The Nine Essentials To Career Success – How S+EI has a major impact

Article contributed by Virg Setzer, MSOP

In our very competitive world today there are many highly educated and experienced people unemployed and many more underemployed. A great number of people are looking for job opportunities, but what about those of you who are currently employed and looking at not only maintaining your current job, but also continuing to build and enhance your career?

The Challenge of Career Management

Whether you are an experienced HR professional, middle manager, leader, or just entering your career, managing a successful career is an on-going challenge, especially in our very competitive and rapidly changing global economy.

Yes, there are many available resources, Career Counselors, Career Coaches, Books, Consultants, University Career Centers, and often internal company career management resources – most all of these can provide some valuable help.

I believe, however that managing a successful career is very personal and must be very intentional in order to be successful. There is not a magic road map and I suspect that you will find that ultimately your career turns out to be nothing like what you originally thought or maybe even planned it might be.

The Nine Essentials for Career Success. © 2008

In my experience I believe these nine essentials can enhance and enable a successful career.

• Performance

• Mindset

• Expertise

• Ethics

• Communications

• Enabling Others

• Relationships & Networks

• Ownership

Social & Emotional Intelligence

Over the next several weeks I will discuss each of these in detail and also help you understand how competencies in Social & Emotional Intelligence either support or distract and limit these success factors. Today’s discussion focuses on Ownership.

What Does It Mean To Take Ownership?


As I indicated at the outset of my comments, managing a successful career is very personal and it must be very intentional.

Personal Competence includes the categories of Self-Awareness and Self-Management. Intentionality is one of the competencies of self-management. Intentionality is simply thinking and acting on purpose and deliberately. Taking ownership for your career requires strong intentionality, thinking and acting deliberately about your career.


This means you are in charge of your career – you own it. You are not dependent upon your company, the government, special programs, your boss, the company HR function, the company’s succession plan, etc. It means you are in fact intentional about your career and decisions that impact your career on an on-going basis. It may very well be that the company and other resources can help you along the way, you can take advantage of those resources, but the key is to remember you will always own your career and in order for you to ultimately achieve and be satisfied with your career you must be intentional about it. Over the years I’ve heard comments like, “I’ll see what comes along” in regard to career opportunities. Yes, you can take that approach, but think about the possibilities if you are intentional – if you look for opportunities, if you are proactive to pursue those opportunities.

What is best for you?

This seems pretty simple, but the reality is that often people do not take ownership they are not intentional, they become overly dependent on others or “the company” to guide their career. An example might be the boss who says, “You’d be better to stay here” when an opportunity to stretch you may come along in another part of the company. Clearly it might be better for him or her, but you need to decide what is best for you – short term and long term? Take ownership, be intentional about your career, you will not regret it!

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