Owning and tailoring your career journey

Think about a career as a personal journey. How person ‘A’ makes it work, is never the same as how person ‘B’ makes it work. In an industry with hundreds of skilled talent coupled with the rapidly evolving times, how can one still remain relevant?

Now more than ever, is the time to be intentional about what you bring to the table; what makes you unforgettable? Point in case the career journey of popular Nigerian Media Personality; Toke Makinwa, talk about a career-journey centered around a person. From making the big move from Banking to Media, to the ‘wow’ factor she maintains on various media platforms from TV, to vlogging, to appearances. The key to her progress has been owning her unique career journey.

How do you create a career journey tailored just for you? The three P’s for writing your script are: Purpose, Place, and Plan!


A lack of Purpose means lack of perspective

The secret to a knock-out career is a personal vision. What is your ‘why’ and how can the world benefit from this? Quickly identifying this helps you to know right where you fit in. Think about it this way: without ‘you’ there is no career. So, authenticity is required to create or find the right opportunities for you.

This is what will enable you to be successful irrespective of the dynamism of your sector. So, what if machines took over your sector, how would you evolve to stand the test of times? The answer is ‘you’.

I have always envisioned a world of more women of substance, who are relevant and living their authentic lives. This is my personal vision and it translates in the kind of career choices I have made. Through my various roles as writer, administrator and civil leadership, my purpose has not changed.

Knowing your place means there is a vacuum just for you

What are you able to bring to the table? Remember it is all about you, and how you can make everything work in your favor.

What has kept Ms. Tyra Banks relevant until now, is mapping out a career journey that only she can execute. What is your place in the industry you are in? Where can you work or not work? The journey becomes even narrower.

It takes consistency to find a niche or establish a track record, but when you are able to say; what exactly you bring to the table? where you can function in terms of delivering your personal vision? Then you are on to a great start.

In my case, after identifying how I can add value to their female audience, I developed my niche as a columnist on a lifestyle blog for women. I created a column for aspirational women; for daily motivation and personal development. This was how I started out, which in turn enabled me to learn a lot about myself, and evolve. I have built my career on this foundation.


Draw up a plan for you or go home when their plan changes

I mentioned Tyra Banks earlier. Actually, Tyra was forced to make sustainable career plans when her industry rejected her. If she took the list of designers who said they couldn’t book her anymore, and admitted that she was done, she wouldn’t be who she is today. Instead, she rewrote her narrative by creating opportunities for herself, and owning her journey.

Having found a purpose and a place, then there has to be a great plan to keep you relevant. Like a custom-made strategy just for you.

In formulating a plan, ask yourself the following questions: What is the right network for me? Where is the right environment? How can I gain more confidence and gain experience? What is crucial to remaining relevant? In answering these questions, you will be able to formulate a career strategy for yourself.


In closing

I have been able to identify opportunities that re-enforce my competencies, which in turn enable me evolve in my career. This consistency has helped me to learn more about myself, and envision where I would like to be in years to come.

I first started out as a content creator for women, but I have evolved to channel my passion of empowering women, into development work and not just media. As a key-employee in a women organization, I have first-hand experience in creating impact for women-relevance. The key  is identifying my core-competencies, and making every opportunity a stepping-stone.

If you are hoping for a ‘Toke Makinwa evolution’ or ‘Tyra Banks emergence’ then the way to go is to put yourself at the center of your career. Not the money, or being on fleek, or the goons you are rolling with. Think hard to make the right decisions. Long-standing personal brands are birthed from consistency.

How have you tailored your career journey?

Let us know more about you and your story here.

About Ekemini Akpakpan

Ekemini AkpakpanEkemini is an Administrator who is passionate about structures, putting-things-together, and implementing systems for organisational efficiency. She's your fairy god-mother, who loves to share wit through compelling contents for the feminine space. She's the General Manager of African Women in Leadership Organisation, and the curator of #SHEVOICES.

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