Career vs Own Business Dilemma?

Exploring in depth the option of developing his own business or continuing up the corporate ladder


The client had a very successful career in FMCG marketing, working for many global brands, as well as a successful period running his own marketing consultancy company.  Having recently finished in a Director's role at a large UK dairy co-operative, he now wished to make a decision on his next career move.

His options were to progress to a more senior role at a new company, within the same or similar industry (ideally a mid-sized company looking to expand), or to re-start his own consulting business, utilising the many years of marketing and branding experience he had built up within the FMCG sector.


What We Did

Initially we did not rule any option out.  For the option of moving to a new role within the industry we set a priority on getting his CV fit for the more senior level jobs he would be applying for.

We explored the specific role of Managing Director that he wished to apply for, assessing the core skills, knowledge and experience that would be required for such a role. We pitched his personal branding to reflect the experience that made him suitable for the role in particular focusing on his key strengths as an innovator and a leader.

For the second option of running his own consultancy again, we worked on what approaches he could take including assessing where his experience could add the most value to potential clients.  Initially we explored ideas around providing marketing and sales training, consultancy and brokerage/agency services for mid-sized and corporate firms, but those options didn't really appeal strongly to the client.

To narrow the options, we profiled his ideal customer type, where they might work and identified the points they might be at in their marketing and launch programmes.  He pinpointed what specific problem(s) he could solve for each customer type, leading him to frame an “Assured Market Entry” programme that would offer customers the benefit of his years of FMCG marketing experience and the extensive portfolio of tools and techniques that he had built up that would ensure the customer’s success in meeting the challenges of new market penetration and build-up.

We progressed to explore and project plan ideas on key contacts and networks he would need to develop in order to reach target companies.


The Outcomes 

New Role Move Option: As a result of the role exploration, the client had a completely redrafted and focused CV, along with a clearer map of target businesses, which successfully gained him several interviews for a general manager and other senior-level commercial roles. 

Own Business Option: In the case of his own business, the client now has the basis of a very attractive business plan formed and ready to deploy, with potential customer types identified, a clear definition of the scope and tools of his service, together with the differentiating results his customers can expect from using it.


The Client subsequently took a very senior role leading a business in a totally different business sector.


The Breakthroughs

The client valued the confidential review and perspective from Pathway on marketing his own career. He had a clearer perspective on his skills and talents, and how to match them to the career opportunities he sought. His understanding of the roles he was applying for was deeper and he gained comprehensive self-insights on how he would fit into those roles.

Furthermore, although the client felt obliged to consider the consultancy route, he initially was not that keen - when we helped him to focus on target customers, matching them to work he was really passionate about, he was able to articulate the very real and tangible value he could bring to customers. As a result of this, the possibilities for his business quickly opened up and he is now pursuing this option with renewed energy and enthusiasm.