Linking back to a previous blog post on scary goals and being brave one area that frequently comes up in my career coaching work is when an individual is trying to decide whether to leave paid employment and enter into the world of self employment.
I remember when I made this move leaving a very well paid corporate job in 2000 I walked out of the office door for the very first time “unemployed “ thinking what I have just done is either very brave or very stupid. There wasn’t a plan on what I was actually going to do I just knew that the job I had been in was making me miserable and had been doing this for about eighteen months. I had got to the point where I dreaded going back to work after a holiday and I had always vowed if that happened to make some changes.
Within the first couple of weeks had I heard a few of bits advice from mentors who had a similar path and were a few years down the line at that point. The advice I gained in these early weeks I still pass onto others as I believe them to be very true in my experience
- It takes 3-4 years to get used to being self employed and if you last this long without returning to a regular salaried job them you are likely to be successful and also become fairly unemployable as you get used to the freedom of being your own boss and the feast and famine nature of this path.
- It’s all about who you know and who you surround yourself by. There will be many doubts in these early years and pragmatic encouragement from authentic inspirational people who want to help you succeed is a critical success factor.
I certainly underestimated the length of time it takes to
- Refine what you want to specialise in
- To work out the correct pricing model
- To set up the operational infrastructure working out what you want to do yourself and what you want to pay others to do for you
- Work out the elevator pitch when people ask the classic “ what do you do?”
- Polish off an authentic sales and engagement process
- Develop a support network to encourage you when the going gets tough but also challenge you when something needs to be discontinued and you don’t see it yourself.
What you get in return however after persisting through these initial years is immense personal growth along with a sense of achievement and freedom along with the by product of meeting some great new people on route.
Sandra works as a coach with both businesses and private clients. She is also author of the book Own It – regain control and live life on your terms available from Amazon click here http://bit.ly/1JhAkst
As we are still at the start of the year it’s a good time to take some time out to review career health alongside any lifestyle or well being audit you may have already done.
In my work as a career and performance coach my discussions with clients often centre around how they can either
- Change careers
- Get more enjoyment out of their work
- Get better at their work
- Minimise the amount of stress they are experiencing at work
- Hand some difficult characters at work
- Raise their profile at work
- Progress to the next level in their company, industry etc
- Be brave and make some drastic changes e.g. like number 1 above or setting up their own business
The people who I love to meet are those people who really love what they do in both life and work. As most people spend a large percentage of the week at work its important that if there is something not quite working right in this aspect of our life that you first identify it and then put in place some actions to make improvements
So, in this first month of the year ask yourself the following questions?
- Looking back at 2017 how happy am I with my work out of 10 (1- not happy at all, hate it to 10 – happy and enjoy it a lot)
- Which bits of your working life do you love? Make sure you keep doing this.
- Which bits are you unhappy with – what action can you take?
- Do you feel you are using your full potential at work? If not, which skills are you not using? How can you plan to utilise these more?
- Did you undertake any training or development work for yourself in 2017? Have you got anything else planned for this year? Often leaders spend so much time developing their team they forget about themselves.
- Do you have clear goals or areas of focus for 2018? If not identify at least one
- How is your work/life balance and stress levels – any work needed here in 2018 – what small habits can you change.
Take an hour out this month and conduct a mini career health check on yourself, pick a couple of actions and then repeat the process half way through the year.
Sandra works as a coach for Businesses and Private Clients. More information can be found at http://www.sandrawebbercoaching.com. She is also author of the self development book Own It available from Amazon http://amzn.to/2m3l8Vl
Someone many years ago told me “there are three careers in each one of us….”. Talking to people a lot, as I do as a career coach I am now thinking this needs to be changed to “there are 5 careers in everyone” People are definitely getting more comfortable with the idea of changing roles if they are not happy and consider changing sometimes to completely different professions or ways of working.
The world of work is definitely becoming more fluid my parents were of a generation where they were encouraged to stay in a job, especially if it paid ok and had good prospects with a generous pension scheme. I remember they were horrified when I resigned from a “job for life” role in the civil service because I was bored and everyone there spent many hours a week complaining about their roles and cutting out adverts from the local paper to apply for different jobs but never did.
Depending on how you define career I am definitely on my third one if not my fourth and each one of these has been good serving me well for eighty percent of the time. Getting used to making changes and having the confidence to take sometimes a leap of faith into the unknown is hard. The easy option is to carry on doing what is comfortable and if the individual is truly happy with their work and the environment they work in then that is fantastic. If not however and your working life has become mundane, if you are not feeling passionate about what you do each day then maybe there are still some more careers out there for you?
Look at what you enjoy doing, ask yourself the question if money was not important what would you love to do? What are you passionate about? What are your best days and what is it about those days that make them good… The answers to all of these questions may lead you to your next career…
Building on the theme of the last Kudos blog everyone I meet at the moment seems to be facing some type of change e.g a new IT system, a new job, a new leader or someone key in the organisation hands in their resignation, you discover a health condition you need to manage, something you planned to do is now cancelled…. the list is endless.
How quickly we adapt to changes like these are vital for both our own well being and the organisations or teams we belong too. Change can cause worry and stress but equally it can be the cause of excitement and new challenge.
Some people thrive on change and get bored if things stay the same too long while others love it when everything is predictable, structured and routine. When we talk to people about what motivates them the discussion can go into these two types of reaction and it helps if you recognise which group you belong too.
High performers and those interdependent people, we all strive to be and love to work alongside always have the ability to adapt quickly to changes and embrace new situations.
So if you ever find yourself thinking or saying any of the phrases in the photo above think again. Could you look at the situation differently and maybe the change wont be as difficult as you originally thought. Try it the next time a change comes your way, and it will do very soon !
Welcome to The Kudos Group’s first ever blog! We hope you’ll keep reading…
As we are about to launch our new offering – www.myjobcoach.co.uk – I (Sandra Webber, Director here at Kudos) am thinking about who has inspired me this week in the world of work? The answer: two people at opposite ends of the career journey!
Person one is a character from a recent programme on a Channel 4 Documentary – Fabulous Fashionistas – who still loved her job and she was 87! Check out the trailer:
(Full documentary: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/fabulous-fashionistas/4od)
The moral of the story here, to coin a phrase and a familiar hashtag, is – #dosomethingyoulove
The other person I found inspiring, was a young graduate who had secured a job – fresh out of uni. The job was going well, he loved the team, his manager was good, everything looked perfect until he was called into the office and told that due to financial pressure they were making redundancies! He was understandably devastated; the career he thought he had embarked on came to an abrupt end without any warning.
As I type, to his credit and with help from a supportive recruitment agency, he is being interviewed for another good role – only 3 working days later! Fingers crossed he is back in employment soon – and he will have acquired a valuable skill in the process by learning to cope with change.
So here is my reflection on the week and advice to all of you out there looking for your first ever position, promotion, or a career change:
Find a job you love to do and learn to adapt quickly to change.