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15. Alinafe & Tenji on non-linear careers, breaking free from expectations and your golden thread

career management career transition golden thread leadership interview leadership myths Aug 24, 2023



This is the first conversation in the Real Talk series and my first visitor is Alinafe Thupa, a management consultant and my dear friend. Today we explore a belief we were both raised with that the best way to have a strong, stable career was to pick one company, work steadily up the ranks then retire as loyal employees. But neither of our careers have looked anything like this. We’ve had to break free from our parents’ expectations and fears to chart new paths for ourselves. We’re trusting our own decisions and following our true norths to create careers we’re both proud of and can sustain.

Topics discussed:

  • What our non-linear paths have looked like - career pivots, intrapreneurship, entrepreneurship and portfolio careers
  • Our parents’ legacy and the curse of colonisation and Apartheid
  • How we’ve pivoted into new roles, sectors and functions successfully
  • Finding our golden thread to build continuity in our stories
  • What we’ve had to believe about safety in order to face our fears of changing jobs
  • The litmus test we use to test if it’s time for a change

Learn more about Alinafe and follow her on Instagram @fashion_kill_her

The Real Talk series is a regular segment where I’m chatting casually with my friends about our on the ground career and leadership experiences. I hope these relatable conversations inspire you to have chats of your own with friends that you trust about what’s going on at work.


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