Working as a career counselor/coach in private practice can get quite isolating at times, so I make it a point to incorporate getting out into my work routine. I was out on a walk at a park near where I live when this thought crystalized in my mind:

Catherine Nkonge
Catherine Nkonge

“Our career, profession or work is a part of our life, who we are, but we generally do not intentionally take part in shaping, molding or directing this part of our life”.

In case you are wondering why this thought out of a thousand other thoughts, I was in the process of preparing for a workshop titled, “Own Your Career Journey: Don’t Leave It to Chance”. So I was churning through the content of my presentation when this thought crystalized in my mind.

I know this to be true of the first half of my career journey. After getting my MSW, I pursued a career in social work in the area of youth programming. I worked in this field for a little over 10 years, without giving much thought to any long-term career goals. So even though I advanced some within the organization, it was not driven by any career goals I had set for myself. It was more that an opportunity opened, and I stepped into it.

Upon leaving this organization I took some time before looking for another job. It was at this point I intentionally engaged in thinking about and figuring out what I wanted to do next in my career journey. With the support of a good friend, I took time to reflect, do some soul searching and consult with some professionals as I explored my options.

Doing this helped me determine, career counseling/coaching was my next career move. With all the challenges of being in private practice, I love what I do – helping people gain the knowledge, insight, tools and skills they need to confidently and successfully address their career concerns.

Hindsight is 20/20. I wish I had been more intentional in shaping, molding or directing my career life earlier on, but I have also learned it is never too late to start doing so. It does take some work, but the time invested is well worth it.

Are you owning your career journey? What are you doing to intentionally shape, mold or direct it?