Is it Time for a Career Change?

I wanted a career change, but I didn’t know what that career change was. At the time I worked as an office manager for an investment company.  I was tired of doing admin work and I wanted to work with people and write.  The company I worked for contracted a trainer to carry out aptitude tests on all the staff. My test results said that I wasn’t good at writing, leadership or anything creative. It also said I was good at maths, administration and organising. Now that may have been good for the job I was in but I didn’t want to do work that anymore.

The problem with aptitude tests is they only tell you what is, not what is possible. Fortunately, I didn’t allow myself to be limited by the test findings or I wouldn’t be doing the work I do today which is mostly writing, teaching, leadership and to be able to do all of that I need to be creative.

Because I had a strong enough desire, I developed the necessary skills. I was only in my 30s when I learnt that desire is far more important than experience or talent if you are following your heart. 

One of the things I always ask clients seeking a career change to do is make up a personal profile, then a work profile. This list must only include things you enjoy doing. It could look like this:

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING?
Meeting people
Travelling
Listening to music
Shopping
Socialising

WHAT ARE YOU GOOD AT?
Remembering trivia
Organisation
Communicating
Cooking

WHAT ARE YOUR NEEDS FROM A JOB?
Appreciation
No pressure
Variety
Security

WHAT DO PEOPLE COMPLIMENT YOU ON?
Style
Creativity
Warmth and friendliness

Do not discount any skills, even household or sporting ones, it may be possible to use them in some way. The next thing to do is think about what you want from your work and be as detailed as possible, and then answer the following questions, this makes up your work profile.

What do you want in a job?
What hours do you want to work?
How much do you want to make?
How do you want to dress at work?
Where do you want to work?
What size of business do you want to work in?
What type of people do you want to work with?
What industry?
What are the most important needs you want fulfilled at work?
How do you want to travel to work?
What would you do if there were no obstacles?

Once you have completed your lists keep them with you and look at them regularly. This reminds your subconscious to be on the lookout for your ideal work. Sometimes something will jump out at you, or you may choose to meditate on your list each day giving thanks that you are now doing your perfect work. The important thing is not to judge yourself, or stress because it appears as if nothing is happening. Just be mindful and grateful that you will be doing this work soon.

When I went through my career change crisis, I didn’t decide exactly what my new career would be, but when a position was offered to me I knew it was right immediately because I’d completed these lists. I attracted the position to me by doing a career change course, I applied for a stack of jobs, did my own research and said affirmations. In other words I put in the work, laid the foundation so that I was ready when the opportunity came along.

Once I started in my new career, the learning didn’t stop.  It started, and I am still learning today.  Only now people pay me to learn.  When I started writing columns I couldn’t write, but I was paid for my columns and I observed the changes the editors made and adapted my writing based on these changes.  When I first started writing a book, I didn’t know how, but my publisher was wonderful and assigned two wonderful editors to guide me.  When I first started running courses I’d never taught in my life, and I told my first group this, but they still paid to attend.  Obviously, I had some skills in the first place, and I always try to give value for money, but I didn’t wait to be perfect before I started.

Being dissatisfied in your career can be a great opportunity.  I went from being an office manager to a financial planner.  This led to my being an author and a public speaker with regular segments on TV and radio.  I now own a training business and write courses. I could never have plotted such a path if I had tried.  If I hadn’t been dissatisfied I might still be ordering stationary today.

What will your career change pay you?

Imagine you are wearing a sign on your chest that says how much you are worth?  Like it or not that’s what we do.  Every time you attend an interview or see a client, you send signals about your worth through your body language and the words you use. What you want on a conscious level may not necessarily be the same as what you believe you are worth on a subconscious level. You may want a salary of $100,000 and if you are serious about earning that amount or more then look for a career which will pay that.  If necessary, obtain extra training. Or find a way to increase your worth by showing an employer how you can add value through the work you do.

Don’t limit yourself

Don’t limit opportunities because you believe you are too old, too young, unqualified, not good enough, don’t have a degree or have failed before.  There are so many successful people who have achieved their dreams even when others said they weren’t good enough.

What it all comes down to is you need to act as if you believe in yourself and your abilities.  Action comes first, the feeling follows.

What you believe is what you create, over and over again. Choose to believe you can have what you want and then take steps to turn that dream into a reality.

The following affirmation I have used many times with great success, you can change the words to suit any situation in your life:

I have the perfect work in the perfect way

And I give perfect service for perfect pay.

Florence Scovell Shinn

 

 

 

 

Living Calm Creates Balance

2017 is my year for creating balance and living calm, not just for the year, but for the rest of my life. Living calm to me means being unflappable, but the reality is that I can barely remember a time when I haven’t felt stressed for one reason or another, and just dealing with the situation that is causing the stress, has only ever brought short term relief because there is always another pressing need to fill, or problem to solve. Living calm is something we need to foster and promote to increase the health and wellbeing of our whole society, especially our children.

Your stress threshold determines how well you manage stress

Our response to stress is set up in the womb, my low stress threshold was passed on to me by my mother and I in turn passed it on to my children. I’ve developed some great skills to manage stress but I’ve reached the stage where I don’t want to have to do this any more, I want to be calm, relaxed and enjoy every single day.

One of the best habits we can all establish is to observe ourselves without judgement. This gives us so much insight into why we do the things we do. I’ve given myself a whole year to observe what causes stress for me, establish new habits and make changes that will be permanent. That’s one of the reasons I’ve written so few blogs this year, my focus has been on simplifying and creating a new normal that supports the me to be the person I want to be and the life I want to live.

Living Calm means living a balanced life

Some of the things that I’ve discovered about myself is that my stress response starts long before I am consciously aware of it. Life gives us little clues that tell us when we are out of balance and if we are mindful on a regular basis we notice these clues,which can show up as minor irritations, before they become a major problem. When we race through life, going from one thing to the next, we often miss these clues and this means that we often keep experiencing the same old patterns, over and over again.

I’ve always known I don’t value myself enough but only recently I discovered how much of an impact that has had on my work. When I had to replace a staff member I became aware that I had a tendency to employ people who needed support, rather than choosing someone to support me.

Feeling unsupported has been one of my major life issues, and this feeling has infiltrated every area of my life because I constantly gave up my own needs to accommodate others.

As I write I am having ducted airconditioning installed in my home and I clearly asked when I got the quote, for the outdoor unit to be placed in a specific location, out of sight. Yesterday, after the tradesmen had left, I discovered that the unit was installed in the wrong place so that’s it’s visible as you walk in my drive. I have plans to convert this area into a relaxing outdoor area. My builder, who isn’t involved with this service, encouraged me to leave it where it is, and normally I would have gone along with this, but I know I’ll never be happy with that choice.

So now whenever I feel tempted to compromise just to make life easier for someone else I pause and reassess if this is something I really want to do and ask, ‘will this choice create more stress for me’. Leaving the unit in its current location might cause short term stress but over the long term it would be a constant irritation.

When we give up our needs on a regular basis we reinforce the belief that we can’t have what we really want, and that belief is behind so much unhappiness that exists today. The more aware we are the easier it becomes to make small and sometimes major adjustments in our daily lives. The discomfort we feel in the short term is minor compared to the long lasting benefits we gain from living a calm life. When we feel calm we are in balance. Our feelings reinforce the belief that we can have what we want. We fill our most important needs and as a result we feel happier. And happy people make the world a better place for everyone.