On my fridge, there's a photo of a man painting out the ‘I’ and ‘M’ of the word ‘Impossible’. Every time my son sees it, he tells me that it's not possible to do everything, and his example is that humans can't fly. However, I believe we can; we just need the relevant tools to do it and, in the case of flying, nerves of steel and a wingsuit.
To change careers, you need courage and the metaphorical equivalent of a wingsuit. It might not be easy at first or very quick, and you may have to re-train, start at a lower level, or go in from a different angle, but with vision, flexibility, determination, and inner strength, it really IS possible.
A case in point is one of my clients whose had a varied career that has taken her from HR to sales and marketing to an estate agency. Along that journey, she’s taken a couple of detours and trained to be a massage therapist and mindfulness coach. If you take a moment to look at each of those roles, you wouldn’t think there were any similarities but delve a little deeper and you’ll find enough connections that demonstrate how possible it is to pivot and change direction.
HR is very people oriented and being able to connect to people is a vital quality to being successful in that role. Being successful at sales and marketing means that you need to understand people: how they think and what they desire or need. An estate agent demands the ability to relate to people, to influence them to sell their house with you or encourage them to buy a house from you.
So, when you are thinking of your dream role(s), dig deep, explore, and see where you can make the connections between the experience you already have to the experience that is desired or needed. Remember those job descriptions are just words, that have been beautified to make the role sound more interesting and exciting, to ‘sell’ it to you. Look past these words and find the facts of who they are really looking for.
What I really admire about my client is that she has taken it a step further; she’s stepped out of her comfort zone, tried something entirely new, and has successfully created her own busines selling homemade pesto. She’s found something that she genuinely loves doing and wants it to succeed.
If you think about it, there are lots of crossover skills with her previous roles: a connection to people, a curiosity to give people what they want/ need, the ability to sell and market. With no background in food, other than a love of cooking, she has used her passion, the skills she has learnt on her career journey so far and the ones that she has taught herself.
She has only been doing this since the middle of last year and she’s already got products on shelves and invested in premises to increase her production. She still has a lot to learn, but with her determination and drive to push herself, I know that she will succeed. Most notably, she was willing to give it a try, to put herself out there and make it happen. She has put on her wingsuit and is flying.
So, what’s your impossible, because if you need help removing the 'I' and the 'M', I’ve got a wingsuit in your size that you can borrow.
This article was written by career coach, Charlotte Worth.