Kemi's blog: Intention
Taking a reflection on my career over the last 12 years has been a mixture of opportunities, meeting preparation, success, taking risks, going with the flow, disappointments, frustrations and also a few accidents. In several instances things just happened outside my control; like when my role (several years ago) was moved to India; like when a Director (also several years ago) who I had a great working relationship with, and who would have been happy to be one of the sponsors for an impending promotion, left the organization in the same period that I narrowly missed a chance at a promotion. In the last year I have been working very hard to take more control of my career and to improve the outcomes on a long term basis. This is despite obstacles such as (seemingly) constant organisation changes, dealing with a few unexpected cyclical illnesses leading to constant exhaustion, especially on that memorable school night when we spent around 3.5 hours waiting to be seen at A&E. Being a working mum with kids aged 6 and 3 who now mostly sleep through the night is still not easy. Who ever said it gets easy when they grow older?
At the end of last year though, I felt like my career has been relatively stagnant for a while and hence I had an honest conversation with myself where I wrote down what I felt was important to me as far as my career is concerned going forward. This consisted of the gaps, my strengths and weaknesses, the new technical skills I intend to acquire, the professional relationships I want to deepen, the opportunities I want to take on to improve my influence and broaden my delivery scope, the experiences I want to have and the meaningful and impactful professional and social work I want to do.
I then discussed my intentions with my husband and trusted mentors to figure out the steps I might take to make those things happen and determine how they can support me. It might sound cliché, but honestly it felt like for once, especially since having my children, I was trying to be the author of my own career. I am always learning about new ways I can improve upon my technical knowledge, impact and future proof my career in a constantly changing world of work.
I have established through learning from those ahead of me, that it is the deliberate practice over time of learning, focused attention, experiments, feedback, failures, and connections that will enable me continue to own my craft and develop the grit needed to make something great out of myself and my career even on those days when I feel like throwing in the towel. My younger son will be starting reception in September, hopefully joining his brother in the same school given that was the only school we applied to. What this means for me is that I can have a bit more bandwidth to focus on my career and set realistic goals to navigate to the next level intentionally rather than accidentally.
Kemi works for a financial institution in Canary Wharf and is a mum of two boys aged 6 and 3 and married to a supportive husband.
Category: A Citymother's Diary