4 Steps to Shape Your Unique Career Path

4 Steps to Shape Your Unique Career Path 


Most of us are in the midst of a mediocre career. But being in a mediocre career doesn’t have to be the norm. 


Over decades of working with people and organizations, our coaches at Don’t Dread Monday have discovered three systemic reasons for career dissatisfaction: 


  1. No self-insight into what makes you happy 
  2. Organizations are not in the business of working around your passions 
  3. Most popular career advice is wrong or even toxic 


Today, I’m going to give you clear, concise advice to help you overcome at least the first two reasons for career dissatisfaction. (Hopefully, all three, if you find this advice to be helpful!) 


Here are four steps to help you shape your unique, fulfilling career path. 



Step 1: Define Your Perfect Role 


If the world was your oyster, what would your perfect role be?  


Be clear and specific. What would be your role objectives, key groups and customers you’d work with, your hours, and your location?  


Your perfect role might not exist within your organization, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still obtain it. You could always extend your current role or create an entirely new one. 


Step 2: Do Your Homework 


Where does your perfect role fit within your organization? 


If the answer isn’t obvious, you’ll need to do a little digging, maybe asking other people within your organization to gain some perspective. Above all, you’ll need to answer these questions: 


Is my perfect role the same or similar to an existing role? Where is that role? 


If it’s not similar to something within my organization, where is it? Where could it add the most value? 


Once you know why your perfect role could be beneficial to your company, you’ll be able to influence other key players to help you shape and create this role. This leads us to… 


Step 3: Influence the Players 


Who are the people you need to influence in order to shape your perfect role? 


These people could be your manager, your colleagues, or the shareholders. They need to believe in the possibilities of a new role. Be courageous. Be confident. Be passionate about the potential for good this new role could have for the organization.  


Remember, these key players just want to be engaged by your facts and passion. Always see yourself from their perspective and how your role could impact them.  



Recently, I had a colleague who wanted to shift his role within our organization. He came up with a plan, complete with what he would like to do and how it would benefit our team. The key players, knowing his work ethic, skill set, and ability to positively influence our team, stepped in line with his vision. As a result, once hs contract is renewed in a few months, his responsibilities will change to be more in line with his passion and career trajectory. All it took was preparation and persuasion on his part to make the change happen.  


Step 4: Be Patient 


Shaping your life’s work is rarely a quick process. Creating your dream role may take weeks, months, or even a year or more. Don’t give up. And when opportunities present themselves, pounce! 


Happy stepping!