I Quit My Job and Other Juicy Career Tales From An Ambitious 20-Something
Finding the ‘perfect’ job in your twenties can often feel like you’re playing a game of Connect Four. Remember that game? How ridiculously fun yet frustrating was it? Just as you’d planned your path to get all the yellow circles lined up, someone would come in and screw you over with a red circle, completely blocking your path to world domination.
Let me be clear though, no one is out to ruin your career prospects. As I’ve come to realise, working towards a career that you love is a ‘journey’. Yep, a journey that can take you places that you’d never thought possible (in a good and bad way).
As someone who has always taken pride in my work and has strived to do more of what I love, allow me to give you a back-stage pass and share the juicy career tales that I’ve learnt (and am still learning) as I create soulful fulfilment in my career. Have I got it all figured out? Not exactly, but if you’re someone who is feeling completely lost and confused about your career direction, I hope you find comfort in these words knowing there is ALWAYS a way forward to get to where you want to be. Even if the path does look and feel like some random squiggly line with detours, setbacks, you-turns and expansive peaks.
Are you ready?
1. I’ve had MANY different jobs throughout my twenties, ranging from Pharmacy Assistant, Nanny, Singer and Performer, Research Support Officer, Social Media and Content Manager (to name a few). I won’t bore you with my resume but Life Coach is by far my most favourite to date. It also happened to be the most fear-inducing and comfort-zone extending decision to study Life Coaching and start a business which just goes to show that the most fulfilling pursuits are almost always accompanied by the F word. Fear.
2. As you might have gathered from the variety of different roles I’ve undertaken, I’m a woman of many passions which has probably been the most excruciating, yet exciting part about pursuing meaningful work. I spent my early twenties feeling torn about ‘deciding what the hell to do’ because I enjoyed ‘too many things!’ Did I want to pursue my love of performing and become a professional singer and actress? (Sure, why not?!) Did I want to go down the academic route and become a Psychologist? (I certainly felt called to) but the more I’ve allowed myself to explore and experiment, the more I’ve been able to differentiate what I want and need from my job, my career, my vocation and my hobbies. These words by Elizabeth Gilbert may help you to distinguish the difference between your own version of these too. (Ps. It’s long but well worth the read – I’d bookmark it!)
3. Does what I do now relate to my degree in Health Science (plus one half of a Masters of Social Work) Ah… sort-of, but university helped me to hone my writing skills, meet deadlines, build confidence in my knowledge and establish like-minded networks. And it was a fateful elective called ‘Coaching Individuals for Behaviour Change’ that first opened my eyes and heart to the possibility of coaching. Who would have thought?!
4. I was working full time in one of Australia’s well-renowned cancer charities when I decided to take the plunge and study with the Beautiful You Coaching Academy. I spent my early mornings, evenings and weekends soaking up all that I could learn, and practiced my coaching skills by taking on pro-bono clients in the first few months of finishing the course. I have never LOVED studying something so much and knew instantly that I had found ‘my thing’ purely by how excited I felt whenever I was in session, and the sense of satisfaction I felt supporting others to take their own goals and dreams seriously. Plus having the opportunity to go on and join the BYCA team has been a total dream.
5. I’ve always worked a ‘day job’ throughout my coaching because #bills and #mortgage and #sustainability and #slowgrowth and have trialled with working 5, 4 and now 3 days alongside my business. I’m finally starting to ‘own that’ instead of perceiving it as a ‘failure’ or something to be ashamed of. At one stage I thought that running a full-time coaching business was the ultimate dream, but now I know that having a business is just ONE of the ways that I want to use my strengths and skills as a coach. Finding your own way to do want you want is key!
6. For the past two year’s I had the incredible opportunity to solely work from home as an employee and in my business which gave me a real taste of the ‘laptop lifestyle’. It has its perks and I know many people thrive working in this way, but I’ve discovered that it’s just not for me (for the long term anyway). This extroverted soul needs regular in person connection, Batchie debriefs over lunch, and solid work/home/life boundaries but I’m so grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to figure that out now, and not be wondering ‘what if?’ later.
7. It’s been challenging to peel back the layers of all that I’ve experienced so far, all that I ‘thought’ that I wanted and craft new dreams for my career. I even had the experience of quitting a job after only 2 months in because I knew deep down it was out of alignment with my future desires and needs. Seeking out support from coaches and working with a psychologist has been invaluable throughout this time as a large part of my ambitious identify has stemmed from ‘what I do’. It’s helped me to connect back in with myself and re-define what I truly want and need to thrive in my work instead of comparing myself to what others deem ‘successful’. Such a relief!
8. Figuring out what I DON’T want has been just as important as figuring out what I DO want. All this information has been safely tucked into my toolkit of self-awareness and knowledge which means I’m no longer paralysed by indecision or fear. I trust in what brings me joy, comfort, safety and security and having this confidence is half the battle throughout any career crossroads.
9. Funnily enough, the challenges that I’ve experienced throughout my working life to date has gifted me the clarity in my own coaching work. I know that supporting YOU to identify and work towards a life and career that you love is part of my own purpose. I had already been doing this in some form or another with my clients, but now I can offer up even more of my knowledge, tools and resources. Go figure!
10. What I know for sure is this: your needs, desires and passions as a working woman will no doubt change over time – especially in your twenties and early thirties as you start to rediscover more of who you are. And please know It’s ok to change your mind. The decision that is right for you ‘right now’ doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re locked into that job/biz/lifestyle/livelihood forever (if you don’t want to be). For year’s I thought that changing my mind meant flaking out and not following through but as Ash Ambirge says, “stopping and starting again is not flighty: it’s wise”
If you’ve made it all the way to the end – congrats to you! Now tell me, what have you learnt so far throughout your own journey to pursuing a life and career that you love? Have you got any juicy tales to share yourself?
I’m so inspired to use all that I’ve learnt throughout the past 8 years, alongside my own experience in helping fellow 20-somethings to course correct and navigate their own career decisions. You don’t have to figure this all out on your own lovely one, and if you’d like to find out more about how we can work 1:1 together, get in touch here and I’d love to support you.
The biggest love.