The last few years have been throwing us more than one curveball. Personally, the way we define “normal” has drastically shifted. On a professional level, the world has been shaken to its core in more than one way.
“During the last few years, we have been reacting to event after event – placing our needs at the bottom of the list – which can be counterproductive when we are looking for change”, shares qualified executive coach Susana Jaime. “How much time have you spent this month thinking something needs to change? And how much time have you dedicated to identifying what you wish to change? “
The way we define career and work has changed forever.
The economy has changed significantly from flexible jobs to the rise of entrepreneurship and a new way to sell expertise and talents.
Is it time to change your career?
Famous membership site Patreon added more than 100,000 new users between mid-March and July 2020. Etsy logged 115,000 new sellers in the first three months of the year, more than double the past two years’ user growth. The top-earning writer on the paid newsletter platform, Substack earns more than $500,000 a year from reader subscriptions, or the top content creator on Podia, a platform for video courses and digital memberships, makes more than $100,000 a month.
Our personal favourite Teachable, which lets people make and sell online courses, signed on 14,000 new creators between March and July 2020 and, in July, reported its first quarterly revenue of over $10 million.
From ebooks to, podcasts, membership clubs, and newsletters, we are all looking for a new way to express ourselves.
It’s a way to bring more individuality into our lives, and change our careers.
The importance of mindset
In a recent survey, about a third of respondents between ages 25 and 44 said they’ve considered making a change of career at some point within the past year, according to online education site EdX.
Whether you’re talking about career success, starting your own business, having the right mindset can make the difference between success and failure.
The concept of mindset can’t be discussed without mentioning Carol Dweck and her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
Growth mindset as a secret weapon when you change your career
One of the critical components to success is having a strong and healthy mindset.
Sophie Clyde-Smith, BSc, success and transformational coach put it this way: “you wouldn’t expect to have a strong, healthy body without putting the effort in – but so many of the clients I connect with don’t apply those same principles to their mind.”
We are constantly growing and forever changing as human beings. We believe we have a limited set of skills we can only use it in our current jobs or careers. “The reality is that we possess an abundance of skills that we often overlook. We can often transfer those to other jobs, careers or businesses”, pointed out Jaime.
According to Clyde-Smith, an abundant mindset is anchored in self-belief, confidence, growth and positivity.
“The lesson is cultivating a daily routine where you’re metaphorically taking your mind to the gym. Do the success and gratitude journaling, reflect on all the things that are working out for you. Practice meditations and visualisations and have powerful affirmations and mantras. Choose what works for you and commit to it daily.”
Fighting the self doubt when you change your career
When approaching change, loads of people find themselves constantly fighting with a new type of pressure.
“New business owners are often told to ‘create it’ or ‘write it, and they will come. This is terrible advice. It often leaves new business owners with a crisis of confidence when sales don’t automatically trickle in after they’ve launched their website.” points out organisational psychologist Karen Sargent.
Is there a way we can beat the feeling of anxiety that comes up with empty carts and slow momentum?
“Business success is created by frequently connecting with your ideal clients,” adds Sargent. “When you show up regularly with authenticity and confidence, potential clients get to know, like and trust you. That’s when they decide to do business with you.”
Navigating career misconceptions
Before, many people thought they would be unable to take the proverbial leap or leave a job that was yet still unfulfilling.
That idea “that it is ever too late to make a change, or that you don’t have the power or ability to change your working life” points out career and life coach Joanne Mallon. “You always have the power, and you can make choices. You don’t need to know every step of your new path, but if you take the first step, the next one will naturally appear.”
Personal beliefs and mindset have been the biggest hurdle most new business owners have faced until we saw the idea of “work and career” toppled over its head once and for all.
Yet, this new economy is not new. Since the late 1990s, Kevin Kelly (of 1,000 true fans fame) has predicted that social networking and online payment platforms would open up a range of new and newly fulfilling career choices.
A new idea of leadership
The skills we now seek to refine differ from the old leadership and career advancement idea
To develop a thriving freelancer psyche, Alison Grade, author of the Freelance Bible, argues that you need a balance of skills, financial drive and desires (passion for getting out there and telling people).
“Without financial drive, you have a hobby. Without desires, no one knows you exist. Between you and your team, you need to have the full range of skills to deliver your services,” explains Grade. “Even freelancers buy in skills to support the delivery of their work (behind the scenes or with clients).”
So how can new business owners start building a passion-driven business? If you are thinking of complex business and five-year plans, think again.
“Many people might disagree with this one. However, before I went self-employed, I was so terrified of having to create a business plan it really held me back. I got stuck thinking it was the only way for me to move forward,” shares Sophie Clyde-Smith. “I spoke to loads of peers in the coaching industry. After that, I realised that many other successful business owners didn’t have one! I chose which aspects of a business plan might serve me and found some alternative strategy documents that were much simpler and super effective.”
Now more than ever, we have been reminded that it is truly never too late to make a change of career. “You always have the power (or ability) to change your working life, and there are always other choices to be made”, shares life and career coach Joanne Mallon. “You don’t need to know every step of your new path, but if you take the first step, the next one will naturally appear.”
It’s never too late to make a change
In her upcoming book Change Your Life in 5 Minutes a Day, Mallon shares a technique she often uses with clients to help them get beyond whatever is keeping them stuck in a job they hate now.
It’s called the miracle question.
The miracle question is a popular technique. You can use it to imagine what life would look like without the current issues that might be holding you back. Take a few moments now to think about the thing dragging you down the most. For example, it could be a job you hate, a bad relationship or an unhelpful habit – now close your eyes and imagine yourself free of it.
Then ask yourself, how would I know if I woke up tomorrow and didn’t have that job, relationship, or habit? What would my life look like? What would I look like?
If you can envision this future life, you are one step closer to making it happen since we can’t create what we haven’t thought of first. Thinking about what it would be like if it existed is your first step in making it real.
All in all, following one’s passion may not be everyone’s path to success. However, having the opportunity to set a career that truly fits us and our own individual lifestyles is incredibly unique to these very transformative times.
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