What a year it’s been! I don’t think anyone could have guessed at the start of this year what 2020 would have in store.
Coronavirus has shifted how we live, love, work and pretty much do everything else.
The old ways of living that we took for granted have gone.
The impact will be far-reaching and monumental with the true extent of it not known for many months, likely years. One thing’s for sure, it’s the biggest shake up in a generation.
There’s one area where Covid-19 has been a wake up call in particular and that is in the field of careers and work. We have seen everything – redundancies, a wholescale shift to working from home and entire industries dismantled.
One thing that has become apparent to many, is that the old model that they were working in was broken.
As the world returned to somewhat normal after the end of the first quarantine, I came across a quote by Dave Hollis which struck me:
“In the rush to return to normal let’s use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to”.
What I found was that many women were coming to me because their “normal” was broken and they realised it had been that way, for a very long time.
Women like Sarah* who after serving in a senior executive position in the service industry for 20 years realised that she had spent her life building someone else’s dream whilst putting her own hold and knew that she couldn’t continue to do that.
Lockdown had given her the chance to reassess what was important in her life. Spending quality time with her children for the first time in years showed her how much she had missed out on when she answered work emails late into the night and missed important life events to stay late at the office.
And somewhere along the way she had lost all confidence in herself. She showed up as the person she needed to be in her job but felt as though she spent much of her time wearing a mask.
When she was furloughed with poor communication and a lack of warning, she had never felt so dispensable.
She realised she had been fighting the feeling that she was meant for something more for so long, but had been scared to take action, fearing leaving the security of the 9-5.
She had put her dreams on hold for perceived security that didn’t exist.
When Sarah first approached me it was to finally follow her passion and create the business that she had dreamed about for so long but had given so many excuses to herself as to why it couldn’t happen.
I’m writing this today having just finished my last session with Sarah and she is a transformed woman. She has retrained as an Executive Coach, has transformed her confidence and self-belief, is working with her ideal clients and finally creating the life she desires.
“I am NEVER going to allow myself to be in that place I was then” she said with vigour as we reflected on her progress.
It takes bravery, stepping outside of your comfort zone and DOING the difficult thing but if Covid-19 has had you reconsidering your career then here are some quick tips to help you make the move.
1. Reassess Your Priorities
Does your career still serve you in the way it once did?
Has Covid-19 shifted your priorities and have you realised like Sarah that you have been putting your effort into where you haven’t wanted to for a long time.
What’s most important to you right now in your life and does your career give you that? If not then it’s time to change.
2. What are your values?
What’s important to you most in a career? What are your values?
When I had my own career change a few years back. This exercise was an eye-opener for me. One of my values is freedom, but the career I was in definitely did not give me that.
In fact, it was the opposite, long, rigid hours, micromanagement and little scope for freedom of ideas and minimal autonomy. Working for myself as a Coach allowed me flexibility of time and my schedule and provided the conditions to thrive. Take a second to consider your values and whether your career fulfils these.
3. Believe that change is possible.
This is an important one. So often I talk to women who feel like they have “left it too late” or that change is possible for everyone but them.
I’ve worked with a lady who started her business in her 60s and is thriving. It definitely wasn’t too late for her.
It’s also important not to dismiss an idea because of the time it will take as that time will pass anyway.
Be flexible in your approach and start something part-time on the side if that’s the best way to make it work for you right now.
4. Take Decisive Action
It’s easy to get into the trap of “I’ll do it when” and put limitations on when we will start. This means that no progress is made. For example, if you have a “wait and see” approach then chances are you will likely still be no further along a year, two or more from now.
The only way to make a change is to start taking actual, practical steps now.
5. Get support on your journey.
Making a big change on your own can often seem intimdating.
You likely have that voice in your head telling you why it won’t work, you’ve left it too late and other unhelpful things like that.
When we are dealing with our own limiting beliefs like that we can often end up doing nothing or self-sabotaging our progress.
Getting support on your journey is a big factor in building momentum and getting the support and accountability to make things happen. Having a Coach in your corner helps you stay on track, provides help with your mindset and confidence and also removes the guessing game around what steps you need to take.
Set yourself up for success and work with someone who has been where you are and made the change.
Yes, Covid-19 may have provided you with a wake-up call when it comes to your career but it’s also given you the chance to reassess how you live and determine what you do from here.
You get to rewrite the story at any time