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Is it time to think about career change?

The last couple of years have been a lot for everyone. Regardless of whether you were really worried and stressed about Covid or you went along and did your own thing. There was a lot of change to deal with and a lot of opinions flying all over the place.

It’s had an effect on the whole world and for a lot of people, it felt like someone put a stick in the spokes of our wheels and completely derailed our short and medium-term plans. Certainly for me, I started 2020 with a plan to rent out my house and travel for a year whilst building up my coaching business. Clearly that didn’t happen!

I ended up going back to my previous workplace and staying there for a couple of years. Which was great for paying my bills and mortgage, but didn’t help me build my coaching business (in fact, it had the opposite effect!) or get myself in a better place. But I needed it at the time and I’m glad I had my colleagues for support during that time.

It’s really interesting now seeing so many people leaving their jobs, going down to part time work, taking early retirement or just questioning whether they really want to be where they are right now.

It’s a difficult decision for most people, especially if you want to change career completely. Even changing to a new path in the same area can mean a lot of upheaval. One of the things that comes up most often for people is the financial logistics of changing career. For me, it’s what stopped me doing anything for so long I was almost at the end of my tether by the time I did change.

I was single, living alone with no dependents which was great in one way because I only had myself to worry about, but the other side was that if I failed or something went hugely wrong, I had no fallback position. No-one else to pay the bills while I got back on my feet or went back to what I was doing before for a bit. It’s a massive decision to make on your own!

Not only is career change a massive financial decision to make on your own, I didn’t feel like I could talk to anyone about it either. I thought my friends with families would feel like it was a privilege to be in a position to even be thinking about something like that, or maybe wonder why it was such a difficult decision when I didn’t have to think of 3 or 4 other people that it would impact if I did decide to change.

That probably isn’t the truth of the situation but it’s how I felt at the time. I was also scared of this huge realisation that felt like I had to throw out everything I already had and start from scratch. What I would have loved was someone to help me find my own way, work out what I wanted to do in my own time and then help me find what worked for me in terms of moving to a different way of life.

Because career change doesn’t have to mean throwing out everything you know and starting all over again from the beginning. You don’t have to go and retake all your GCSE options and go from there all through A levels, uni, college, training or whatever else you might have done at 16/17/18. You can actually just do a little bit at a time.

You’re also not starting from nothing either. You already have knowledge – you’ve been in a workplace and know how to deal with colleagues, managers, customers, clients, suppliers. You’ve got more knowledge of yourself too, even if it’s not at the front of your mind. You have experienced so many things and overcome obstacles that may not seem relevant but can absolutely be examples of how to deal with change.

You have the resilience of having been a human being in a changing world for the span of your lifetime and in particular the last two years.

So when you look at what you’ve learnt about yourself in the last couple of years and see that something needs to change in your life, listen to yourself. Listen to the voice that says ‘what if we did x instead’. And know that you don’t have to do it alone or in fear 💖


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