When it comes to creating a fulfilling career, I believe that greater self-awareness leads to better career decisions. In order to cultivate a better understanding of who you are and what you want, you must take the time to reflect on what is important to you and why. Next, you must have the courage to create a career that reflects those values. Career fulfillment is the experience of aligning your passions and skills with the value you bring to the world in the form of your work.
Ultimately my wish for you is that you have the courage to believe in yourself and follow your heart.
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Mo Chanmugham is a marketer turned lawyer turned career coach. After a string of "dream jobs", first as a marketing associate in the sports industry (Reebok), then as an assistant to a Hollywood agent in the film industry (United Talent Agency), and finally as an entertainment lawyer in the music industry (Def Jam, Sony Music), he realized he was chasing a superficial version of success rather than one that was authentic to him.
Motivated by the belief that the right job was out there for him, he invested in his own personal development to get a better sense of what he truly cared about. He quickly fell in love with what he was learning and saw how coaching gave him the clarity and confidence he needed in his professional life. That's when he realized he wanted to use coaching to help other professionals who were stuck in unfulfilling jobs gain the clarity and confidence they needed to find their ideal careers. As he has changed careers more than once he understands why people are driven to find meaningful work, the mistakes they make when trying to choose the "right" career path, and how to avoid them.
He is an ICF certified professional coach (ACC) and completed his training through the Coaches Training Institute (CPCC). He is also a member of the Forbes Coaches Council, a community of the world's leading business and career coaches. He serves as the Senior Director of Career Services at New England Law Boston, and is a volunteer career coach with the Institute for Career Transitions, an initiative through MIT to help the long-term unemployed. He completed his undergraduate degree in marketing from Boston University School of Management ('99) and his law degree from New England Law Boston ('06).
When he is not talking to people about career fulfillment he is most likely spending time with his lovely wife, Liz, their daughter, Lila, and their adorably stubborn puggle, Penny.
"When you are unclear about what you want, it is likely that what you want is covered in fear or shame."
When I heard those words I was immediately struck by how true that was for me. I was listening to an executive coach give a talk about the principles of leadership but at that moment what became clear to me was that I was afraid to admit that I didn't want to be a lawyer anymore. What else would I do? What would people think if I quit?
By all accounts, I should have been happy with where I was in my career. After starting my legal career as an in-house attorney at a major record label, I went on to open up my own practice working with entrepreneurs in the media industry. But on the inside I wasn't happy with what I was doing, it wasn't fulfilling enough, something was missing. While this was once my dream career I was no longer excited by the work, but I didn't know what I wanted to do next. This feeling forced me to explore the question of "What do you do when you don't know what you want to do?"
Through years of reading, studying, and training with teachers in the fields of personal development, entrepreneurship and leadership I learned that my desires, questions, and overall feeling of restlessness were a normal part of my evolution as a human being to want to reach my full potential and become more fully self-expressed. My interests had changed over time and to reach that next level I needed a new set of tools and a different kind of thinking.
What I learned through coaching helped me see and engage with life from a whole new perspective. It felt like I had the tools and wisdom to navigate life more powerfully and intentionally in this new stage. No longer was I looking outward for guidance or direction. I now had the internal clarity and confidence to start my search based on my personal values and desires. And once I realized how powerful coaching was for me, I wanted to share my knowledge with others who were struggling with the same career issues that I had been struggling with.
Today as a career coach I can honestly say that I love what I do, not because of how good I think it makes me look or how much money I make, but because of what I actually get to do every day. While the path to getting here was not easy, it was certainly worth it and if any part of my story resonates with you and you are looking for support in finding your way please don't hesitate to get in touch with me. Let me leave you with one final question...