Not following a single career trajectory is a topic close to my heart, as I have enjoyed learning and working as a teacher, researcher, consultant, recruiter and now life coach and Reiki practitioner. Yet, I admit that whenever I changed jobs, I would get a little bit embarrassed when I shared the news with others. I felt I was presenting myself as inconsistent or unreliable, even lacking ambition by not sticking to one single career path and aim for the most senior levels.
Being the #doworkyoulove activist I consider myself to be :-) , I give talks whenever possible to encourage people who are unhappy in their jobs to consider other options for earning a living. Career change is a broad topic to speak about, as the circumstances will be different for each individual. In order to keep things simple, I try to address the main areas of concern for career changers, such as time, training, cost and direction, in a 45 minute presentation with Q&A at the end.
It was during one Q&A that someone raised their hand and asked: “What about the biggest obstacle to career change of all...FEAR?”
December has arrived. For some of us it is "Where has the year gone?" but for others it is a time of year to look forward to with much longing. It is a time where it is generally acceptable to take time off work, with the exception of some professions of course.
Not so many years ago, as Decembers started to get closer, I remember the feeling of exhaustion creeping up on me when I used to be in a job I wasn't satisfied with.
I am highly-sensitive.
If you’re reading this, you may be too. Welcome!
I’m not sure how much you know about the topic of high-sensitivity. I am still learning more about it each day, but it was a huge relief to me the first time I heard this was real. It’s taken me many years to believe it is true, to accept it as one of my traits, to stop trying to change it and now to even love it.
It was when I gave myself permission to ask this question that my work life started to change. Asking this question shifted my work life from good, or not-so-good at times, to awesome. Now I truly feel that my work reflects who I really am. I no longer feel like a square peg trying to fit in a round hole and I get to create what I bring to the world every day.
When I changed the title of my LinkedIn profile from Consultant & Recruitment Manager to Career Change Coach, it resulted in quite a bit of anxiety. A lot of anxiety, in fact. You see, I had also added my energy healing training and practitioner experience.
Yikes! EVERYONE I HAVE EVER WORKED WITH CAN NOW SEE WHO I REALLY AM.
When I received my first job offer as a recruiter, I accepted it quickly and wholeheartedly. And yet, I had this nagging, uneasy feeling – “do I really want to be a recruiter?” What if I don’t like it? Taking this job means that I will close the door to other possibilities for a while. What if I am making a BIG mistake?
After the initial excitement of a new job had passed, Sunday afternoons and evenings were always a little blue for me as I thought about the upcoming week. I would try to focus on the areas I enjoyed the most and find meaning in what I was doing, but it always just scratched the surface of what I wished I could be doing instead.
Looking back, 2016 was a particularly challenging year for me. I had to step up my responsibility as a caregiver in my family, learn how to transition from paid employment to being fully self-employed and - vertigo. The world around me suddenly did not seem to be moving forward progressively anymore, but actually taking steps back.
It is often easier to stay in our current role than to make a change. Until it isn’t. When the idea of doing the same job, or a more senior version of it, for the rest of your life fills you with dread – a word my clients use often – or you just can’t motivate yourself enough to get through a normal work day, why do we still find it hard to take a first step towards real change?