My friend, the train and the goat – 3 adjustments to help you implement your career change.

My friend, the train and the goat - 3 adjustments to help you implement your career change. Photo of a goat peering out from behind a rocky hill face.

My friend’s recent train journey inspired me to write about staying the course once you have decided on your career change. 

I want to acknowledge how difficult the journey can be when you know where you want to get to, you know the required steps, but obstacles keep appearing and things take longer than planned.

Similar to my friend’s train journey, it can be enough to test the patience of a saint.

I was messaging my friend during the said train journey; what should have lasted approximately an hour, took twice as long.

The train was slow.

She had to change trains early on in the journey, the train she needed was on the other platform, then that was cancelled, then it was announced that the train she was originally on was now not cancelled, so back on she got.

She had to change trains again a bit later in the journey and had to wait longer than expected as the train she wanted to catch was cancelled. She chose the next train to arrive rather than the later train that stopped exactly where she wanted to get off, just in case it was cancelled.

There was a leak from the train toilet (gross).

There was a signal failure, so more waiting.

Only one track was able to be used meaning waiting for another train to pass before finally making it to her destination.

As we were messaging I sent her a goat emoji for a bit of entertainment. It got a good reaction but there was also another intention.

Did you know goats were put in the stables of racehorses before a race to calm them down? The saying ‘you’ve got my goat’ comes from when stable boys would steal the goat from the competition’s stable so the horse would no longer be in a calm state before the race.

I decided my friend needed a goat to keep her calm during her journey.

Do you need a goat? 

If you’ve figured out your new career and you’re now in the implementation phase, you might need a goat to keep you calm. Whatever you’ve decided to do I can almost guarantee that it’s taking longer than you thought, obstacles you hadn’t anticipated have come up and you try to judge whether you should get off the train, change to another one, or whether it is better to stay on now you have committed to the journey.

Firstly, accept it’s going to take time. Last year I heard from a few different business coaches that it takes 2-3 years (so let’s say 3) to get established, cover expenses and start making profit i.e. income. That was a reality check for me and now I’ve processed this and accepted it, I am trusting that steadily and consistently moving forward will get me to the destination, although much slower than I expected.

Secondly, adjust your expectations. Slow down if you need to. The tasks and steps you need to take should not be burning you out or causing too much stress. Do what you can do in the time you have available each week. This is good enough and will keep you steadily progressing towards your goal. It’s ok to adjust the timeframe you’re working to – you’re balancing the demands of life and unforeseen obstacles.

Thirdly, invest in support – get yourself a goat! What do you need to maintain your calm throughout your journey? I am part of a business mastermind, I have monthly sessions with a life coach and I have acupuncture every month. I tend to hold everything in and try and work it all out myself. This is my default setting so having these external places where I can open up, get guidance and support for my mind and body help me keep in balance and gain perspective along my journey. I’m in it for the long haul so I see these as part of the investment in my future success. 

Whatever the breed of your goat, it is an investment in you, now and in the future – you need to be in good shape as you travel so you can keep going, make good decisions and enjoy your destination when you arrive!

Here’s to (dare I say it) enjoying the journey.

Photo by Andrea Caramello on Unsplash.