Five conscious steps to help you find your dream career

by | Autumn 2024, Conscious Living, Print Articles

As an international career coach I see way too many people, particularly women, who, on paper, have it all – degree(s), a good salary and the promise of yet another promotion, yet they feel trapped and frustrated in a job they don’t love. Many women – and many men – are not getting any fulfilment in their daily lives and undertakings, nor do they have a healthy work-life balance. Most days they simply return home feeling exhausted and empty. In my practice and in this article I focus on women and those who identify as female.

Step 1: Get to know yourself.

When you don’t know who you are, what natural skills and talents you have and what gives you energy, you are like a ship that has set sail without a compass.

We have been shaped by our upbringing, our environment, our friends and hobbies into the person we are today. The skills that we have acquired along the way, no matter how good we are at them, are not necessarily those that give us energy or make us happy. 

On top of this, we end up choosing the wrong career path because we’re trying to live up to the expectations of others, such as our parents, friends and colleagues. Unconsciously we have adapted and changed ourselves to be liked, accepted and to fit in.

We end up choosing a job that doesn’t make us happy but that’s approved by society and that gives us security, status and a good pay check.

What eventually happens is that we hop from one job to the next, hoping that the next one will be more fulfilling, only to discover that none of them keeps us feeling fulfilled.

My advice to you is, before you start scrolling endlessly on LinkedIn looking for a new job, go on an inner journey first and discover who you truly are, what gives you energy and what will make you happy in a job – not what you think will make you happy or what is expected from you.

How do we find the answers? There’s a big misconception that the answers are in your head. If they really were, wouldn’t you have found them by now? The truth is that the answers are not in your head but in your body.

Your intuition has all the answers and, if you want to listen to your intuition, you need to become still.

Here are four tips to get out of your head and into your body:

  1. Start a Yoga or meditation practice;
  2. Start journaling;
  3. Go for a hike or run in nature;
  4. Take a bubble bath or long shower.

This might give you some great insights into who you are. But how do you know what your natural skills and talents are – those that give you energy?

In my coaching programme I work with an incredible tool, called TalentScan, which helps you discover what your inherent talents are and what gives you energy. It also highlights energy drains and what may be better avoided. This tool is designed help you discover which occupations and skills profiles are best suited to your attributes and preferences.

Step 2: Master your mindset.

People usually stay in an unfulfilling job because their fears, self-doubt and limiting beliefs stand in the way of what they want.

Women come to me believing that they’re not good at anything, that they don’t have any real talents or skills, that it’s too difficult to make a career switch since they don’t have the right degrees, that they are too old and that it will cost them too much time and energy to go back to studying.

Remember that these are just beliefs, they are not the truth. You need to stop letting this negative voice inside your head (which is just trying to keep you safe and in your comfort zone) take control over your life.  Ask yourself:

  • What is getting in the way of what I want, what I really, really want?
  • What have my fears, self-doubt and limiting beliefs cost me?
  • What is holding on to these stories costing me here and now?
  • If I don’t change my limiting thinking, what will it cost me in the future?

 Another big fear that women have is fear of rejection. They worry about what other people think of them and therefore they don’t take any action. You might have an amazing idea to start a new career, but if you worry about what other people will think of it, chances are slim that you will leave your unfulfilling job.

From this position, you will only search for jobs that suit the image of what others expect from you, leaving you feeling unhappy. It’s vital that you prioritise working on your mindset and start shifting your beliefs.

Step 3: Dream big.

Imagine! If anything were possible, what would you do? Imagine! If you had all time, money and skills to realise your dream, what would you do?

When we were children, we had powerful imaginations and could conjure up all sorts of fantasy stories. Through our upbringing we have learned what’s possible and what’s not. Our parents and teachers told us often that what we imagined was not possible.

As we get older our capacity for fantasy diminishes, to the point that we forget how to let our thoughts run wild.

Your brain will always try and keep you safe. Your brain’s default setting would rather err on the side of safety than move you out of your comfort zone.

So, when you have a big dream, your brain will ask questions such as ‘what if you fail?’, ‘how will you pay your bond?’ or ‘what will your parents think?’. This type of thinking paralyses you and you eventually stop dreaming.

Instead of listening to the limiting dialogues inside your head, make every effort to allow your creative brain to activate. Allow your imagination to wander in the field of all possibility… allowing your inner dialogue to direct you to what you desire and what you want to do.

Step 4: Ask yourself ‘why?’

What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want your children to talk about you one day? How do you want to be remembered?

When you are older and no longer active in the workplace, when you look back on your life, you want to be able to say that you lived your life fully, taking risks, expanding and growing.

Try to imagine your future self. Who do you want to be? How do you want to feel? What would you want your future life to look like if you could have anything and do anything you wanted?

When you are not crystal clear on why you want to change your career, you will never take action towards achieving your goals and dreams, especially if you are in a job that, although it is not making you happy, gives you great colleagues, a fabulous salary and favourable conditions of employment – one that it’s difficult to leave.

When you have visualised and embraced the bigger picture of why you want to do a certain thing, you will be more motivated and driven to achieve that.

Step 5: Take action.

If you don’t work on your mindset and challenge your limiting-beliefs, negative self-talk and your self-sabotaging behaviour, then you will never change, you will never take action and get out of your comfort zone. If you never get out of your comfort zone, you will never be able to live the life that is truly going to make you happy. The only person who is standing in the way of reaching your goals and dreams is you!

We tend to procrastinate because we want everything to be perfect. Perfectionism will prevent you from taking action. Instead, try to let go of perfectionism, good enough is good enough.

If you want to make a radical change in your life, then you need to make a radical change in your mindset. It all starts with you and a decision to change.

If you wait for all the circumstances to be perfect before you decide to make a change, you will be waiting for a very long time. You will never feel 100 per cent ready. You won’t miraculously wake up one day, feeling more confident and decide to start your dream career. The perfect moment will not come. You don’t have unlimited time on earth. You and only you can make the decision that the time is now.

When we are afraid to fail, we start playing small and hold ourselves back. Don’t be afraid to fail, failure is part of the process and you should see failure as a learning moment. Most successful people failed many times before they succeeded. So if you try something new and the outcome is not what you hoped for, don’t give up – readjust your plan and try again. Take small steps; success doesn’t happen overnight.

Many women don’t take action because they have so many ideas that they can’t choose. They are also afraid of making the wrong choice and feel they are not ready.

Remember, you can always change your course along the way if you need to. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step, even if it’s only a tiny step in the right direction, as long as you keep on moving.

What small action step can you take today?

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

Hi, I am Kristy Weterings.
As a Career Coach, I help ambitious women who feel trapped in a job that drains them find out what they truly want and what they’re good at so that they can find their dream career.
A job that feels exciting and gives them loads of energy.

I would love to connect!

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