people meeting

As part of my coaching I often have conversations with people about major career decisions.

  • Should I take this job?
  • Should I pursue this opportunity?
  • Should I accept this promotion?

An important part of answering these questions depends upon the way you view your career.

When I started out a long time ago in a galaxy far away, there was not a lot of talk about career. Mostly, it was just get a job, earn some money and get on with it.

Then we had the era of career planning. I’m going to be an accountant, architect or astronaut…(or parents saying you are going to be an accountant etc etc) And we devoted our life to being that thing.

Today, it’s hard to be one thing. Technology is changing things so quickly that most of the jobs we’ll be doing in the next ten years haven’t been invented yet.

One way to see this pattern is to look back 20 years to notice that ‘digital’ jobs like web site designers and blogging were just emerging and social media hadn’t been invented yet.

This means we can’t just plan a straight-line career path from A to B. Instead, we need to find some other frame to focus our careers upon.

In recent years, a lot of attention has been put on the low levels of engagement in the workplace. If you’re reading this in your office right now, do a scan of the people around you… How many of them are enthusiastic and enjoying what they are doing? What about you – are you engaged in your work right now?

In my opinion, a huge part of the problem is that too many people are focused on the wrong thing.

We’ve put way too much emphasis on external things and not enough on the things that drive us from the inside.

For example, we focus too much on getting promotions, looking good in front of others, building connections to fuel our careers and ultimately what we can get from our jobs and our organisations.

In contrast, I think we need to be more focused on how we can help others, the value we create for the organisation and the skills we can build to get better at our work.

This is the Mastery approach to career design. In simple terms, your goal is to find YOUR best way of adding value to your organisation and master that.

It follows that your career path is simply to keep finding ways to add more and more value. You’ll know you’re doing a great job of this when opportunities open up for you.

The power of this mindset is that it shifts your attention from ‘me-me-me’ to ‘we-we-we’. From this viewpoint you’ll get more done, be more resilient and more satisfied. Plus, the demand for what you offer will rise.

The power to ‘add value’ is in your hands.

To discuss how we can help you advance your career with personalised, one-on-one executive coaching, get in contact with us on 03 9645 4466 or email us at

Take Care,

Mike Allen