To take control of your career you need to understand that throughout your career you will have multiple cycles, and each cycle has 5 phases.
It is important to understand each of these 5 phases within a cycle, along with which phase you are currently in and when a new cycle begins for you.
Phase 1: Self-Evaluation
The first phase of a career cycle is self-evaluation, during which you identify your skills, aptitudes, education, experience, needs, and preferences.
Phase 2: Researching Options
The second phase is investigating your options, during which you identify the types of positions and jobs that are options for you, and what industries and companies hire these type of roles.
Phase 3: Goals and Focus
The third phase is goal-setting and focusing, during which you set your goals for the income and compensation you seek, decide whether you wish to prepare yourself with additional education or certifications, and select which type of roles you will pursue.
Phase 4: Personal Marketing
The fourth phase is marketing yourself, during which you identify how you want to sell yourself as a product and develop and roll-out the tools you need to reach your objectives and find the role you want.
Phase 5: Continuous Development
The fifth phase is continuous professional development, during which you continue to develop yourself as a professional after obtaining the role you were going after, all with the goal of preparing yourself for your next career cycle.
As persons and as professionals we are constantly evolving. For example, what you wanted to do 10 or 5 years ago is different than what you want to do today. Through your evolution, you navigate through each of your career cycles.