June 14, 2021

Introduction & What it means to be intentional about your career

Introduction & What it means to be intentional about your career

Welcome to The Intentional Career podcast. 

In our first episode ever, I share 

  • why this podcast is so needed in the world today
  • why it's absolutely important to become intentional about your career and 
  • what can happen when you let your career drift.
  • What an intentional career should look like

Download free Career Reset Checklist - https://hi.switchy.io/4auS 


Hello, everyone.

Welcome to the first episode of The Intentional Career Podcast.

I'm your host, Femi Akinyemi, the founder of the Unleashed Podcast Network, as well as the founder of the Unleashed Academy.

My purpose, my passion, is to help ambitious professionals like you overcome the barrier for challenges that stop you from having the career you truly deserve and earning what you truly deserve.

And the Intentional Career is all about that.

I'll give you a quick story.

It was probably about three or 4 years ago when I was driving to work on the same piece of motorway, going by the same traffic. And I couldn't even remember who I was meeting because it morphed into one big continuum.

It was like Groundhog Day meeting after meeting, after meeting and with no clear idea of where I was heading.

And I realized, Why am I doing this?

Besides the obvious reason of earning a paycheck?

Why am I doing this?

What's next for me?

Is it what I enjoy doing?

Am I playing to my strengths?

How do I overcome the changes at work?

The politics of work, getting stuff done, dealing with difficult people, dealing with the stress that comes with tight deadlines?

And I realized I'd fallen into one of the biggest mistakes that most people do when it comes to careers. We end up coasting, we end up just going with the flow.

We end up becoming like that ship or that boat on the water that just doesn't have a radar, no one's paddling, and you can end up anywhere.

And that's where you end up with.

The whole point of having an Intentional Career should really be about owning your career, having a clear idea of where you want to be, knowing what to expect as far as possible because you have a plan.

One of the worst things that happened to me was when I started out my career many years ago.

I want to share. And I'd been made redundant.

So I started applying for jobs and, you know, you just apply for a new job.

Click, click, click, click, click.

And I end up being made three job offers at the same time, similar salary, same job.

It was a job as a business analyst.

One was in the tourism industry, one was in the finance industry, the insurance industry, to be specific, one of the last job was in the telecoms industry.

And when I had to make a decision, I couldn't figure it out.

You had one manager who said, I love your talent, I love your potential. I will nurture your talent to become one of the best analysts out there.

Another one actually declined me. Then later on, it looks like someone else dropped out of the road and they invited me back and said, You can have the job now.

And then the third one said, You're a bit raw, but you'll learn. And it was a moving, fast, cutting edge industry was one around the time when agile was just coming around the corner.

It was called rapid application delivery at the time, but it was really, really just I was just a thing, but it's really about coding and really, really technology focused company.

But as a young man with no clear idea of who I wanted to be, what particular career I wanted to go when it was time to make the decision, I didn't think of, should I go the manager that has passion that believes in me, that sees something in me?

Should I go for the industry that would position me for the future with skills that I can use, or should I go with a company that's a big global name?

Didn't want me at first, but now they want me.

It'll be a good name on my CV.

There's lots of reasons why you pick any of them, and neither of them would be wrong if you pick them for the right reasons, but they would be wrong if you pick them for the wrong reasons.

I wouldn't necessarily pick who I mentioned.

And looking back, I probably could have chosen differently.

It's turned out well for me, I think.

But what I would say is the decision making process probably wasn't the best, and I ended up where I am now.

But that's what it means to be intentional.

You see, being intentional about your career means you manage your career.

And managing your career is all about and showing that you make the most of your working life voting out on your future.

You see, one of the mistakes we like to make is we like to think that careers are a one time process.

They're one time decision.

I love this thing where you ask kids, what do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a fireman.

I want to be a doctor.

I want to be a lawyer.

And then once you've made that decision, that's it.

And maybe as adults, we should ask ourselves that question more. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Or maybe more specifically, do you still want to be what you are now that you've grown up?

We don't ask ourselves that question enough.

And if you think a career is a long career, I mean, typically a working career, assume you're retired by the age of 65.

And if you start your career date of 21, that's probably 40 years. 40, 40 to 44 years.

You could literally squeeze in 3, 4 careers where you rise to the top within each of those careers, if you want.

But for a lot of us, we never take that step of thinking.

Do I still want to do this?

And then you end up coasting, I think, well, I've hitched, I'm hitched to this wagon, and I'm just gonna see it through to the end.

And that's what being proactive about your career is all about. That's what being intentional about your career is about. It's about every move you make in the workplace, every decision you make in the workplace.

It's well thought out.

It's planned, it's intentional, and it fits into a bigger plan. Now, sure, I'm not expecting every single move you make to think it through, but broadly speaking, you have to have a plan.

You have to have an idea where your career is going.

You have to have the skills to deal with difficult stakeholders, to push back on your manager, to sell upwards, to sell downwards, to lead yourself, to lead others, to make career transitions.

These are all things you need to have in your skill set and your toolbox to help you manage your career.

So if managing your career is about being proactive, then it also means you're not waiting for things to happen to you.

I always go back to the time I was made redundant.

It was redundant.

I like that word.

He likes to hide the truth, which is that you were sacked you are fired.

I know they call it redundancy, but it is.

And if you think about that word redundant, you have no value.

You're not necessary anymore.

You're not needed anymore.

To be told you are made redundant, all of a sudden it just feels like you've been abandoned.

You've been tossed aside, and that would only happen because you put your trust in the organization to plan your future.

Now I get it.

Companies have to do what they have to do.

Companies have to manage their resources.

They have to be effective.

They have to provide value for stake and for shareholders, if that means cutting operational costs to increase the margins.

I understand, but that does not mean we as employees or suppliers or whatever you are, shouldn't be a lot more proactive about making sure we provide value, making sure that we provide a skill set that cannot be copied easily and that we're one of the best in the market, but also making sure our value is so high.

We also have value outside the organization, so that even if this company is beginning to think about changing, going in a different direction, we have enough value.

Our value is not tied to what the company thinks about us, and that's being intentional.

When you're intentional, no one surprises you, you're so intentional, you have your finger on the pulse of the organization.

And, you know, when you're in a department that's going nowhere, you know, you're in a department that's not adding value.

You know, when you're in a department that really it's probably one they could do without.

Or if it's one that's adding a lot of value and it's going places because you are aware you're working around with your eyes open.

That's what having an intentional career is about.

And that's what this podcast is going to be about going forward.

It's about providing the tools, the tips, sharing my personal stories around the things you can do, the mistakes I made, and how to avoid them, and sometimes getting other people in to come and share these things with us that can help us have that intentional career so that we get the value we deserve.

We rise to the top intentionally and truly have a career.

We look back and say, You know what?

It was work, but I absolutely enjoyed it.

Whatever you think, leave some comments.

What are the things you'd like me to think about?

What are the things you'd like me to talk about in the upcoming podcast? What are your suggestions?


Share this podcast with friends, family, sign up.

Click on the link in the comments with the text with this

Subscribe to the podcast.

And I'll be looking to bring this out every week, and hopefully we have some fun together and we all grow intentionally.

Have a great week.

Femi Akinyemi