Take Responsibility For Your Own Career

This is the tenth in a series of ten blog posts that provide a brief synopsis of the chapters in my upcoming book, Lessons From the Mouse - A Guide for Applying Disney World's Secrets of Success to Your Organization, Your Career, and Your Life. You can view previous posts from the book by clicking on the Lessons From the Mouse category on the left column of this page.

Lesson #10: Take Responsibility for Your Own Career.

Walt Disney World is committed to employee development and provides many opportunities for career enrichment or advancement. However, in such a large organization, with over 55,000 cast members, there is a lot of competition when those opportunities come along. It's easy to get lost in such a vast sea of employees, and many do - often due to their own negligence. Some cast members wait to be discovered, wait to be noticed, wait to be given more responsibility, wait to be promoted, etc. And they grow frustrated when it doesn't happen.

Other cast members, however, take charge of their own careers. They let their managers know about their goals, they develop new skills, and demonstrate that they can be depended on. They don't delegate responsibility for their careers to someone else. They see their careers as their own responsibility.

It's a sad truth that some employees believe good things should just happen without doing what it takes to make them happen. And each time they get passed over for a promotion or assignment, they grow bitter and begin a downward spiral into a victim mentality; which eventually dooms any chance for future opportunities. On the other hand, companies and bosses love employees who take charge of their own careers. Responsible, self-starters are a welcome relief from the whiners.

There's an old saying that there are three kinds of people: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened. People who make things happen will always be in demand.

Questions to consider about Lesson #10:

  1. What opportunities have you asked for lately at work?
  2. What specifically have you done recently to gain new knowledge or skills in order to increase your value to your organization?
  3. What can you do to take more responsibility for your career?

Lessons From the Mouse

To be released this summer