The only thing that’s certain in today’s modern workplace is that you can’t rely on anyone or anything—you have to be accountable for your career and to take charge of your life.
Rule No. 1: Your job is temporary. Where you start isn’t where you’ll end up. Your job, company, and profession may completely change because of mergers and acquisitions, layoffs, outsourcing, automation, and various other factors that are outside your control. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average American will have about nine jobs from the age of 18 to 32. The job you’re in now is just a stepping stone along your path.
Rule No. 2: Do not let your job description confine you. If you solely focus on your current responsibilities without broadening out, you won’t be able to advance and will become expendable. Companies are desperately searching for leaders—those who take initiative and are willing to go the extra mile. Once you’ve proven yourself in your role, seek out new projects from your manager and even other groups in your organization. While you’re managing your role, you should be acquiring new skills to help carry you to your next role.