I wanted a career change, but I didn’t know what that career change was. At the time I worked as an office manager for an investment company. I was tired of doing admin work and I wanted to work with people and write. The company I worked for contracted a trainer to carry out aptitude tests on all the staff. My test results said that I wasn’t good at writing, leadership or anything creative. It also said I was good at maths, administration and organising. Now that may have been good for the job I was in but I didn’t want to do work that anymore.
The problem with aptitude tests is they only tell you what is, not what is possible. Fortunately, I didn’t allow myself to be limited by the test findings or I wouldn’t be doing the work I do today which is mostly writing, teaching, leadership and to be able to do all of that I need to be creative.
Because I had a strong enough desire, I developed the necessary skills. I was only in my 30s when I learnt that desire is far more important than experience or talent if you are following your heart.
One of the things I always ask clients seeking a career change to do is make up a personal profile, then a work profile. This list must only include things you enjoy doing. It could look like this:
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING?
Listening to music
WHAT ARE YOU GOOD AT?
WHAT ARE YOUR NEEDS FROM A JOB?
WHAT DO PEOPLE COMPLIMENT YOU ON?
Warmth and friendliness
Do not discount any skills, even household or sporting ones, it may be possible to use them in some way. The next thing to do is think about what you want from your work and be as detailed as possible, and then answer the following questions, this makes up your work profile.
What do you want in a job?
What hours do you want to work?
How much do you want to make?
How do you want to dress at work?
Where do you want to work?
What size of business do you want to work in?
What type of people do you want to work with?
What are the most important needs you want fulfilled at work?
How do you want to travel to work?
What would you do if there were no obstacles?
Once you have completed your lists keep them with you and look at them regularly. This reminds your subconscious to be on the lookout for your ideal work. Sometimes something will jump out at you, or you may choose to meditate on your list each day giving thanks that you are now doing your perfect work. The important thing is not to judge yourself, or stress because it appears as if nothing is happening. Just be mindful and grateful that you will be doing this work soon.
When I went through my career change crisis, I didn’t decide exactly what my new career would be, but when a position was offered to me I knew it was right immediately because I’d completed these lists. I attracted the position to me by doing a career change course, I applied for a stack of jobs, did my own research and said affirmations. In other words I put in the work, laid the foundation so that I was ready when the opportunity came along.
Once I started in my new career, the learning didn’t stop. It started, and I am still learning today. Only now people pay me to learn. When I started writing columns I couldn’t write, but I was paid for my columns and I observed the changes the editors made and adapted my writing based on these changes. When I first started writing a book, I didn’t know how, but my publisher was wonderful and assigned two wonderful editors to guide me. When I first started running courses I’d never taught in my life, and I told my first group this, but they still paid to attend. Obviously, I had some skills in the first place, and I always try to give value for money, but I didn’t wait to be perfect before I started.
Being dissatisfied in your career can be a great opportunity. I went from being an office manager to a financial planner. This led to my being an author and a public speaker with regular segments on TV and radio. I now own a training business and write courses. I could never have plotted such a path if I had tried. If I hadn’t been dissatisfied I might still be ordering stationary today.
What will your career change pay you?
Imagine you are wearing a sign on your chest that says how much you are worth? Like it or not that’s what we do. Every time you attend an interview or see a client, you send signals about your worth through your body language and the words you use. What you want on a conscious level may not necessarily be the same as what you believe you are worth on a subconscious level. You may want a salary of $100,000 and if you are serious about earning that amount or more then look for a career which will pay that. If necessary, obtain extra training. Or find a way to increase your worth by showing an employer how you can add value through the work you do.
Don’t limit yourself
Don’t limit opportunities because you believe you are too old, too young, unqualified, not good enough, don’t have a degree or have failed before. There are so many successful people who have achieved their dreams even when others said they weren’t good enough.
What it all comes down to is you need to act as if you believe in yourself and your abilities. Action comes first, the feeling follows.
What you believe is what you create, over and over again. Choose to believe you can have what you want and then take steps to turn that dream into a reality.
The following affirmation I have used many times with great success, you can change the words to suit any situation in your life:
I have the perfect work in the perfect way
And I give perfect service for perfect pay.
Florence Scovell Shinn