Why is it Easy to Invest in Others but not in Yourself?

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Has anyone every asked you to lend them some money, allow them to crash at yours for a few nights, asked you to play taxi for them etc? Have you ever said no to them? The chances are you haven't or don't as often as you would like to. The thing is we often invest more money, time and energy far more readily in others than we do in ourselves. But, why is this? What is stopping us from pushing ourselves forward, from participating in opportunities which will allow us to grow and develop? Why do we allow ourselves to remain stuck in a rut rather than doing something about it?

I think you can put investment into three categories; money, time and energy. Let's take money first. Financial investments can come in different amounts but just as when purchasing something from an online store, if it is a low amount, you won't think too much about it and will probably pay it if it is under £50 so let's think about something that does require more thought. Think about whether you would spend £2-3000 on a training or educational course? Something which would allow you to develop your existing skills or learning something completely new. Would you do it? Would you say it depends on what the course was for? Maybe if it was to help you change your career and help you get a better job, you'd consider it. Though maybe some of you would say that you could never afford to spend that kind of money on a course. I think if you don't see the value in further training or education then there is little point in investing that kind of money into it. However, if you see expanding your knowledge, understanding and skill set then you see the investment as an opportunity rather than a cost. Furthermore, if we waited until we felt we could really afford things then we'd probably never do many things, having children or pets or buying a house springs to mind.

I think when we're saying we can't afford something this is an excuse, an alternative way of saying I'm not going to spend that kind of money on me because I don't deserve it. And yet you do spend that kind of money. Within a year the average Briton spends £2111 in coffee shops, £303 on cups of coffee and £1600 on takeaways/restaurants. But because this is incremental, you don't perceive it in the same way as you do if you were to spend £2-3K in one go.

Then there are big purchase items like buying a new car, getting the house redecorated, going on holiday. These kinds of things either depreciate immediately, don't necessarily need doing at that precise moment or are forgotten about the minute you get back to work. The thing with buying items like the holiday or a new car is that you tell yourself that you deserve these as a way to justify spending money and that others will benefit from them as well. It is a different justification, one which you judge to be acceptable than were you would be spending the money on learning something new or something that will help you take your career or life to the next level. After all, it might not lead anywhere and whilst you might have found it interesting, what have you got to show for it? Would you ever consider spending that amount purely on the basis that you'd have fun whilst doing it? Possibly not, because whilst we are conditioned for it to be acceptable to spend that level of money on a holiday to Spain for example, that seems like an acceptable societal norm whereas spending it on training or further development seems like it is being self-indulgent. Is that what it really is or is it a specific belief you hold or how you would judge others if they did this?

A question which arises when it comes to thinking about investing money is yourself is, if you don't then what will it cost you? Will there be a long-term financial cost to you? For example, if you don't invest in training in say property if that's what interests you, will it cost you more if you buy a property but don't know who to maximise rental incomes? Yes, you probably could do many things on your own but there are also many mistakes that you could make by not knowing something which you could have learnt much earlier. Do we get swept away in a false economy mentality?

The next time you see something you might want to do but the cost might be putting you off, dig deep as to what this is really about? What beliefs are you holding that are preventing you from investing financially in yourself? Do you not think you are worth it? Might it lead to better things if you did?

The next element is the time it might take to learn something new or to develop an existing skill. You've been at work all day, so people question whether they actually have the time to learn something or do something different. I've done many training events that happen over the weekend, so I've been at work all week, go off on a two-day weekend event and return to work on the Monday again. Yes, it is hard work and I didn't really have the time but because personal development is important to me, I made the time. Other things that would normally be done on those days could wait or were just not necessary (house work springs to mind here for me, it’s not that important in the grand scheme of things.)

We often tell ourselves that we don't have time but what we're really saying is this isn't important enough to me or I'm not important enough to spend time doing this. If you broke your time down outside of your work hours, you'd probably find that you spend your time reading magazines, playing Call of Duty, watching Netflix or zoning out and doing absolutely nothing. There is time in the day to do things which are relaxing or let you switch off but there is also time in the day to learn and develop, to move your life forward in the direction you want rather than drifting along doing things out of habit rather than out of love. It's about using your time more consciously and effectively, choosing to listen to an audio book on your daily commute or lunch break. Spending an hour after you have had your tea developing your craft. Watching an educational video instead of watching East Enders. I challenge you to be able to find at least one hour per week to spend on your personal or career growth. I think you could find more but for now stick with freeing up an hour.

The final element is energy. Sometimes you're never going to feel like doing it because you don't have the energy to do so. Your week has been so bad at work that you don't feel like learning or practicing something because you're just too tired.  But it is amazing just how we can make ourselves do something for others if they asked. Even when the activity we want to participate in we know will be beneficial to us and which once we get started, we will enjoy, we talk ourselves out of it because we're more concerned by how we are feeling in that exact moment. We're more concerned with immediate gratification rather than thinking about longer term gains. Maybe this is because we have doubts about the outcomes, think it will end in failure or will require more effort than you're prepared to put in right now. Sometimes I wonder if we don't have the energy in as a form to stop ourselves from trying just in case we do fail because we don't expect it to work out in the way we want. Why waste energy for something when there is no guarantee of success or if it’s not what we really want in the first place, but we don't want to admit that to ourselves or to anyone else?

Whether it's time, money or energy we have to be honest with ourselves as to what is holding us back. Is it fear of failure, of the judgements of others, of the unknown, what is it? Is it because you feel you're not worthy, that you don't deserve to spend any of those resources on something that is purely for you? Though your happiness and personal growth can have a positive impact on others as well, you view spending these three elements primarily on yourself unpalatable. Consider why you would invest in others so easily but not in yourself?

If you look at people who are successful in business, sports, arts etc, they all make an effort to invest in themselves with money, time and energy by accessing coaching, mentoring, continuing with their professional development and constantly learning. Their success doesn't come by them staying as they are and stagnating, it comes from continual investment in themselves.

The next time you are face with an opportunity to invest in you, don't think about it, just do it and see what happens. You wouldn't hesitate if it was for someone else so why miss out when it's for you? It doesn't have to be hard to invest in yourself, it is your time, your money and your energy; you don't have to wait for permission to invest in you. If you get out of your own way, you’ll find it is just as easy to invest in yourself as it is in others.

If there is a passion you want to pursue, a hobby you want to turn into business own or learn something just for the fun of it, invest the time, money and energy in yourself. Life is too short to play it safe or not do something you love. You deserve it.

Fear Going to an Interview? Part 1: Preparation

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It's funny but many public sector workers spend most of daily life interviewing people or in interview situations. It might be talking to a patient, trying to find out what's wrong, interviewing a suspect or asking a victim what happened. Maybe you have a report to write for court and you need to explore with the defendant what led them to this point. Perhaps it is a child who is at risk within the home or a teenager who is struggling to fit in at school. Or maybe you are one that is being asked to explain your decision-making process within a formal setting. All these types of interviews, and more, are second nature to you and given you have developed both your interviewing and active listening skills through years of practice, on the whole, they come with ease. Why is it then, when it comes to thinking about changing careers or we have applied and have been given an interview for either an internal role or a job externally, we panic. We become filled with fear because in many cases, it could have been 10, 20, 30 years since we last attended a formal job interview.

In today's blog I'll give you some tips to put into place in preparation for the interview so that you can quieten the fear and take control for you to show up at your best during the interview.

  1. Personal highlights: Spend some time thinking of several different examples that you can use to demonstrate your skills and what you bring to the role and the hiring company. Rehearse these, because I can guarantee you when you are in an interview there will be times when they ask for an example and your mind goes blank, often because you have 100s if not 1000s of examples but in that moment, you can't think of one. You want to get to a stage where they come to you automatically, you don't want to have to think of one in that moment. Use the STAR Model to help you formulate and describe your examples, it allows you to be clear and concise, leaving the interviewer in no doubt.

    S - Situation: Describe the challenge or situation.

    T - Task: Highlight what your goals were.

    A - Action: Explain what you did.

    R - Result: What was the positive result, what did you learn then and going forward.

  2. Personal strengths: Inevitably, you will be asked the question what are your strengths and weaknesses? Focus on the strengths first, take a blank piece of A4 paper and write down every word that comes to mind that reflects a personal strength. Spend about 20 minutes doing this then leave it for a day or two, come back to it and spend another 20 minutes thinking of some more strengths. Ask other people who know you, what they would say your strengths are, add these to the list. Then from everything you have on the paper pick out at least 10 that would fit with the role and the company you are having the interview with.
  3. Personal weaknesses: Do the same exercise as you did for the strengths, you will have a fraction of the content. From the list you have generated, pick out 2-3 weaknesses that are irrelevant to the role you are going for. They are characteristics you are aware of, but they are a work in progress and something which you learn from.
  4. Prepared responses: Think about what questions you might be asked. There might be some you can't prepare for but unless you are going for a job at Google, most interviewers ask similar questions. In addition to what are your strengths/weakness, it will be questions like, why do you want this job/role? Why do you want to leave your existing job? What can you bring to this role/organisation? What motivates you? What are your future goals/aims? Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? Prepare responses to these types of questions.
  5. Research the company: You can never know too much about the company you want to work for and even if you don't use all of the knowledge in the interview, it will be clear in how you present, the questions you ask that you are serious about wanting the role. Research their aims, ambitions, vision and values, paying particular attention to where the company values align with yours. Understand how they have got where they are today from where they were in the beginning and what the future looks like for them. You want to really get to know the company.

    If it's an internal role you are going for, you still need to do your research because whilst you will know the organisation, you might not know the role and everything that entails. Speaking to others who do the role, spending some time shadowing will give you insight into specific details you might not know about, give you a different perspective on what questions you might want to ask and what you can specifically bring to the role. A fresh pair of eyes into a role might see something which could improve an aspect that seasoned staff don't.

  6. Devise your questions: Now you have done your company research, devise several questions to ask during and at the end of the interview. Many will get answered during the process but if you think of quite a few, you should have some left be able to ask.
  7. Supporting Material: Gather any supporting material you might need. This could be additional copies of your CV or any references you might have already.
  8. Plan and check out your route: Take the time to go and check out the venue where the interview is at. The last thing you want is to get lost on the way, even if you are using a map on your phone, don't just rely on technology. Trust me, you don't want any complications that could have been avoided on the morning of the interview. If it's in an area you are unfamiliar with, also check out Google Street View on the day as a reminder of what you'll pass on route. I know it's obvious but if you are driving, set off well before your interview time; even if you are in the vicinity really early, you'll be at the location you need to be, giving you some time to relax and focus on the task ahead, as opposed to being stuck in a traffic jam because everyone has decided to come out in their car that morning.
  9. Practice, practice, practice: This speaks for itself. Anything that you don't do on a regular basis needs practice. You want everything to just trip off the tongue, not in a scripted way, but if you know your stuff, it will come to you without much thought and naturally. This will make you feel more relaxed and the more the real you will come through during the interview.

Putting in the preparation work helps you take control of some of the fear you might experience at the thought of an interview. Having the knowledge gives you the control, you know your stuff and you won't need to search for an answer during the interview. There'll be no long pauses where you have an out of body experience as time stands still. Your responses will be confident, concise and answer the questions fully.

In Part II, we'll focus on how to show up at your best within the interview rather than letting nerves get the better of you. 

What's the Worst That Can Happen?

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Sometimes, when it comes to making a change, to take a chance, we hold back. Many people are risk averse, fearing failure, rejection, sometimes fearing success because of that might bring. In some instances, we don't enjoy or celebrate our successes because we expect something bad will follow.

We are hard wired to see negatives. From an evolutionary perspective our brains have not evolved in line with the shifting landscape. The brain's perception of risk goes back to the dawn of time when man was not the top predator and there were tigers and other beasties hiding in the bushes. Danger lurked around every corner and the dangers were life threatening. Now those dangers aren't present, but the brain doesn't know that. It reacts to situations which it perceives to be risky as there is an immediate threat.

Perceived risks in the modern world are telling someone you love them for the first time and waiting for their response. Handing your notice in after 25 years of working in the same industry and going off to travel the world before it’s too late. Attending your first trade show to sell the products you have made from your hobby, going beyond just selling them to family and friends. Doing your first ever Facebook Live, opening yourself up to criticism and judgement whilst also connecting with your tribe and potential future customers. Finishing off the book you have been writing, letting others read it and sending it off to a publisher.

Moments like these can generate fear and anxiety that our brain is trying to protect us from. But, if we're wanting something to change then we must overcome these fears, we must get the primitive part of the brain to calm down and focus on reality. We need to ask ourselves, what's the worst that's going to happen? It's time to get your thinking, rational brain into gear.

What IS the worst that can happen? If you change careers, you might not like it? There are other jobs to apply for. Set up your own business and you make a loss? You're not going to be a success straight away and if it doesn't work out, you close it down knowing that at least you tried. Ask someone out on a date and they say no? Not every connection you make is going to end the way you want. Yes, it might hurt but when you find the next person you like, this moment will be forgotten.

If you're held back by fear of what might happen, keep asking yourself, what's the worst that can happen? You won't be able to come up with many things that you don't have the skills or strength to be able to deal with. That's the thing, we don't have to believe all the negative things. It is easy to lose sight that we are more than capable and adaptable to deal with what life throws at us. If something doesn't work out how we want, the sky won't fall in, it's not the end of the world. You have the ability and the skills to create a new path. Be flexible and keep at it. When you were a child learning to walk, you didn't give up the first time you fell, or the second, third... Why would you do it now as an adult? Even if aiming high, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is scary, do it anyway. If you don’t try, what will it cost you in the long run?

We no longer live in an era where there are life threatening risks everywhere. Whilst life choices can be uncomfortable at times, you're not in immediate danger with the decisions you make. You choose what to or not to believe so pick something which will serve you and move you forward in life. Don't choose to believe something which isn't real, and which will hold you back. Take the risk of living the life you want and enjoy it.

Is Your Career Meeting Your Expectations?

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We often have certain expectations about jobs or careers. Sometimes this involves stereotypes, generalised information based upon limited knowledge and not grounded in reality. Other times, they come from when you feel like you have a vocation, that strong feeling for a particular career, where it seems more like a calling in which you display a higher degree of dedication. Maybe for you it's teaching, within the medical profession or policing, amongst many others. It is more than just being a job; you are in service to others and it is a privilege to do so.

When you are looking to go into these kinds of professions, I think you do so after doing more research than you would for other career choices. You might volunteer, participate in shadowing opportunities. Maybe you have a family member who already works within those sectors. You ask around, trying to gather as much information as you can. You feel that you're in a strong position if you have volunteered within an organisation to go for a paid position within that sector. And with all this knowledge you have garnered from a variety of sources, you know what to expect, right? But, do you really?

Let's look at a few statistics:

A fifth of teachers leave the profession within less than two years of starting, 40% will leave within five years, citing their reasons for leaving being workload pressures and 'excessive' accountability.

In the Prison Service, a third of officers quit within a year of starting with them highlighting chaos on the wings, and a lack of respect and support from management.

33, 000 nurses leave the NHS every year, an unbelievable number of staff, and of these, 17, 000 are young nurses; the future of our health care. The reasons, pressure and demands of the job leading to stress and depression.

In a recent study of 3000 social workers, 61% stated they were looking to leave the profession within the next 16 months, citing poor working conditions and a lack of enough resources to be able to help people.

More than 2400 police officers have left since April 2018. Within the Armed Services, 7500 personnel left in 2017 with them citing family and personal life, job satisfaction and opportunities outside of the force for reasons for leaving. Regarding the civil service, 25% of staff from Whitehall departments leave each year.

Whilst within these figures, there will be people who have reached retirement age, there are thousands more who have not. This raises the question that if people really knew what to expect, would they spend all that time studying and training etc to leave a profession after such a short time. Even if they stay within that profession, it might mean a significant change in circumstances, for example, moving abroad as many nurses or teachers might do. But many I guess are leaving the profession and starting a new career, which is nothing new if you've reached a more natural junction for change such as being in an organisation for a set number of years; for example, the Armed Services or the police force. But when you look at certain professions you wouldn't expect so many people to be leaving after such a relatively short period of time. I think people become disillusioned because when recruitment campaigns are in full flow, they highlight all the appealing aspects and never mention the realities of the role.

So whilst you thought you would be spending your time teaching children and helping to shape future generations, work with service users to turn their lives around, protecting the public by being out within the communities, providing care when people need it the most and making the difference you were hoping to make when you joined. The reality is your workload is unmanageable, the bulk of your time is spent at a computer, filling in forms and duplicating information in order to satisfy meaningless KPIs. The amount of time doing what you thought you'd be doing is a fraction of your daily working life. You're tired and stressed and when you get home after your day's work, all you manage to do is grab a bite to eat before going to bed. Only you don't get a restful night's sleep because your mind is active with the things you didn't manage to get done, worrying about mistakes you might have made, wondering if you had missed something and then thinking about what you have to do in the day ahead. Was this what you expected your job to be? Living for those brief interactions where you are making a difference? Loving those moments but then getting bogged down with the mountains of now digital 'paperwork'?

Maybe for some of you reading this blog, the job is exactly what you expected it to be and you're happy in your role. If that's the case, then great, I am all for pursuing what makes you happy. But for those of you that you feel you could be one of the statistics above, accepting that the profession you have chosen doesn't meet your expectations can fill you with dread, fear and sometimes a sense of hopelessness of what direction to go in next. Unless you have worked in these sectors, it is difficult to explain to others why you want to leave because the perception is, these are fantastic careers, thankless ones, but rewarding ones, nevertheless. And they can be rewarding but at what cost to you and your well being? Sometimes the reality is, leaving is the only choice. This is not a failing on your part, it is the greatest act of responsibility you can make. See it as an opportunity to channel your strengths and skills in an area where you can make an even greater difference.

We do not have to stay in a job or career which no longer meets our expectations. The probability of the job changing is slim to none, so you have a choice to make, is the role you are in, the one for you long term? Ask yourself what you are now taking from your job or career? If you remain in your current role, what will you gain and what will it cost you?

I know what it is like, I have been where you are, questioning what direction to go in, loving aspects of the role, despising others. Facing comments from other people as to whether I was doing the right thing. I can’t tell you what the right thing for you is but for me, I have always felt I left a role at the right time and for the right reasons. If the right time for you is now, and you feel you need help to figure out your next steps, then get in touch.

The One Thing About Passion

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Several years ago, I was in the audience of the motivational speaker, Hilary Wilson, where she challenged us to ask ourselves regarding work, "What am I doing when I feel most alive?" At the time I was considering the direction of my career, and to me, this question was all about passion.

When it comes to deciding about whether to change career, we are often led by a desire to find something we are passionate about or we tell ourselves we must follow our passions and then we will be happy. The premise of this being that passion is something external which exerts a strong positive emotion in us.  But the one thing about passion is that it is internal, triggered by an external factor; therefore, it is not something to be found. It is like a flame, that perpetually burns within us and when we are doing something we enjoy, it is like adding fuel to the fire and it burns with intensity and energy.

In using passion to help direct your future career, you must understand yourself and what you are looking for in a role, as well as identifying what you don't want. You might not know exactly what you love, but you certainly know what you hate, use this to help direct where your attention goes. If you want to explore this further, you can download the Career Clarity worksheet below to help you gain a greater understanding.

Download PDF

This might come as a surprise to you but, it is very rare for someone to have clarity regarding one thing that they are passionate about. Many of us don't. And this is ok because what it means is that rather than just having one passion, we have a few across the different areas of our lives. Often we sit wracking our brains trying to find this so called passion and, when we think we know what it is, and have a vision of a dream career, the reality is that is all it is, a dream and because you have not tried anything out, the realities are often far different from what you expect it to be. You only see all the positives, the best bits of a role, you probably don't know about all the nitty gritty bits of a job. I remember my very first job, as a laboratory assistant, I enjoyed the science part, the hands-on experiments but it had never entered my head that part of my day would be making cups of tea for everyone! I certainly didn’t have a passion for tea. For this reason, it is worth digging deeper and trying things out before making a permanent switch, trying to find out every aspect of the role. This might not be always be possible but there may be ways to find out as much as you can about a future career if you do your research.

For some people turning a hobby into a full-time career is an option and you too might have a hobby which you are passionate about. However, this does not automatically mean if you turned this hobby into a career, it would mean you have found your dream job. What might bring you joy as a hobby, might not necessarily be as enjoyable as a career. With a hobby, there are not the same pressures and expectations as there are when you are trying to earn your main income. You could always test it out by turning your hobby into a side hustle, maintaining your current role whilst also developing your hobby into a potential income generator and seeing if this is the right thing for you. You might find out that even though it can make money, and you thought it was one of your passions, it doesn't necessarily mean this is the path for you to follow. 

Take things one step at a time, learn more, acquire more knowledge and experience it. Be prepared to invest the time, energy and money in to trying to turn up the flame. Figure out what you are passionate about because you spend a lot of your time in a work environment, life is too short not to be doing something you love, and which energises you. Don’t go looking for your passion, you already have it, you just need to feed it the right kind of fuel.

Stick or Twist? A Career Change at 40

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For many people, turning 40 is such a significant milestone, though I don't know why it should be.  Some folk have what is often called a 'mid-life crisis', for me I am not so sure it is a crisis, more of a reflection on their life so far and re-evaluation of what they want, not just in their career but in all areas of the life.

Changing your career at 40 can feel more daunting than if you change it at 30. Maybe you are panicking you've been working for near on the past 20 years and you have got nothing really to show for it? Have your life chances changed that drastically? Did you think after putting in the hours and hard work, you'd be higher up the career ladder by now? Do you go for a promotion, not because you want that role specifically, but because you don't want to do the role you have been for the last 20 years anymore? How many promotions have you gone for but been unsuccessful? There are points in our lives where we question the life we are living, and this includes what our career has given us.

I wasn't 40 when I changed careers as such, it came a few years later, but it was the catalyst for the change. At 40, I was exploring different learning opportunities. The motivation was twofold, to find a different way to work with the client group I had at the time and for my own development as part of a long-term plan for the evolution of my career. I'd like to say that the plan was detailed and fully formed, but it wasn't. It was just a rough idea that something needed to change and for me, it wasn't about climbing the corporate ladder into management.

One of the things we seem very reluctant to do, is invest in ourselves and our development. Especially when working in the public sector, there seems to be a belief that any personal (if it also benefits the organisation) or professional development should be part and parcel of the job you are doing, and thus funded by the organisation you are working for. But let's face it, over the past 10 years during times of austerity, budgets have been limited and when was the last time you did any training outside of the organisation? If you are waiting for you organisation to invest in you, you might be waiting a long time.

There is a school of thought that you should be investing 10% of your earnings in your own personal development and growth. For a lot of people, this might not be doable or might seem downright obscene, you may be sat there thinking, how can I spend £2-3000+ every year just on myself? And that is part of the problem, you are not spending it like you would do on a car or a holiday. It is not money going on an item which will be over in 2 weeks or something which depreciates in value.  This is an investment in you and your future, and are you not worth it? Even if you invested just 5 % of your income on your personal development, where might this lead a year or two down the line? Over the years, I have spent a lot of money on various training courses, learning events. Some were enjoyable but didn't lead to anything further other than to give me a different perspective or knowledge which I could apply to another context. But there are other courses I have done, seminars I have attended and books I've purchased, where I have certainly seen a return on investment.

Changing your career at 40, poses a few different challenges. As you have been working longer, your salary could be significantly higher than it was at 30. It's not inconceivable to think that with the higher salary, you have moved to a larger house and so you are financially committed to a bigger mortgage. Potentially you also have more commitments outside of work, making it difficult to create space within your already busy lifestyle to fit in socialising with your new work colleagues. And by now, you less willing to change who you are to try to fit in or be accepted, than you were when you left school and started working. You are you and no longer feel the need to not true to yourself...or maybe that is just me. There are both your own judgements and those of others to contend if you do change to a totally different career and are starting out. But again, this comes down to people's perceptions and expectations; and, you must remember that within your working life, by the age of 40, you have more years still to work than you have done so far. If you want a visual representation, then here you go; think of days of the week representing a decade in your life. If you started your working life midweek, you have only worked Wednesday and Thursday by the time you are 40, you still have Friday, Saturday and Sunday to go! Do you want to be miserable over the weekend of your working life?

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You question your beliefs around having job stability, starting over again, wondering if the grass is greener on the other side and when you do make the switch realising it perhaps wasn't and now potentially regretting the decision. The reality is the grass on the other side is always different because it isn't the same grass. Regret, at this stage, is just an indicator that you need to do something about the situation you are in and change it. After all, you don't really regret changing your career or leaving a job, because you wouldn't have done it in the first place if you were truly happy with your previous career. You left or changed it for a reason, or possible several reasons. The emotion you feel now is not regret but disappointment, anger or frustration in response to your new work place or career not being what you thought it would or that it isn't any more enjoyable than your last role. The emotions you experience is a response to your expectations not being met.

Here's the thing, it's OK to acknowledge something didn't work out and that your new role or career, isn't for you; if you don't try things, you'll never know. And you have crossed off an area which doesn’t suit you, so you know you're one step closer now to the career, which is enjoyable, fulfilling and satisfying and the one that fits you more. And if you don’t know which step to take next, that is also OK, and this is where I come in as a Career and Life Coach to help.

You can book a free 30 minute Discovery Call using the link below:


You will doubt yourself and question whether you are going to be going from job to job now. Equally you'll get comments from others which, at times, echo your own thoughts and doubts. But who's life are you living? Who says we must stay in a job which makes us miserable? Who says we should stick at job for X amount of years? Who says we can't or shouldn't change our career at 40? And, who says it is irresponsible to leave a stable job to pursue a dream?

I think you have a responsibility to yourself to be the best version of you and to live your best life. You have a responsibility to model behaviour you want to see in others, to never settle for something which makes you unhappy or unfulfilled and to strive to create the future you want. Because I can guarantee this, if you don't live the life you want, when you come to the end of it and you are looking back you will regret you didn't.

However, on the flip side, what if you changed your career and you went into something which was amazing? I didn’t stay in my second career, but I did love that job in the beginning. I met some amazing people; I made a lot of close friends. I had experiences and been in situations I would never have believed. It wasn’t all good, but I made sure I took something positive from every situation, conversation and interaction I had. I left because I was no longer doing the thing that I loved, the role had changed, the expectations were different, I felt restricted and conflicted, so I chose to remove myself from that environment. The career I have now has evolved from what I did previously. Was it a risk? Possibly, but risk is relative, and it would have been more detrimental to stay in a job which was no longer for me than to change it. I have fantastic opportunities ahead of me and I’m excited about the next step in creating my future.

You can stay as you are, but if you do then you know what you’re going to get. You’ll know what your future will be. If you change career, the future might be uncertain and at times scary and it might also not turn out to be what you want it to be. But maybe it will also be the best decision you ever made. Leading you off in a direction you never thought possible, give you opportunities you had never dreamed about and along the way you might have discovered something about yourself you never knew existed.

Sometimes it’s about priorities and short-term compromises for long term gains. You also have more choices than you think you do and would be able to make a compromise or sacrifice somewhere in order to experience a pay off in the long term. If a career change at 40 is on the horizon for you and you don’t try, you’ll never know. It’s up to you.

Stick or twist, what’s it going to be?