You Need to Answer this Career Question Confidently
“So we have a new Chief Revenue Officer, and he set up a meeting to get to know me and share some ideas for where he sees the direction of Marketing. And then he asked me a question – and I’m not sure if I answered it right.” “What was the question?” “He asked me where do I see my career going. And I didn’t know what to say and I told him I’m happy with where I’m at.” Heed the career warning of the Cheshire cat I smiled. It reminds me of something the Cheshire cat said in the story of Alice in Wonderland. Alice is wandering through the wilderness and comes to a fork in the road where she meets the Cheshire cat. The cat asks Alice where she’s going and Alice responds that she doesn’t know. To which the cat brilliantly responds – “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” I also smiled because I hear this all the time, especially from women leaders. Like Alice, we often don’t have a good answer to this very important question. We even misconstrue this question. We think it’s a test of loyalty – are they trying to figure out if I’m wanting to leave the organization? Or a test of arrogance – If I say I want their job eventually will they think I’m all high and mighty? Will they get threated by my ambitions? I should just be happy with where I’m at – right? Yes and no. You may be perfectly happy with where you are in the organization now, and yet, it’s important you have a sense for where you want your career to go in the longer term. These aren’t mutually exclusive. Thinking about the trajectory of your career is a both and, not an either or. Being proactive about your career isn’t being pompous “But I don’t want to be CRO. The thought of it scares me.” She went on to say. But here’s the point. The thought of it might scare you now, but what about in 5 years? It’s one thing to do your due diligence on career planning and then say, this is the career path I think will be best for me, and here is a considered reason why based on research and sound analysis. I like being close to the impact, I enjoy the execution and tactics more than the strategy and see myself more in a marketing operations role rather than a CRO role. Fair enough. But more often than not, we exclude things from our path because they seem too big or because of a fear of the unknown. Or we worry about being perceived as overly ambitious and don’t want to rock the boat. Take active management of your career Taking an active role in the management of your career implies just that. I’m thinking about it, I’m working to create goals for the short term, the mid-term, and the […]
November 3, 2023
4.6 min read
Career Coaching, Life Direction and Purpose
What is a personal development plan? And why might I need one?
Life is full of annoying administrative tasks you have to do. You may be thinking, why should I add another one to the mix? Besides, isn’t my boss responsible for guiding my career and sharing developmental opportunities with me? Wrong, wrong, wrong. One of my favorite sayings in life comes from the immortal mouth of the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland – “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” What is a Personal Development Plan? A personal development plan is a succinct document that summarizes three important things: 1) Your key skills and experiences to date 2) How you’re looking to develop your skills for the future 3) What roles you’re looking to aspire to as you progress your career When I help career coaching and leadership coaching clients put one of these together, we often start backwards and answer question three: Where do you want to go with your career? That then informs what skills/experiences you will need to get there – which is question two. What skills may you be lacking? What experiences will help you grow and make you the right candidate for that coveted role? The value of a Personal Development Plan To the extent you’re focused and actively managing your career, opportunities won’t literally pass you by. That pet project that will give you added visibility? You’ll know to ask for it, particularly if you’re looking for the all-important promotion. And the added benefit of asking your line manager to complete the personal development plan exercise with you, means it’s also on their radar screen as well. Who needs a Personal Development Plan? You do, no matter how early or late you are in your career, no matter what track your career is on. It’s important you start thinking about this right away when you’re in a new job. And if it’s not on your manager’s radar screen, initiate the conversation yourself. Prepare a draft, ask for their input. Ultimately, it’s up to you to be in the driving seat of your career! Shelley Pernot is a leadership and career coach who is passionate about helping her clients discover their strengths and talents and find a career that utilizes them. Reach out to me here for a free consultation to learn more about the coaching process and how it may benefit you!
January 18, 2022
2 min read
It was a privilege to work with Shelley as my leadership coach! The process was structured and yet flexible enough to meet needs as they arose. Shelley helped me to grow, learn more about myself, and to really achieve what I set out to accomplish. We worked on planning, navigating a promotion successfully, and so much more! I experienced many successes as a result of working with Shelley, she has great resources, knowledge, and really helps with setting the foundation to this coaching work. She won’t let you down!
Having the opportunity to have Shelley as my Leadership Coach could not have come at a better time in my career. I was recently promoted to CFO and was new to the Senior Management Team. Shelley helped me navigate joining the team as well as helped me to determine who I wanted to be as a leader. The Leadership Circle Profile helped our team to discover our blinds spots and to be able to understand each other better. Working with Shelley not only has affected my professional life in a positive way, but also my personal life. She helped me take leaps and has given me the resources to continue this journey of self-improvement. If you’re looking to find more about yourself and how you can be the best version of yourself, I highly recommend working with Shelley.
I have been working with Shelley for the past 2 years on my leadership development journey. What I thought would be a straight line, I soon learned with Shelley’s guidance, was a winding path with several ups and downs along the way. Shelley supported me as I took a deep dive into my professional and personal history and learned how it affects my approach and my perceptions. She helped me to slow down and recognize certain behaviors and understand that I can pivot in the moment or try again next time. Ultimately, my work with Shelley turned out to be so much more than what I expected. Her approach to coaching was exactly what I needed.
Senior Vice President, Consulting
I’ve learned more about leadership in the past six months working with Shelley than I have in my 10+ year career. She is an incredible coach with many tools in her toolbox. The guidance and mentorship I’ve received from Shelley has been life-changing. She will challenge your limiting beliefs and inspire new ways of thinking.
I highly recommend Shelley if you need a coach, thought partner, and guide as you consider the next steps in your career. She provides practical tools and advice to help launch your career exploration, but most importantly, she is an expert at helping you cut through the noise of your limiting beliefs. At the end of our time together, I had a much clearer vision of what I wanted in my life and a plan to make it happen. My only regret is that I didn’t find her sooner!
My career coaching sessions with Shelley have brought me back to living. It’s been contagious, spreading throughout my personal and professional life. I now have the building blocks I need to continue setting healthy boundaries, the freedom to show up as my authentic self, and an adaption of a growth mindset that has allowed me to make bold decisions and try new things. I’ve discovered that there’s always another way and how to eradicate barriers that lead to tunnel vision. These sessions with Shelley have been a great gift and have given me the momentum I need to continue the journey to be my best self.
It is amazing to think where I was only 10 months ago when I first started working with Shelley and where I am now. Not only professionally but mentally and emotionally. Shelley helped me navigate out of an unhealthy work environment by challenging me and asking me those tough questions we never seem to ask ourselves. What are the values of a true leader? How do those values align with my own? Shelley challenging me and guiding me through some of those tough questions is what led to my epiphany and me having the courage and confidence to leave an environment that threatened my well-being. She taught me how to become more self-aware and self-compassionate. Reminded me to be kind even when the world would understand if I did otherwise. And the biggest one for me, shutting down that crazy inner voice (we all have it!) and replacing it with being present. Shelley has armed me with tools that I will carry with me for a lifetime. Tools that will help me to continue to grow and learn. Life can be hard but working with someone like Shelley does make it easier. She will help you navigate the good and the bad and you’ll learn so much about yourself in the process.
Director of Marketing
First of all I would like to say that I would recommend Shelley to anyone needing career guidance. As my counselor Shelley helped me transition my career from bartending to Tech Sales which was a difficult and scary transition for me. From the start Shelley was fantastic. Initially I had no idea of which direction I wanted my career to go, I just knew I wanted it to go somewhere else. Shelley was so kind and patient as she helped me figure this out, and gave me a step by step guide on how to explore my options and make an educated decision. She also helped me assess my skill set which played a large part in directing my energy. I landed a great job within days of my final session with Shelley, and now I’m month 3 I am absolutely loving it and doing very well. It was the perfect job for me and Shelley was the one that got me there. Working with Shelley was one of the best decisions I have ever made, she literally changed my life and I am so much happier for it.