Some ambitious people focus on their career and are aware of every factor that can affect its development. However, most people rely on their companies for career growth.
While companies and managers do have systems to help their employees manage their careers, those systems are usually made for the benefit of companies. If the career path you have in mind does not coincide with your company's mission and vision as well as long term goals, chances are your manager will try to persuade you to take another path.
Relying on your company for your career development is OK, but it does not mean that it is your only option. According to a report on Fortune, it is definitely better to be in charge of your career development.
Make sure that every task that you do within the company contributes to your career development. Companies, or at least the good ones, usually offer training and seminars in various topics to help their employees find their place. Take note of these training and attend only those that will be useful to you.
Expand your network inside and outside of the company. Do not be complacent by thinking that you will stay in your current company for life. You have to work on a backup plan in case of company bankruptcy or layoffs, and you need outside contacts for that.
If you are unsure if you can do the career you have chosen, The Planner reported that you can always start as an apprentice or an intern. Trying out several paths is OK so that you will be able to make up your mind on what path to focus on in the future.
Jobs & Hire also reported on career lessons that you need to learn before it's too late.