Your Personal Career Responsibility

Your Personal Career ResponsibilityThe world of work is changing, has changed and will go on changing.  You’ve heard me say this before.  But what about you?  Are you changing?  How equipped are you to meet, full-on, the challenges, opportunities, trials and tribulations of the twenty first century career marketplace?

If there is one absolute fundamental in your career toolkit right now, it has to be Your Personal Career Responsibility.  Whether you are just starting out, stuck in a rut or strategically planning your next career move – you won’t get off the starting block without it. 


Personal Career Responsibility – What it is, and What it is Not.

What it’s not is actually a good place to start.

Having personal responsibility is the polar opposite of blame.  It means not making excuses, citing other people or attributing circumstances to external events, unfairness or dearth of luck. 

Personal responsibility means accepting that you, and only you, are in charge of your own destiny.  It means acknowledging and accepting that you are responsible for the choices you make, the way you behave, the actions you take and the way you think and feel.

Personal responsibility means being accountable for what you think, say, and do.

Personal responsibility is rooted in the knowledge that every act, thought or feeling results from choice - not coercion. Only you can choose how you respond.  Personal responsibility is an attitude, a philosophy, a way of being.

So Personal Career Responsibility means accepting that what you’ve done, where you are now and where you want to get to, is entirely down to you.


Why Does it Matter?

Simply this.  To be sunk into the blame game is to believe that we have no choice or freedom.  When we blame externals, we relinquish control over our own lives.  We are stuck.  We cannot solve our problems and make progress.  We can get caught in the ever circling wheel of self-fulfilling prophecy.  We lose our freedom. 

Brian Tracy¹ counsels ‘the acceptance of personal responsibility is what separates the adult from the child’.  A sobering thought...


How do I build Personal Career Responsibility?

Personal responsibility begins from the inside and moves outwards.   It starts with taking responsibility for our thoughts, choices, and reactions, only then can we be responsible for the circumstances that create our careers.

Clearly we can’t control everything. The global recession and its impact on the career marketplace, being just one, colossal example.  But what we can do is choose how we respond to it. 

Or in the words of Jim Rohn²; ‘You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of’. 


10 steps to Personal Career Responsibility

1. Watch your language.
Do you use phrases like ‘it’s not fair’, ‘I can’t help it’, ‘it’s not my fault’.  All of these may well be true but this sort of language will entrench you firmly in the victim mindset.  And that won’t help you one iota.  Try Brian Tracy’s mantra ‘if it’s to be, it’s up to me’¹. 

2. Build your emotional intelligence.
How self aware are you?  Do you understand your strengths and weaknesses, attitudes and behavioural patterns?  Experts tell us that our emotional intelligence (EQ) is a more accurate indicator of career success than IQ.  And while we’re on the subject, have you actually defined what career success means to you, personally?

3. Invest in your personal and professional development.  
Identify what’s in your way and free yourself from these obstacles.  Work with a coach to identify self-limiting beliefs.  What do you tell yourself that is holding you back?  What behaviours do you repeat that jeopardise your success? 

4. Help yourself.
Seek out the answers.  Don’t wait from them to come to you.  Personal responsibility is active, not passive. 

5. Be accountable.
For your thoughts, your attitudes, your feelings and your actions.  Accept that you have a choice in all of these. 

6. Be proactive. 
Drive your career don’t let it just happen to you. Re-read our article ‘Your Career by Design’ and take control of your career, your life, your destiny. 

7. Take action.  
Use ‘Your Career by Design’ to plan your strategy. Once you’ve decided what career success will look like to you, figure out how you will fill in the gaps and build up your skills and competencies.

8. Remain open-minded.
Being open-minded requires you to be receptive to new and different ideas and ways of doing things. It suggests impartiality and is a vital component of critical thinking and reasoning.  If you are open minded you will consider experiences, suggestions and opinions on their own merit. You will be prepared to alter, or add to, your world-view with this new-found knowledge. And that includes a willingness to be corrected and admit your mistakes (and we all make them!)

9. Develop a healthy risk attitude. 
Following on from the above – a healthy risk attitude takes you out of your comfort zone and provides the momentum to move forward. We’re talking measured risk here – taking a chance based on an informed decision and living with the consequences. 

10. Embrace the whole ethos of personal responsibility and the freedom it brings. 
‘Responsibility is not a burden. It’s a blessing’ - Chuck Gallozzi.


No More Excuses

Times are tough, this we cannot deny.  But history, science and the arts show us, time and time again, that we will always have choices. Survivors and thrivers are those who recognise this and are prepared to fully embrace and enjoy their personal responsibility. 

It’s time to join the winning team! To look for audit jobs go to



¹ Brian Tracy – best selling writer on personal development
²Jim Rohn – motivational speaker, philosopher, entrepreneur
³Chuck Gabizzi - Canadian writer and founder of the Positive Thinkers Group


This article was written by Carol McLachlan, exclusively for, the leading job site for auditing vacancies.



Back to article list