We get it. Taking control of your career isn’t easy. Life throws so much at you (and usually all at once) that can make career empowerment a real challenge. But you’ve got this! And here are 5 big–but simple–steps you can take to seize control of your career today.

1. Develop a Routine

Look, your time is important. And developing a solid routine can help you make the most out of your day. Not happy with your current job? Carve out a few minutes or hours a day for your own personal professional development.

Don’t think you have the time? Don’t sweat it. All you have to do is start tracking what your daily activities look like. You’ll most likely find some gaps of time in your schedule. 

For instance, do you spend 45 mins after dinner scrolling Tik-Tok? Hmm. It might be helpful to devote a bit (or all) of that time to your career goals. 

From there, keep developing and refining your routine. But, make sure you’re not sacrificing essential rest time to maximize your productivity in an unhealthy way. It’s all about balance!

Woman explaining something to man on a dry erase board.

2. Assess Your Current Situation

To know where you’re headed, it’s important to take a good, hard look at where you are right now. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to get started:

  • What do I value in my work?
  • What skills have I gathered?
  • What am I particularly good at?
  • Where can I improve?
  • What motivates me?

Answering these questions will help you paint a clearer picture of your current progress and where you’d like to see growth. And it’ll help you form a plan to create that growth.

But remember–even though we’re looking to jump start a new career and reach new goals–take pride in what you’ve accomplished so far. There’s always something to be proud of, in and out of your career, so hold on to your accomplishments and use them to boost you forward.

3. Build a Network of Genuine Relationships

You’ve heard it time and time again . . . you need to network, network, network . . . when trying to find a new career. And you need to maintain those relationships even when you have a steady job.

You probably already know the ins and outs of LinkedIn and some in-person networking events like job fairs and such. But here’s a tip: Make genuine relationships. Don’t go into a conversation expecting to gain anything from another professional. Be a kind, active, and engaged listener. And keep this in mind, you never know who you’re talking to.

We’ll talk about training programs more in a minute, but they’re another great way to widen your network. You get one-on-one time with your peers, experienced instructors, and working professionals all while you develop your skills. And who knows, you may even wow someone enough to land a job recommendation. That’s the magic of making real connections!

4. Plan to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Starting something new is almost always a leap of faith–especially when it comes to taking control and starting a new career path. Fear and uncertainty can keep you trapped in a place that appears to be comfortable at the moment. But it’s just a mental trick!

Remember, there’s a reason why you’re looking for a new career. Heck, there’s a reason why you’re reading this blog right now–your comfort zone is no longer feeding your passion. It’s not enough to lead you down new, exciting paths. And it’s not enough to level up your daily routine or get you to the places you want to be–wherever those places are. 

It’s okay to take a leap of faith. In fact, it’s usually the best thing you can do for yourself. When you outgrow your comfort zone, you have to break it open.

5. Sign Up For a Training Program

What better way to break that comfort zone than to pick up new skills? A solid training program led by passionate experts is a great way to dip your toes into a new career. And best of all, many of them are super accessible when it comes to educational cost 

Training programs–like the free courses offered by the Advanced Manufacturing Training and Expansion Program (AMTEP)–provide trainees access to high-demand careers via real-world experience and hands-on training.

And, there’s just nothing that can top hands-on training. It allows you to develop skills that you’ll actually use day-in and day-out–no-nonsense. Plus, you’ll get a feel for the career–like manufacturing–to make sure it’s something you can see yourself doing long-term. 

With so little to lose and so much to gain, why not give it a shot?