We share so much content and inspiration and support for working out what makes you happy, where your career could go next and how to actually make it happen on our Game Changers programme. It’s hard to narrow it down but here are three top tips if you are wanting to switch up your career and life, three things I’ve learnt from working with the incredible women who have been through it, the highlights I can share.
1. Don’t fear making the wrong decision, fear making no decision.
There will be some decisions that feel hard, there will be uncertainty, there are no right or wrong answers and that feels un-nerving. For some their Game Change has been forced upon them due to redundancy or crap treatment from an employer during maternity leave. Others are currently working and trying to make a change on the side. Across the board, regardless of the situation, there is a genuine shared fear at the start around making a wrong decision. But I always think the alternative is far more scary – making no decision. There might be three different options, three paths and all of them might actually be pretty great. You won’t know until you try. What you DO know, what is certain, is that the status quo is dire enough to make you crave a change. People nowadays will work for numerous employers, have many different ‘careers’, take time off to spend at home and return again (o.k so it’s not always easy but it can be done). Take comfort in this and the fact there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers. There’s no such thing as normal or safe. Take a leap and start figuring it out…even if that does feel a bit eeeeek.
2. Consider a gradual shift rather than a leap.
‘Leap and the net will appear’ was one mantra from a previous attendee. She did and, funnily enough, the net came good. But it’s not for everyone.
There are often options which involve a more gradual shift into something new and particularly when you have children and finances and responsibilities I think this can feel far easier to manage. A reduction of hours whilst you build up customers or a business, for example. One previous attendee set herself some goals at the end of the course around building up her sewing business over the next 12 months AND managed to secure a short term contract within her current area expertise to help financially in the meantime. Which, in turns out, ended up being a brilliant job she enjoyed. Another started coaching on the side whilst continuing with her full time job in marketing only to make the final leap 6 months later once she had built up her client list.
Portfolio careers are on the rise, perhaps you wouldn’t need to discount that ‘dream job’ on the grounds of it paying well enough if it wasn’t your sole source of income?! Perhaps you could move to a different department which is more in line with what you enjoy, or a new team that focuses on a slightly different aspect of your specialism. Perhaps reducing your days down so that you can spend some time on another project and see where it goes or at home with the kids and seeing if that feels more balanced.
Perhaps it’s not about work and that step is looking into a class or some training that you’ve wanted to do for the longest time ever. It’s not always about the big leaps or even the big changes, some of my favourite stories have been from women who have adjusted their lives to include more time for exercise, time on themselves, time with their family. Deeply powerful and inspiring.
3. Surround yourself with the right people.
I used to underestimate this one before I myself joined a business accelerator programme. “How can I collaborate with these entrepreneurs doing businesses so wildly different to my own?” I wondered. But it turned out that I was asking the wrong question. My mind was blown by their ambition, their resilience, their approach. Being around them made me think bigger and think differently not to mention feel hugely supported when working on my own thing.
Your current network and people you are talking to about your dreams might not be the best people to help with the answers. This is meant in the nicest possible way but here are the facts. Your family will likely have your best interests at heart so that might mean advising you against doing anything a little risky, a little less ‘apparently’ financially secure etc. Your friends will have their own agendas and personal experiences which will influence their advice, even if it is given with the best intentions. Current colleagues are all within and influenced by the same culture that you might be trying to break free from.
Chances are if you are wanting to do something completely new you might not even have these contacts yet. One of the challenges on the FREE mini 7 day version of Game Changers is to get out there and make a new relationship with someone in an area you are interested in.
Surround yourself with people who are doing things that inspire you, who are living in the way you want to live, who are positive and encouraging. The Game Changers community is really special for this reason. When you share an idea and want to get some feedback you know others will be happy to provide it. When you have those moments of “argh I’ve got really behind on the workshops, I’m getting no sleep at the moment” you’ll find nothing but support, encouragement (and probably reassurance that others are exactly the same). When you share that lightbulb moment there will be a full team of women available to cheer with you. Don’t get me wrong, a bit of realism can be useful, but just be aware of those who lift you up, and those who do the opposite because it really can make a huge difference.
You can find out more about our next intake of Game Changers AND how to sign up for our FREE 7 day head-start to Game Changing by following this link.