Your professional background: the story of which you are the hero


Author: Bérénice Kimpe (Head of International Department)

You may be familiar with these particular books in which the writer allows you to choose how the journey continues for the main character. Professional life is also a book full of adventures in which you are the hero.

Your background, a professional journey

Have you ever noticed that all the stories start with the same feature? They all have a trigger element, of a different kind depending on the books:


An adventure book is also a succession of positive and negative events, adventures, twists and turns, traps, rewards, dead time... The story is often that of several people facing together the challenges imposed on them by fate or their enemies. By chance, the right things may show up.


Your professional history will also be marked by different stages, different orientations: it will often be the result of a reflection that has also started after a trigger element such as meeting inspiring people, a not satisfying work-life-balance, a need for recognition or limited prospects for development, a loss of meaning in your activity or a health problem. Chance can also play a role: have you ever met people who have changed their paths after seizing opportunities they would not have thought of?


Being confronted with successes and failures, phases of enthusiasm and disappointments or moving from a benevolent to a toxic environment is not uncommon in a professional career. You may be going through them right now without too much effort: you know why you are here, you are aware of who you are, what your needs are and how you can meet them.


But perhaps you are going through a more difficult professional phase: your needs are more complicated to satisfy, frustrations are difficult to manage... Remember then the positive and satisfying moments of your career, rely on the marks of recognition from your colleagues and partners. Focus on the meaning of your activities.


If this phase is temporary, you should be able to find your balance again. On the other hand, if it persists, it means that your system, which has been working well until now, jammed. What could be this triggering element, this disturbing grain of sand that makes you want to go somewhere else? Are you ready to become the hero who sails away and do you know what for?


Choosing your road

In the book of which you are the hero, you choose how the adventure will continue. Your choices have an impact.

The same goes for your professional adventure book: you are the main character and you decide which path you will take or create.


To be able to choose, you must first be aware of your options. First, take stock of them, based on your profile, background, personality and personal situation. Get help if necessary: we do not always have enough distance from ourselves to objectively analyze situations and an external view of our choices or behaviours is very enlightening. Rely on group dynamics if you have the opportunity to participate in group training: being surrounded by people who are also preparing for their career development allows you to regain energy and prevents you from going round in circles in your thoughts. Feel free to meet with professionals to listen to their stories or to read them, like eg on our website, in the part “ABG perspective”.


Nevertheless, if it is easy to choose for a fictional character, it is not necessarily easy when it comes to your own life: fear of the unknown, fear of losing "something" (status, autonomy...), regret having left out this second option that you finally did not retain...


This is often where the famous question "What if I made the wrong choice?” shows up. The problem with this question is that it will only find an answer once you have made your choice. You could then decide not to choose, and therefore stay in your current situation to avoid the wrong choice. But is a non-choice a good choice?

Here are some questions to ask yourself: what does a good and bad choice mean to you? In relation to whom? In relation to what? What would be the possible consequences? Couldn't a "bad choice" finally be a simple stopover in your professional adventure?


In the case of the fictional hero, if you make a decision you consider bad, you can start the book over from the beginning. Difficult in real life. But nothing prevents you (and on the contrary, everything encourages you to do so!) from writing the rest of your book differently. All the choices you have been able to make have been a way to get to know yourself better, to better understand your relationship with others and your environment. Then take the time to think about how these choices have transformed you and how they will transform your next journey.


"Straight ahead you can't go very far," said the Little Prince. Making mistakes, testing, reorienting, choosing... are all ways to grow. Don't be afraid to make choices: the coherence of a journey is not always natural, it is created by the way you talk about your adventure, by the articulation you make between your different stages.