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Written by: Adrianne Bibby, FlexJobs Staff Writer

In the best of all possible worlds, you’re in complete and total control of your career. But then, there’s reality—lots of elements conspire to make your career choices take unexpected turns that are beyond your control. If you’re looking to take control of your career, taking a proactive stance can make a huge difference in where your career goes over time.

An article in Entrepreneur magazine offers fantastic tips on how to move from planning your career to taking action. We’re looking at ideas for how to take control of your career, including incorporating goal setting to find a career path that’s the right one for you.

Here are five tips for how to take control of your career:

1. Draw up a concrete blueprint with real targets.

A career blueprint that lists both your short- and long-term targets is a great way to get your ideas written down in a way that helps you start planning for the future.

For sure, it’s great to dream about what you’d like to do in your career, but coming up with a realistic strategy to get things accomplished is a great start to help you take control of your career.

2. Make an honest assessment of your strengths and career goals.

This exercise isn’t simply about a “pros and cons” list of your perceived shortcomings and strong points; it’s about what appeals to you as you determine what matters in your career.

Again, it’s a great idea to write down specific, targeted goals, with achievable deadlines. In particular, understanding what your strengths are as you go into interviews and carve your career path can be a powerful tool to help you take control of your career.

3. Devote the time.

Often, things that are really worthwhile take some time to achieve. And so it goes for your career: once you’ve mapped out a strategy and made decisions about how to proceed, give your plan time to take root and flower.

The waiting game may be difficult to some degree, but it’s rare that things happen as quickly as you might want.

4. Don’t believe you’re too old—or too young—for career change.

Career change is not just for job seekers with experience; it can be a phenomenon for millennials and others who are just starting out, but realize they want to pursue a path that’s different from what they may have pursued while in college.

That’s where a certain amount of job search confidence comes in—in other words, believing in your own strengths enough to keep you motivated and moving past any rough patches.

5. Use your fears to fuel your goal-setting.

Seems crazy, but fear can be a powerful motivational factor to keep you moving toward your goals. As you work to take control of your career, don’t shy away from elements of your job search that might make you uncomfortable, especially if you’re pressing ahead toward a completely new career.

Are you looking for a career change? If so, browse our job board or contact us today! We can help set you on the career path of your dreams.

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