Deciding your career path

She said to me that “I want to be a Managing Director of a company” which I found impressive. This young lady knew exactly what she wanted and was very passionate about it. When I asked her a few questions, she was deflated. My role as a coach is not to deflate people in the pursuit of their goals but to ask thought provoking questions that will help them to get clarity around their goals and how they intend to achieve them. This lady approached me because she felt she was no longer making progress in her career and wanted a coach to partner with her.

She is not alone and always tell people that if I had a coach during my career journey, I would have been more successful. When we talk about career, it is not limited to corporate. It is what you do that makes you happy through which you earn a living. A successful career is that which makes you happy for which you earn income that is commensurate with your effort. The majority of us are in careers that pay us less than our worth. If you are in such a situation and are not happy, you should ask yourself if you are in the right career.

Some of the questions I asked which you should ask yourself to get clarity when contemplating career move include:

  1. Which organisation?
  2. Why should they hire me?
  3. What skills do I possess that prepared me for the role?
  4. If I do not have the required skills and do not know why they should hire me, what plan do I have to achieve these goals?
  5. What other added advantage do I have that others do not?
  6. What is my timeliness to achieve these goals?

If you can answer these questions amongst others, you are on the path to achieving your career goals.

My chemistry session with lady which is the first session coaches have with their clients to see if they can work together revealed she just changed job which was an interesting dimension to the conversation. She took the job because she was fed-up with her previous job and wanted a change but could not explain how this will advance her career goal. There was no significant increase in her salary and she could not tell if the grade she got was more or less than the one she had previously. If you are in a similar situation and you will like to make a change, below are some of the factors you should consider:


If you do not feel happy in your current role and organisation, it might just be the right time to consider a change. You spend most part of your life at work place and you deserve to be happy.

Adequate compensation

Your position and remuneration should be commensurate with the value you are bring to the organisation. Capitalism by its nature reward workers just enough to pay their bills. If you are paid what you are worth which is more than enough to pay your bills, you will have the freedom to take control of your life which is contrary to the principle of capitalism that is winner takes all.

Organisation culture

Some organisations have got toxic culture that makes work environment a nightmare. You should make sure you know enough about the culture of the organisation you are targeting.

Growth prospects

There are some job roles that do not make provision for growth. If you do not know enough about the position you have applied for, you might just get stuck in that position with no place to go after taking the job.

Development prospects

The organisation should be such that cares about the development of its employees. This can take the form of training, paying for employees to further their education, coaching and mentoring.

Career goal

Your career change should align with your career goal. The lady whose career goal is to be a Managing Director just changed job but could not explain if her move was upward, lateral or a downward one. You are given the opportunity to ask questions during interviews and should be able to ask questions regarding the proposed grade and remuneration if they are not part of the advertised position and negotiate where necessary.

If you need help with your career planning, check out our career planning program at:

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