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I recently received a certificate from my professional institute, the CIPD, congratulating me on over 20 years of membership. Many of my LinkedIn connections received one. We must all be of a certain age. 
I can’t believe it’s been over 20 years since I changed my career direction from engineering to HR and people development. When I started out on my career journey I thought I’d work in engineering for life. After all, it’s what I had wanted to do since starting school. But then… 
…I never thought I’d be part of a team building a £40m new factory from a green field site. 
…I never thought I’d design and run a high profile senior leadership conference on a ferry between Stockholm and Helsinki. 
…I never thought I’d spend over four years on assignment in Singapore as an HR Director. 
…I never thought I’d look after the apprentice and graduate programmes for a FTSE100 company. 
…I never thought I’d work in a joint venture team on £7bn civil nuclear decommissioning bid. 
…And I certainly never thought I’d start up my own business. 
Looking back, my career path has been all about taking decisions, and the choices I made when faced with those decisions. I’ve realised that I use a simple structure to help me. It’s my CORE decision framework and I think about four areas. 
C – Challenges. Accept them, and stretch yourself outside your comfort zone. Grow and develop yourself and expand your comfort zone. But don’t stretch so much that you cause yourself, or others, stress. Find the level of challenge you’re comfortable with. What are the challenges associated with your options? Take on enough challenge to keep you interested and developing. 
O – Opportunities. What opportunities do, or could, each of the options provide you? Seriously consider all opportunities that are made available to you. If the opportunity you want isn’t offered, or isn’t quite as you’d like it to be, then find a way to create it and make it happen. 
R – Rewards. Identify what you value. This can be anything that really matters to you – for example time, financial rewards, family time, recognition, progression, work/life balance, personal development. How do the options and choices you have provide the potential to get the rewards that are important to you? 
E – Enjoyment. Think about what you really enjoy doing. Make sure that the decisions you take provide you with the chance to do what you really enjoy. Then do it. 
Here’s to the next 20 years of my journey. Wherever it takes me, or I take it. 
If you’d like to talk about how I could help you to make your choices, develop yourself, your teams, or your business then please get in touch by emailing andrew@awddevelopmentsolutions.com 
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