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Career Coaching: Building Agility For Success in International Development Career

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by Impactpool

Meet Impactpool's new career coach Matanat Rahimova. She has a Ph.D. in Computer Science and 20 years’ international managerial experience in IT, HR and institutional development areas at United Nations and international organizations. Read about how Matanat made a successful agile career transition and get her best tips on how to build a career for social impact.
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I am a coach and consultant with 20 years’ international managerial experience in IT, HR and institutional development areas with the United Nations’ organizations (UNDP, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNWFP, WB) and international organizations (CTBTO, OSCE). It means that I hired and developed staff and teams, delivered capacity building programmes that helped thousands of experts, managers and diplomats to enhance their personal and professional development in local and international contexts. My international career has taken me around the world, to numerous field offices and Headquarters in Europe, Asia and North America. I gained an MBA from Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Austria, and Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, USA. I am qualified CO-ACTIVE COACH®. Currently I am based in Vienna, Austria. I am native speaker of Russian and Azerbaijani and also speak English and German.

Matanat's LinkedIn

I see myself as a trusted advisor to support people in career transition across sectors, United Nations and International organizations. I also help people in STEM implement innovative technology solutions in the international development field by building effective collaboration across the organisational boundaries. Therefore I am strongly committed to sharing my knowledge and to provide relevant career guidance to those who want to work in the international development world and make a difference with the work they do.

With the rise of artificial intelligence and robotization, organizations across the world have to operate differently, therefore we have to permanently re-skill ourselves and re-calibrate our career across functions and sectors. We need an agile approach to career development so that it helps us focus on the needs and what matters the most to us and those who benefit from our services and support to ensure long lasting impact on the society, business and the world.

Matanat's website

Looking back on my career, I myself have had a nonlinear and agile career path. I was born in Baku, Azerbaijan. I aimed to build my career in research and development in the artificial intelligence area. At the age of 29, I gained the Ph.D. equivalent degree in area of the computer science for my work on development of expert systems in the oil energy sector. But a collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 and consequently breakdown of all social and economic relationships drastically changed my life and career. As millions of others I was pushed to survive a hardship of the transition to a new life. The complex and expensive artificial intelligence research projects were no longer a top priority for the battered post-Soviet economy. I had to search for new career options and re-invent myself.

From my experience, what is most important in career transition is that we need to take a conscious look at our inner abilities and examine a broader picture of one’s opportunities.
To bring agility into career development, we need at least three essential skills and abilities:

  1. defining a career vision
  2. being present and
  3. learning.

The defining career vision means that we widen our prospective and consider broader career possibilities. Be present means to connect/engage with others, read our clients’ and stakeholders’ changing landscapes and see new sectors’ trends. In the heart of the agile career approach is learning.  It means that we define a vision and direction, then act, pause, review and learn from the experience, and then re-calibrate our direction and act again. As we are progressing with our work and development now, new opportunities will unfold, and we will consequently assess, learn and adjust our career.

I strongly believe that working in the international development organizations is one of the best career options for those who want to grow personally and professionally while still doing work that has a high social impact. With career coaching support here, you can bring clarity to your next career move, learn and develop critical career skills so that you can make your next career move with confidence.

- By Matanat Rahimova

We are proud to have Matanat Rahimova as a career coach with Impactpool!  
Book your career coaching with Matanat

If you have questions regarding career coaching, send us an email to

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