As we reach the end of another intake of our Game Changers programme, check out the final instalment from our guest blogger Rachel on her career changing story. Has the time and money been worth while? What has actually changed in the course of twelve weeks? And if you’ve missed the start then check out earlier chapters of her story here.
I can’t believe I’m already on the final chapter of my game change. I say that, but in some ways it seems like so much longer than ten weeks since I started this journey. So much has changed for me in this short space of time, it’s quite amazing to think about how unsure I was at the start compared to the conviction I have now about making my dreams work.
This week’s workshop was called ‘Ultimate Goal Setting’ – sounds good! Helen talked us through breaking down dreams into goals, whether they are related to home, self or work. We looked at breaking down the bigger dreams into smaller, achievable goals to allow us to develop and pivot if we need to, while constantly working towards our dreams.
I think the idea of keeping in mind 12, six and three-month goals is really useful. 12 months is a bit too far in the future for me to be sure of the detail, but breaking it down to where I’d like to be in three months and how to get there is exciting and motivating.
I feel inspired by taking all of the thinking and dreaming of the past few weeks and turning it into stepping stones to achieve the life I’m trying to create. A few weeks ago I felt so rushed, I could barely plan what I was having for dinner let alone three months down the track (read last month’s chapter of Rachel’s story) I feel really energised by having created the headspace and time to put thought and effort into my Game Change.
This week’s workshop is called ‘Plan it Out’, and takes the goals we set last week and helps to put them into a plan of action.
For this, I took the two areas I’m currently most keen to explore and broke down those goals into smaller actions.
Now that I’m in the habit of making time each week for my Game Change, it’s become easier to schedule time to complete these actions. I’ve decided to keep a minimum of two evenings a week to work on my goals, and so have broken down my three-month goals into weekly actions with scheduled reviews in my diary to keep an eye on my progress (complete with promises of rewards for staying on track – I do love a reward).
Helen mentioned bullet journaling, which I’m going to look into, but also Trello, which I’ve used for years for both work and some management of family tasks etc. I think using Trello for my Game Change is a great idea actually; I like it because I have the app on my phone so it’s easy to access anywhere so I can add anything that pops into my head on the go. Time to get organised!
The final workshop of the programme is ‘Re launch’. This was a pretty big one that brings together quite a few threads, and I got a lot out of it.
One of the things that resonated strongly was the idea of owning my time. This is something of a recurring theme for me throughout the past twelve weeks, and something I’ve needed to learn. Life is busy at the moment but I’ve realised that I have more time than I think, admittedly not always as much as I’d like but I can make decisions to prioritise what matters to me more, and that pays dividends in my energy and how I feel about myself.
We also looked at who could help us in our career change, and what gaps we may have in our network, as well as working out whether anything stands in the way of asking for the help we need (I am 100% guilty of this).
We finished with comparing where we are now to twelve weeks ago, which was quite mind-blowing. I’ve made some big decisions and have a real vision of where I’m going, as well as an evolving plan of how to get there.
I started Game Changers feeling quite overwhelmed, which made me feel unsure that I could commit to the programme. Over the past few weeks I have rediscovered what I’m passionate about, understood the importance of looking after myself and made a plan for the next twelve months. I have firm plans for three strands of work, and am feeling more together and confident about work than I have for years.
There have been big changes, but in some ways the most profound changes have been the small ones. These have been the ones that make me feel like me in the midst of motherhood.
Making time to think about what I need, carving out at least 15 minutes for myself each day (surprisingly do-able, even with three kids at home during the holidays), grabbing a few minutes to read a book I love, dancing like a madwoman to my favourite band while making dinner – these small acts all add up to getting back to myself, they are like little gifts to myself and they give me the space to dream.
I’ve also been inspired by every one of the amazing Game Changing women I’ve virtually met. At our final live call, they each had made realisations and decisions that were brave and inspiring, and they have been a great source of support and encouragement too.
We will keep in touch I’m sure (I can’t wait to hear about their progress), and I’m planning to go back and revisit the programme as I continue with my career change plans, I can use the content to help me at various stages.
I used to feel a little intimidated by the idea of a big life change, but for me Game Changers has been a series of subtle but important changes which have led me naturally to some decisions that seem big, but didn’t feel at all daunting, more like natural choices.
If anyone reading this is on the fence about the programme, I’d whole-heartedly recommend it. On paper, with a five-month-old baby and two more children aged five and under this was not a perfect time for me to commit to the programme, but I’m surprised at how I’ve managed to make time for it and for how grateful I am for the process and what it’s taught me.
So if you are in the same place I was in a few months ago, I’d said go for it! You won’t regret it.
Here’s where you can find out more about our Game Changers programme – for anyone considering changing career or making other life changes – we are currently open for new attendees! Or you might like this article sharing three tips for making a career change or indeed one of the other career changing stories over on the blog – hopefully plenty of inspiration that it can be done!