Dear Koda,

‍I’m 35 years old and I consider myself a high-achiever. Throughout my career, I have achieved significant success and reached milestones I am proud of. However, lately, it seems like I am coasting at a time when maybe I should be growing.

‍I have this lingering feeling that there is more capacity and capability within me. I have always been motivated by external factors, such as mentors or managers who push me to strive for more. But now, I find myself without someone to be that guiding force, and I’m unsure how to navigate this stage of my career.

‍What steps can I take to tap into my full potential and ensure I am not settling for less? I want to continue excelling in my career and make a meaningful impact. Any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated.


A Go-Getter Who Wants to Get Going

Hi, Go-Getter!

You got so much going for you! It sounds like you’ve reached the point in your career where you look around and realize you’re the adult in the (board)room. You probably had great success early on in your career, and now you’ve risen to the point where you’re the person in charge in many situations. That can make it hard to continue pushing for growth because you don’t always have someone leading you so closely anymore.

The good news is that this is the perfect time to level up and determine what’s next for your career. Your letter shows you still have the drive, ambition, and hunger to meaningfully impact the world with your work. 

‍First, and above everything else, spend time getting to know yourself at this stage in your life and career. Before you take one more step forward, it’s time to look back and acknowledge the work you’ve done thus far. What are you exceptionally good at? What have been your biggest standout successes? The things you excel at and have found success in are areas where you have achieved a level of mastery. Koda defines mastery as a skill you can teach someone else or something you can tell a cohesive narrative of success about. Make a list of all the skills you’ve mastered, and see if there is a straightforward story of your career so far.

‍From there, you must go back into the broader market. Treat your career like a business and conduct some good old-fashioned market research. You have to understand what’s going on out there and what value you can add. 

‍Arrange meetings with people ahead of you in either your industry or your skill level. Challenge yourself and try to get a meeting with someone you can’t imagine would say yes. These meetings are market research, not a job search. However, when you meet enough other people, tell them the story of your career and successes, and explain your potential plans, you’ll likely come out with new connections and opportunities. 

‍When you mention the plans you see for your future, ask them to help you reveal gaps in your skills or experience. Your conversation should illuminate some potential next steps. One immensely valuable skill is being able to have a meeting with someone and know how to move the relationship to the point where they act as a mentor. The way you can do this is by asking great questions (both about your own task at hand but also their life and projects), offering to serve them where you can, and then seeing if there is an openness there for you to return to them with questions in the future. 

You’re not at a career plateau; you’re just at the base of your next step. Take time to evaluate yourself at this point in your career, and then invite other people into the process as you research the market surrounding your industry and particular skills. If you do this well, you’ll gain clarity on approaching the next step of growth and mastery in your career. Most people are reactive to what comes at them, but working on your career allows you to be proactive and agile.

We’re cheering you on!


Sign up to learn more.

Koda is the only centralized solution built for you, the individual, that can span your entire career – no matter where you are in your career journey.