Feel The Fear, And Do It Anyway
Feel The Fear, And Do It Anyway – As a child it might have been the dark, a ghost story or jumping off the highest rung of the climbing frame, but fear is one of the most unspoken about emotions we have to overcome in adulthood. Fear of failure, the unknown, about financial security and self-belief often disproportionately underline our reasons for staying in careers we are perhaps not happy in or fulfil us. It is easy to get caught in the money trap in our twenties where working hard, and ascending the career ladder is much easier without the kind of responsibilities more and more people are putting off until later in their thirties. Once those responsibilities do come along, a higher salary is harder to give up in favour of a more personally satisfying job.
But what happens when the job title or the work itself just isn’t enough anymore or maybe simply too much? An astonishing 80% of us end up in a job we don’t want to be in and it would be hard not to find someone who hadn’t compromised their own career on the basis of money or the carrot-dangling promotion. Jenny Greaves, a life coach specialising in career changing, states that ‘We are encouraged to be successful, to go for money, status, the big car, the title, but when we get all that, we may not be happy. Often it hits people around 33, when they decide they have done it all in their career and they want to find fulfilment instead’.
However, it might hit people at the age of 33, but more and more of us in our late thirties and forties are still in the same jobs, still fearful of how we are going to pay the mortgage and cover the cost of bringing up children. Anniki Somerville is one person who has made that leap to a more fulfilling career. In her early forties, she now works as an editor for a successful website and has recently become the co-founder of branding and marketing company, Family Affair Consulting. Before that she was a Managing Partner in a corporate research and marketing company. She says ‘it was a tough job with long hours and it wasn’t unusual to work late three times a week. As a single woman this worked okay, but once I had my daughter this all changed’.
At the start of her career, Anniki didn’t have any specific aspirations. ‘I just wanted to be able to support myself and was looking at roles that were fairly well paid as London is so expensive. I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to be, which is common’. Despite being well paid, Anniki found herself taking on a more HR–focused role she didn’t enjoy and this took an emotional toll on her. “I spent my life listening to people talk about their own careers and hopes, and I sort of disappeared. I had no idea what I wanted myself anymore”.
Fast forward to today and Anniki is enjoying the freedom and fulfilment her new career brings. “I feel more confident about my abilities. If I want to try something I do it without having to check with ten people first. I am a big believer in saying YES and trying to figure it out later”. Whilst she concedes that she will always worry about the financial aspects of going it alone, she is happy and looking forward to the future, something she didn’t feel before.
If you feel it is time to take a new career direction, some tips to consider are:
- If you are faced with a blank page of ideas, think of the things you like to do as a hobby or side-interest. Could you integrate this in some way to your own career? Or think back to your childhood. Is there a pursuit you enjoyed then or a skill you were good at that could transfer in some way to your career now?
- You don’t have to make the transition straight away. Spend some time trying new things out and setting things up alongside your existing job. It’s a good test to see how passionate you are about your new career path because if it’s worth the extra work, it won’t feel as hard if you really want to do it. Whilst there may be times you might want to give up, you will still intuitively know if you still love what you are trying to achieve.
- Take time to connect and interact with people in related jobs on social media. Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram can be a rich resource for finding contacts and a good first port of call for networking and sussing out the area of business you’re intending to work in.
- Don’t be afraid of diversifying. The modern way is to approach your worklife flexibly and you may find yourself enjoying working in 3 or 4 smaller related jobs instead of just one.
- Once you decide to make the transition, develop strict rules for your working day, otherwise running your day job alongside your new career may become too overwhelming.
- Make peace with your finances. Corporate roles, in general, do pay better so you’ll need to have solid plans in place to cover that gap if you set up on your own. Even a career change to another company may necessitate a lower salary when you are starting afresh so you have to remind yourself that you’re doing it for greater reasons.
- Feel the fear, and do it anyway. The only way you’re going to get rid of the fear is by actually doing what you’re most afraid of. If you so decide to jump off the highest rung, it might take a few practices on the lower ones, but you might just have a softer landing than you thought.
…Feel The Fear, And Do It Anyway…