My career change story.

My career change story. Photo of sail boats along a Greek quayside with blue sky and the sun shining.

I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Maybe a nurse. 

Washing backsides put me off that.

Maybe a teacher as I loved organising and imparting knowledge. 

You have to follow a curriculum. That didn’t sound like fun.

I was creative, artistic, chatty (the only detention I ever received was for talking in the corridor) and liked being in charge (yes, I was a senior prefect and ask me about Princess Poppy sometime…).

I followed the educational path through to university where I studied English Literature but I still didn’t know what I wanted to do so I sort of fell into working for a financial company, chalking up experience in engagement, internal communications and training design and delivery.

I was naturally drawn to the people focussed side of business and I built up my skillset, challenging myself to work in different parts of the business, to learn and grow and travel, working with people from many countries, which I loved.

But something was missing.

I didn’t know how to go anywhere else but along the same linear path I had been diligently following, so I pressed on valiantly trying to take some action.

I tried compressed hours.

I toyed with the idea of starting a magazine but got overwhelmed.

I imagined working for myself.

I bought a book about building a side hustle and never read it.

I read an e-book about blogging but didn’t do it.

I realised I just didn’t know how to decide what I wanted to do.

And then it happened.

I stumbled across a programme to help you change careers and I signed up.

And then something else happened.

My leader anxiously told me I was being put on consultation and that I may be made redundant after nearly 20 years.

I had to reassure her I was very happy with the prospect (and as you can guess I was indeed made redundant about 4 months later).

Unicorns abounded, glitter clouds puffed, angelic singing could be heard…all whilst I did a little victory jig in a toilet cubicle at work (not everyone was so elated about their redundancy prospect).

And so, my career adventure began to unfold; an igniting of curiosity, exploration and experimenting in a way so different to before.

With the guidance and encouragement of the programme I joined, I felt the fear and decided to try my hand at writing. I trained as a coach, I decided waking up later suited me, I overhauled my workouts.

I began to learn how to paint with watercolour, and I recognised just how much I need connection and fun in all that I do.

And so, here I am, still with much to explore as I build my coaching business (currently on the list is becoming a money coach, using EFT (emotional freedom technique) more and learning about applied neuroscience in coaching) and there are other things whispering to me such as writing something fictional.   

I don’t think my career change will ever find an end and I no longer see it as a linear path; I’ve been given an approach that helps me follow what’s piquing my interest and I have a method that finds out if there’s validity in pursuing it (rather than going down a rabbit hole).

I can much more confidently follow ideas and opportunities rather than being worried that I’m wasting my time and resources, which I find rather liberating.

Some of the ideas won’t make it into my career focus, but they may well become a hobby, something that I value in my life and brings me joy (such as watercolour painting), so my continued exploration will never be wasted.

There’s a lot more I could share which is relevant to my career change story (such as I’ve been married and divorced and how so much was put on hold during that time in my life, including my career), but I will leave it there for now!

Until then, here’s to the unfolding of your career change story.

Photo by Victoria Howard.