I was working out in the gym the other day listening to a podcast with two media content experts and by way of introduction they shared a little bit of their background about how they had got into their business. Both of them had wanted to be journalists when they first started out, but what was also interesting is that both of them had been advised against it by key people in their lives, who had no personal experience in this line of work, as they felt it was too difficult. Both of them instead opted for roles which were perceived as being easier and more common for women. Yet later on after several career changes (in roles that were deemed ‘safer’) they both achieved journalistic roles and have now built businesses in this field.

It reminded me of a story I have continued to tell myself up until a few years ago when I became aware of what I was doing. I had convinced myself that I wasn’t able to sell; whether it was a product, a service or myself. Looking back this began at an interview I had many years ago for a Recruitment Consultant position. I had at some point given the interview something that had caused her to conclude that I wouldn’t enjoy sales and therefore she gave this feedback when rejecting my application. Over time I have distorted this from I don’t like sales to I can’t sell and by continually sharing this with others it has been reinforced and became a story I was telling myself. I had turned an opinion (I don’t like sales) into a belief (I can’t sell) even though I had never been in a sales role that was until I became aware of what I was doing.

In both examples these are stories not, facts being shared. In the first case with my two journalists, key people in their lives were bring their own stories to the conversation, their own fears that it would be too hard to break into that field, that it was too unstable. In my own case, I was focusing on one piece of feedback that was based on a single hour conversation and letting this hold me back.

I had another client who wanted to go freelance, she had the experience in her chosen field, she had the contacts and she was already supporting a few clients privately as a side business. But her mum, who had grown up in a country and family where money was very scarce, was scared for her. She didn’t want her daughter to have the tough time she did and therefore she heavily discourage her daughter from following her dreams and wanted her to remain an employee as this would give her security and stability which her mum had never had. This wasn’t because she didn’t believe her daughter could do it, but she was scared and wanted to protect her.

Often with clients, I am working with there is a career dream in their past that keeps coming up because they didn’t explore it at the time. Is this true for you? Is there a career seed in the back of your mind, which you have closed down either because you told yourself you couldn’t do it or someone else did? Instead of looking at how we can do something, we focus on the reasons we can’t or shouldn’t do something. Instead of testing our assumptions, we listen to them.

If this sounds all too familiar, then before you close the lid on this idea, go and find out the facts. Speak to someone in the industry and find out what it’s really like to build a career in that area. Find out how they got into it, what are the skills you need and the training required and what jobs are similar but perhaps don’t require the retraining or past experience and would be an easier transition.

Your friends and family mean well and probably don’t even realise what they are doing, they are looking at this career through their own lens and with their own fears and beliefs, which do not have to be yours.

If you are desperate to leave your current job but have no idea what to do instead, or are struggling with the confidence to make the transition, then why not get in touch. My Kick Start your Career Change Retreat could be the answer that you are looking for and will show you how you CAN make that transition with confidence and clarity.