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Where to start when changing career: be more you.

Where to start when changing career: be more you. Photo of flamingo in the foreground of a tropical beach.

In replying to a reader’s response to one of my recent newsletters I noticed a spelling gaff.  I had used the word ‘queue’ when it should have been ‘cue’.

I began contemplating how I should deal with this.

Should I ignore it? We all make mistakes.

Should I mention it in the section of this email where I share things I’m interested in to acknowledge it quietly? When do I do things quietly?!

Or should I say something up front and make a mildly entertaining anecdote out of it?  Such is my usual approach.

As you can (hopefully) tell, I went for the latter.

Why?

Because it felt most me

And as you’ll see in this blogpost, this is very important.

So, hot on the heels of this newsletter confessional I would like to share with you an excerpt from ‘The Go-Giver: A Little Story About A Powerful Business Idea’ by Bob Burg and John David Mann which touches on being more you.

It’s from chapter 10: The Law of Authenticity.

“What I’m here to sell you on is you.

“People, remember this: no matter what your training, no matter what your skills, no matter what area you’re in, you are the most important commodity. The most valuable gift you have to offer is you.

“Reaching any goal you set takes ten percent specific knowledge or technical skills – ten percent, max. The other ninety-plus percent is people skills.

“And what’s the foundation of all people skills? Liking people? Caring about people? Being a good listener? These are all helpful, but they’re not the core of it. The core of it is who you are. It starts with you.

“As long as you’re trying to be someone else, or putting on some act or behaviour someone else taught you, you have no possibility of truly reaching people. The most valuable thing you have to give people is yourself. No matter what you think you’re selling, what you’re really offering is you.”

It would seem that when you decide to be you, magic happens.

When learning about how to reach my ideal clients, it seems the clearer I can be on who they are, the situation they are in and what they are experiencing, the more easily they can identify with what I am offering and can say yes, or no if it doesn’t resonate with them. 

It’s scary making something so clear that it’s easy to say no to! I want to help everyone, welcome them all with open arms, but this actually leads to no one really knowing what I offer and nobody responding.

In order to get clarity and decisiveness, I need to be more me, which means some people will like me and others won’t, and this makes me feel uncomfortable, as in really uncomfortable.

In the same way, when you are beginning on the journey of a career change, you need to start by being more you and this can feel uncomfortable. You are stepping out of the façade you have created to fit in and be acceptable. What if you being you means no one will hire you? No one will like you? You won’t be a good fit?  You don’t actually have what it takes?  You don’t have the right skills?

Let’s keep calm and start small by digging in under the layers and reconnecting to yourself. 

This is important work.  

Remember, this is all about ensuring that what you end up choosing to do fits you, not the other way around.

So, start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What do you want?
  • What are you good at?
  • How would you like to express these things that you’re good at?
  • Which areas of you do you wish you could just let be, rather than feel you have to hide, subdue or contort?
  • What do you wish you could do without worrying about what other people think or feel?
  • What do you want to leave behind or let go of?
  • What would you have a go at if you knew you didn’t have to get it right or have it all polished and perfect?

Now choose a very small piece of you to take out of hiding. Dust it down, give it a good airing and try it on for size.

  • Maybe you’ll make a decision to wear a bolder colour into the office.
  • Maybe you’ll give your opinion on something where you normally hold back.
  • Maybe you’ll offer an idea up and not worry about how it lands.
  • Maybe you’ll try yoga even though you’re known as a spin person.

Keep it small, just try it out once in the coming week and notice what happens when you let a little more of you take to the stage.

This is where discovering a new career begins.  

If you give this a try, I’d love to know how it goes!

Photo by unknown on Canva.