If you’ve been thinking about changing your career, you’re certainly not alone. Research indicates that more than a third of us are planning to change careers this year. But retraining for a new career is a big decision, so how do you make sure that you’re choosing a career path that will bring you long-term fulfilment, meaning, joy and contentment?
Over the coming months, we’ll be releasing a series of exclusive blog posts, exercises and inspiring videos to help you to decide whether you’re ready to makeover your career, what factors to consider, and whether becoming a Certified Style Coach™ might possibly offer the perfect fit for you.
Understanding your personality & playing to your strengths…
The first step is to understand your personality, how you like to work, and what you’re naturally good at! For example, some of us love to have social interaction and face-to-face communication with other people. We thrive in situations where we can make a personal impact, and we enjoy opportunities to get out into our local communities and connect on an individual level with real people. We find ourselves feeling unfulfilled and unmotivated when we spend too long working behind a screen or in a solo environment that doesn’t inspire us.
Understanding your personality traits helps you to identify which career paths will bring you happiness, and which ones you might struggle to stick with in the long-term. If you choose a career that harmonises with who you are as a person, then you will feel your work is rewarding and you’ll look forward to the tasks and projects it involves.
It’s also important to consider what skills you enjoy using and where your natural talents lie. We tend to feel happiest when we’re doing something we consider ourselves ‘good at’! Having a career that we feel ‘fits’ with our talents helps to promote positive feelings of confidence, and we are more likely to challenge ourselves further because we have higher levels of self-belief and optimism about our potential!
When we practice more of our talents, we feel energised and find ourselves enjoying tasks that we are actually being paid to do. Work simply doesn’t feel like work 🙂
So how do you find out what your natural talents are? When people come to you for your advice about a particular topics, or when they complement you on something you do well, that gives you a strong indicator for what you should be doing!
If you’re still not sure, then why not ask a friend? Sometimes our talents come so naturally to us that we take them for granted! We don’t always realise that other people struggle with the things that we might manage with total ease. If this is the case, it can be easier for a close friend to help highlight your talents for you! This will help reveal the type of work you would find naturally rewarding.
For example, many Style Coaches™ and personal stylists decided to choose their careers after they realised that friends and family would frequently seek their advice on what to wear, how to shop, how to accessorise, etc. Their natural talent was always there to a degree, but their professional training enabled them to nurture and developed their skills into a fully-fledged career opportunity!
Achieving the juggling act of work / life balance…
When we asked our Facebook fans what factors affected their happiness at work, a number of common themes came up…
- Many agreed that support, appreciation & feeling valued were important to them
- Also, having a clear long-term vision of what they were working towards
- Feeling that they have opportunities to challenge themselves and realise more of their personal potential
- Having a reasonable amount of freedom over how and where they do their work
- Financial stability and being paid what they felt they deserved
- And, having a good work-life balance!
The topic of work / life balance is particularly important. Studies have shown that people who work more than 40 hours a week usually report lower levels of perceived happiness. The strain of long working hours leaves us with less time for personal relationships, less opportunities for healthy hobbies to nurture our body and mind, and less time to simply relax and destress! All of this has a significant impact on a person’s emotional wellbeing and physical health.
A Mental Health Foundation survey found that more than 40% of employees were neglecting other aspects of their life because of work, which they say increases their vulnerability to mental health problems. Many more women report unhappiness than men (42% of women compared with 29% of men), which is probably a consequence of competing life roles and more pressure to ‘juggle’. Nearly two thirds of employees have experienced a negative effect on their personal life, including lack of personal development, physical and mental health problems, and poor relationships and poor home life.
Of course, sometimes we experience the opposite end of the scale: we find ourselves stuck in a dull career rut, feeling under-challenged and bored. We crave the opportunity to stretch ourselves, to grow and develop new skills, to find out what we’re capable of achieving, and to feel like we’re able to make a difference!
So, when looking for your perfect career, it’s important to ask yourself whether it will help you to achieve that ‘balance’ that we all ultimately wish to achieve.
This is particularly relevant for families with young children, where working hours have to be flexible around school and nursery hours and school holidays! Flexible careers like personal styling or Style Coaching™ enable you to embrace your different roles and adapt your hours to harmonise with your lifestyle and the ever-changing needs of your family.
Letting your values lead you to the right career…
It’s easy to think that more money will automatically equal more happiness, but research suggests otherwise. The Office for National Statistics, looked at the relationship between different jobs and levels of happiness, and concluded that while more money doesn’t necessarily make us happier, if we feel under-valued and under-appreciated, that this can certainly be a powerful demotivator. Another powerful demotivated comes from doing a job that contradicts or makes us compromise on our personal values.
Before changing careers, we all should reflect on who we are, what we want from life, what we enjoy doing and what we value most! Our ‘values’ are our own personal beliefs about what is more important and less important in life. Values influence our responses to any given situation. They are part of the internal reasoning behind our decisions and judgments, contributing to our perceptions of what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’. We all share a lot of the same values, for example: health, family, fairness, loyalty, personal growth and honesty. However, our order of priority can be very different.
We encourage you to take some time to explore your values, and also place them in order of how important you perceive them to be. No values are right or wrong; what is important is to find out what you desire most from your life, so you can use this information to guide you towards a career path that you find most fulfilling.
In an ideal world we would all like to have a “value-led life” where our highest-ranked values were fully lived and never compromised or lying dormant. If you choose your career without considering your values, then this is a sure-fire way to feel uninspired and dissatisfied. We are living in a world full of opportunity and can choose to live a value-led life if we wish! Instead of walking blindly through our careers, it’s wise to reflect from time to time, and consider making adjustments to our direction.
Instead of asking, “What job would I like to have?” ask yourself:
- Who am I and what is important to me?
- What do I want from my career and why?
- What must I do to get what I desire?
- What will reaching this vision make of me as a person?
These questions will remind you of your inner values, which will always lead you in the right direction and give you inspiring career goals to reach towards!
If you enjoyed this free article from our ‘Makeover your Career’ Series, then hopefully you’ll love our Style Coach™ Diploma Courses. We offer unique personal stylist training courses that teach you a holistic approach to the self-image. We believe that people are so much more than their reflection in the mirror. Don’t you?
If a career in personal styling, image consultancy or personal shopping excites you, you could take it a giant leap further and have a career helping others to discover and express their personal style, love the skin they’re in, and authentically express their true self! Get in touch with the Style Coaching™ team for a friendly chat to find out more 🙂