Game Changing Story – Rachel (Chapter Three)

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Feeling like you can’t afford to make a career change right now, having too many ideas or even just struggling to find one. The third section of Game Changers is all about the practicalities of how to change career or indeed make any other big life changes. Here’s the third instalment from Rachel, who is currently completing the programme and sharing with us her journey to working parenthood. Incase you missed them, here’s where to find the brilliant chapter one and chapter two.

Week seven

How is it week seven already? At halfway through the programme, this week was time to tackle the finances and look at the practicalities. We had a think about our ‘magic number’ and how to achieve it, and any other big goals we had in financial terms.

I found this really interesting. I’m not currently working, and while it would be lovely to earn my old wage, when I actually thought about it I realised that wasn’t my magic number. At this stage in my family life, there are other things I value above the cash I used to bring home, so while I am definitely keen to earn I don’t really need to keep my old wage in mind at this point.

Rachel as a new mum considering her career change

It did, however, make me realise I do have a couple of time-dependent things I’d like to do. For example, I’d love to take my children to Lapland to meet the big man in two years’ time. I think acknowledging that as a financial goal is really useful (especially when tempted with online sales bits that I really don’t need).

It’s given me some food for thought, as I could really do with doing some research to give me some more information about the income I could expect.

I’ve also been able to add some more detail in terms of what I want this next phase to look like.

Week eight

This week was all about ideas, letting our creativity take over and brainstorming the possibilities.

Now that we’ve identified our inner critic, we can put that to one side to allow ourselves to write down whatever ideas came to mind.

Again, lots of what came up was familiar but there were a few interesting surprises in there too.

We tested out our ideas in a quick and easy way and looked into using both logic and instinct to test our decisions. I really liked this process; I’m good at examining things logically but there’s no doubt that your intuition should play a role too, and Helen had a great tip for tapping into your intuition (funnily enough, one of her techniques was really similar to one my housemates and I used at uni, but mostly to work out what we were having for dinner or where we were going that night – time to put that to use again in more profound way!)

We also looked at a more in-depth way of weighing up pros and cons which is useful, as I think sometimes a simple list of pros and cons doesn’t reflect which points you actually value more, for example what if I valuable flexible working more than earning mega-bucks at this stage in life? That might mean that flexible work is actually worth more points on a list than lots of extra cash right now.

This has been a fun workshop and certainly got my brain whirring, in a good way. I think this is one I’ll come back to several times as it’ll be useful for me in all areas of my Game Change.

Week nine

This workshop was all about experimenting, finding a way forward that actually gets us moving in the right direction and giving us valuable information about whether what we’re considering is viable, right for us or any of the other unanswered questions we might have.

At this stage I have three elements in my game change. Interestingly, the one I was possibly most afraid of now seems to be the one I feel most determined about, but there are still two more areas I have questions on that I’ve decided to use for this experiment.

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I’ve set myself clear actions to achieve over the next two weeks to find some answers to my questions. It does feel quite scary in a way to take those actions but that’s the only way I’ll be able to actually make progress.

What I like about this is that Helen has suggested planning a reward for achieving this experiment by the deadline. This definitely appeals to me, though I’m not entirely sure that the gooey desserts I’m thinking about are entirely the sort of reward I should be planning… Don’t tell the kids!

We need to be accountable for this, not just write it down and fail to act, so I’m going to put some reminders in my diary to make sure I achieve it as I have a really busy couple of weeks ahead – hello school holidays…

It’s interesting to stop and reflect at this point in the programme. I know I have three weeks remaining, and I’m excited to start the relaunch section next week, but it really is quite amazing how far I’ve come in the past nine weeks.

I’ve really grown in confidence in areas I didn’t expect to, and taken more action to achieve my goals in the past weeks than in the previous two years. I’ve started to break down my own barriers and push through things that can sometimes make me uncomfortable, as I have a clear understanding that in doing so I grow closer to my goals all the time, or at worst if things don’t go as expected then that’s new information which is also useful and can help plan the way ahead.

Overall, I have so many options to consider and sift through, and I’m really excited about the progress I’ve made.

Start making decisions, don’t merely react or take what’s on offer. The commitment to pick myself, to pursue a path that mattered to me. We have way more freedom than we realise but it begins with deciding – Seth Godin.


You can find more information on the Game Changers programme, which supports mothers in making a career change, over on our courses page.

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