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Which Career Path To Follow ‒ The One In Front of You, The One Shown By Others, Or Your Own?

Written by: Christelle Soto-Suarez, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Do you ever reflect on how you’ve been leading your career path to date?

If so, what does that career path look like?

  • Have you been mostly following the path that opens right in front of you – such as taking the first job that presents itself to you?

  • Have you been mostly following the path of guidance and advice from others “who know better what’s good for you” – such as investing time and money in further education to get the “right” letters after your name?

  • Have you been mostly clearing out your very own path based on what you really want for yourself, on your own perspective of what success is – such as exploring different “specialties”?

Before continuing, I want to make a couple of clarifications:

  • There is nothing wrong with any of these paths, as long as the path you’re following is aligned with who you really are, and what you really want for your career, and it provides you with happiness, fulfillment, and satisfaction!

  • There are times, because of the circumstances you’re in, when the “best” path to follow is not your preferred one but is the one that allows you to move forward, to get out of these circumstances, or to give you some breathing space! For example, I took the first job offer that I received after university (it was about building fiber optic networks… and I had never heard of fiber optic networks at the time)… but I needed to start working and earn a living! I also enrolled in an MSc. in Construction Law & Dispute Resolution following recommendations from colleagues and managers, although I was a bit worried about having to learn about English law… but I strongly thought that the rest of the course would be a great “plus” for progressing in the construction claim field.

How do you feel about your career path to date?

  • Are you happy, fulfilled, and satisfied with what you’ve achieved… and do you just want more of the same?

  • Are you “ok” with your journey until now – as in, it could have been better, but it wasn’t that bad either?

  • Are you regretting some of the directions you took, because they may have been easy to take, or were highly recommended, at the time… but these directions were not aligned with who you were and with where you wanted to go, deep down within yourself?

I think we all have some regrets about decisions we made in the past – we can’t change what already happened, but we can learn from it… and consciously decide how we want to lead our career path in the future!

How are you going to lead your career path in the future?

It’s easy to say “I want to have the career of my dreams!”… but:

  • Do you actually know what the “career of YOUR dreams” really looks like?

  • Are you aware of what you will NEED TO DO to achieve the “career of your dreams”? And

  • Are you ready to actually do WHATEVER IT TAKES to achieve it?

Only then will you know what type of career path you ought to follow, and the steps to take to get to that career path… and to stay on it as often as possible!

What’s the career of your dreams?

This is not just about the position you want to reach…

It’s also about:

Because the above points affect how you interact with other people, manage, and carry out tasks… and therefore affect how “suited” you are for that position.

So, having done some introspection and self-reflection, how does your “dream career” (one that is aligned with who you really are) looks like now?

What do you need to do to achieve this career?

Now that you know where you want to get to in the future (and assuming you know where you are now):

  • What key steps do you need to take to cross the bridge between your “now” and your “future”?

  • What resources will you need?

  • What do you need to learn, and how?

  • Whom do you need to know, to have in your circle, to have the confidence to speak to?

  • What experiences do you need to have?

  • Anything else? Don’t hesitate to explore other ways to achieve your goals!

What are you ready to do to achieve this career?

Now that you’ve identified the key steps required to cross the bridge, ask yourself:

  • Are these steps aligned with who you are?

  • How are these steps going to interact with / impact the other important facets of your life?

  • Are you ready to accept negative impacts on these other facets?

  • Are you willing to get out of your comfort zone to take these steps?

  • Are you ready, and willing, do to whatever it takes? What are your “limits”?

Knowing what it is you’re READY TO DO and what you’re NOT READY TO DO, how does your “dream career” looks like now? Do you need to adjust anything, so that your “dream” is actually suited to YOU, instead of being aligned with norms/society’s expectations?

What’s the most suitable career path?

Now that you’ve designed your “dream career” based on who you are and what you’re ready to do, what does your future career path look like (most of the time)?:

  • “Easy breezy” – just follow the path that opens right in front of you?

  • Get the right mentors – so you can follow the path of guidance and advice from others more experienced than you (and probably work hard to apply such guidance and advice to your own circumstances); or

  • Empower yourself ‒ Get a “machete” to “clear out”, and then lead, your very own path based on what you really want for yourself, on your own perspective of what success is, and on your circumstances (and be ready to stumble on “roots, rocks, holes…”, to get outside of your comfort zone, to be “different” to the people around you…).

As I said at the beginning of this article, there is nothing wrong with any of these paths, and there are times when the “best” path to follow is not your preferred one…

Each of these career paths has something positive as well as negative, which are different for each of us, which vary with time and circumstances…

But, right now, which career path (or combination) do you consciously decide to follow?

Final words

Interested in knowing more about my 5-step process to “Empowering Yourself to Create the Life and Career You Want”? Book a free 45-minute Empower Yourself Discovery Call!

Simply curious? Then check out Pistachio-Cassis Coaching website!

Subscribe to my Pistachio-Cassis Newsletter for monthly insights on Empowering Yourself to Create the Life and Career You Want.

Follow me on LinkedIn for inspiration, motivation, and education about how to empower yourself. And please, reach out to me via LinkedIn or email to let me know you’ve read my article. I’d love to hear from you if you have any feedback, suggestions, or anything else you want to tell me! Visit my website for more info!


Christelle Soto-Suarez, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Christelle Soto-Suarez is a Personal Leadership & Development Coach who empowers Women in STEM / Construction to create the Life and Career they want, and is the founder of Pistachio-Cassis Coaching. She’s a certified professional coach and a member of the International Coaching Federation.

However, coaching is her 2nd career. Previously, she spent 25 years as a construction professional, working on a wide range of construction and engineering projects and in different roles. She worked and lived in several countries, experienced working in multicultural teams, and speaks 3 languages.

But however fulfilling and challenging these experiences were, the time came when she realized that she actually felt unhappy, unfulfilled, unsatisfied with where she was in her life…

Through her own exploration journey to discover how to create the life and career she wanted for herself, Christelle realized she was actually following a life coaching process… That fascinated her so much that she trained as a professional life coach and she set up her own coaching practice to empower others to also create the life and career they want.

Outside of coaching, Christelle loves expanding her horizons through reading, conversing with people with different backgrounds and experiences, and relaxing in nature.



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