Episode 25- Big. Scary = Career Change

Talking career shifts, leaps, you name it. We all come to these crossroads in our lives and we often feel unmotivated, scared or even pressured to make changes.

There’s a trend at the moment to exit the corporate world and start your own business. I’ve seen this happen to many women in late 40s, early 50s shifting to become self-employed. As I was researching the topic of career change, I spoke to a few of these women who are amid change. It was profoundly noted that this change is stressful and difficult in many ways. They’ve shifted from being comfortable and happy to daring greatly and getting out of their comfort zone, taking a risk to grow in attempt to feel accomplished and fulfilled. Jeff Bezos, who started Amazon, left his million dollar hedge fund job to start an online book store as he wanted to live a life with no regrets. Like Jeff, we can all take a look ahead at our 80 year old selves and make changes to live out our passions.

It’s first acknowledging that there is a need for change. That we aren’t fulfilled, satisfied or truly happy. Gay Hendricks discusses a ‘zone of excellence’ where you can be really good at what you do but not necessarily love what you are doing. Whereas the ‘zone of genius’ is where you naturally excel in your work and you love it too. When you are in your zone of excellence you could be squeezing more out of life, striving to start living in your absolute passion.

Secondly, discovering what you truly love and where your passions are is the next step in your career transition. Spend time assessing what you do now that you enjoy and dislike about it and then look at your strengths. You will need to consider what lights you up and what would take you to your ultimate aspiration. Start by painting a picture of where you are, who you are with, what certificates might need to be on the wall behind you, what kind of management structure do you feel most comfortable in, will you be the CEO? I know that doing my MBA was one of the best things that I’ve ever done, but doing the coaching course that I’m currently in is teaching me so much about people and I’ve concluded that this is my absolute passion. I’ve learnt that your passion often comes from where you are most curious.

Delve into your values and write down you mission and vision. Your ‘starting up’ your new career, it’s a similar process to starting up a business. Coming up with your vision is the most difficult task. It’s often a fuzzy blur in the future that evolves as you explore your options and test the waters of new jobs and experiences. To be able to try new jobs you need to have time, money and skills. It takes planning to put aside funds to support you while you experiment. Follow pathways that come your way, even a weak pathway may lead you to your passion. It’s a matter of listening to your heart, to your gut and preparing your mindset to be adaptable and ready for change. Finding your flow can be difficult during a career transition as you are often being pushed out of your career or pulled towards another. Sometimes the timing can be off but its about taking it on as experience to get closer to your vision. Redesign your life to do something that you find thrilling, important and also daunting. Stephen Covey always says, begin with the end in mind.

It’s easy to slip back into something that you are good at.  Don’t get tripped up by your zone of excellence. You have to explore and cultivate what puts you into that effortless work and that state of flow. Look for niche work that is going to bring you abundance and satisfaction. It’s all very well to talk about finding your genius, but we’ve also got to make sure that you’ve got the money and skills to make the necessary changes. Time is also a crucial factor. Consider trying different things on the weekend, or you take a week off so you still have the financial security to support yourself.

Making the first move is scary. Don’t be afraid to fail. Sometimes getting it wrong can lead to getting it right. We all learn the most from our mistakes. Be brave enough to jump in and give it a go. It may be a side hustle that grows as you grow. Make some changes, big or small. It might be simply setting some goals or signing up to a course to improve your skill set. You want to live a life that has your passion and intention behind it. Keep fighting for it, stick to the path. Surround yourself with people who reflect your values as they will pick you up after a defeat, lift your moral and support you along your journey.

Look at your life from the perspective of your 80-year-old self and consider what you would regret not doing. Make a change now, big or small and enjoy the journey to start living your absolute best life.

Contact Phoebe

Phoebe is available for interviews, guest appearances, article commentary, and talks on a range of topics relating to property, mortgage broking, and personal finance (particularly for women!).