That, of course, got me to thinking about owning your experience in your career.

You have opportunities to own your experience every day. You don’t have to be passive.

For example, a career counseling client of mine is leaving her job. Given the culture she works in and the past experience of others leaving her department, she is assuming that when she gives notice the team members may try and make her feel guilty, will display some frustration, anger or hurt or will want her to ‘stick it to the man‘ on her way out. We talked about what she wants out of her last two weeks. Her goal was to wrap up her final projects, ensure she communicated with her team members in a positive way and not provide a ton of information to the team about her new role.

She owned her experience and seperated in a professional way on her own terms. She is not taking on other people’s emotions or wants or suggestions as hers.

Another example of when you can own our experience is by asking for what you want. Maybe you want to learn a new skill, go to a conference or enroll in a certification course?

Think, how this will benefit you professionally and how it will benefit your team/department/organization?

Pitch the idea to your manager. The worse he/she can say is, no.

If that’s the case, then you will be no worse off and it will give you a piece of data to evaluate your current career situation. Same can be said when you go to that conference, class, or certification course… own your experience.

What do you want to get out of the experience? You will get out what you put in.

Don’t be passive. Be an active learner. Ask questions. Meet new people. Go to a session that none of your team members are attending.

There are so many more examples of how this can apply to your career. There is a lot that is not in our control at our job or in our work environment. Don’t forget to look for the parts that are in your control.

Own your experience at work. Own it every day in the best way you can.


, Own Your Experience and Take Ownership of Your Career

Amy Wolfgang

Amy Wolfgang is a career coach who founded Wolfgang Career Coaching and co-founded Coaching 4 Good. She brings over 15 years of corporate and coaching experience to help organizations boost employee engagement while simultaneously helping her clients excel in their careers. She is a certified PCM (Professional Career Manager) and has a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin.

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