What kind of Career Success Model do you use? Is yours a Quest, Painting by Numbers, Making a Movie or are you utilising that time honoured career strategy – The Fog!

Eddie Obeng has a really , really useful model for Project Managers that defines which kind of project you are starting (or rescueing) so that you know which kind of people and process to put in place (plus other stuff). It’s so good that I’ve ‘borrowed’ it as part of my Career Coaching Framework. All opinions relating to careers are mine, and not Professor Obengs 😉

Which approach you are using – and will it deliver the outcome you desire for 2014!


If you don’t know what you want or how to get there you may be in the Fog, and that might be fine for you. I’ve navigated in fog whilst sailing, and you need to make sure you have small next steps and keep a very good ear out for anything bigger that can run you down.

If you know exactly what you want and how to get there, you are ‘Painting by Numbers’. This was the ideal career scenario for many of us who started work before 2000, but you’d have to be very agile to make it work in any fast moving industry such as IT.

If you know what you want, but don’t know how to get it yet, you are on a Quest. This can be a bit frustrating for some, but if you like the journey more than arriving, it should be fun.This is a common strategy for Gen Yers.

If you don’t know what you want, but you do know how , well that’s like making a Movie – experienced producers know how to make a movie, but don’t know what it will look like until they finish.  What if no-one will pay to see?

Careers, like projects, change over time. What you want changes, and sometimes, changes you don’t want, just happen. I hope the matrix helps to figure out if you are in the best Career Success Model for your needs right now.

I suspect my personal Career Success Model used to be a bit of a foggy quest – actually still is. I know now that I need assistance to navigate in the fog. It’s a risky business to do it single handed.

Many thanks to Keith Gregory for introducing me to Eddies work, and choosing me as ‘wingman’ when he presented  the Quadrant  with Clean Language for Project Management at the I2l conference recently.