Confessions Of A Career Leaper & Three Tips To Kick Start.

Guest Blog // Kim Knight of Marketing Mate

Once upon a time there was a woman who, despite a whispering inner voice that questioned the current way, made choices and decisions that continued taking her on a particular path in life. She would work extremely hard, continually educate herself, and always be on the lookout for the chance to climb the next step of the corporate ladder to get…. somewhere. This came at a cost to her health, her quality family/friend time and ultimately her happiness.

Then one day after she’d exhausted herself yet again, her inner voice got a little louder, and she began to listen to what it was saying.

“What is this all about for me? Why am I doing this? Is there a better way?”.

All very fair questions, but she was unable to answer any of them well.

That woman was me seven years ago in my early 30s and it was the beginning of a courageous and challenging shift from exhausted worker-bee to the conductor of my own orchestra – metaphorically that is. When I started to actually try and answer those questions honestly, I entered an exciting corridor filled with new doors to opportunity, growth, freedom and above all, purpose.

I realized that the life I had been living was a safe life lived within the boundaries of what I had been taught by my parents, teachers and other important people in society who I loved and admired. I hadn’t been given permission to question it, because it was just how it was. But it just wasn’t me.

It would take time, mean I’d have much less money, and I didn’t know where it would lead me, but I knew I had to start on this new path and just keep going.

How did I actually take the leap? There is no short answer to this. I can attribute many people, personal work and gathering of new knowledge to achieving the jump, and these will be different for everyone. But I believe there are three core actions that are common amongst all people who manage to successfully ditch the daily grind and leap into a career they love. Here they are.

  1. Dream it first, safely and gently

There’s safety in day dreaming and hypothetical brainstorming. You’re allowing your imagination to paint a picture of where you could be, but there’s no commitment and no accountability because no one else knows about it yet. It doesn’t feel uncomfortable because you’re not triggering that part of your mind that questions new things, and makes you fearful. You’re simply telling a story.

It’s important to get this out and in front of you though, and there are several ways to do this – choose one that you prefer. Write it down in a private journal, create a mind map, brainstorm on paper stuck on the walls with different headings, do a private voice recording, paint a picture, or write a song or a story. Whatever works for you to get it out of your head safely and gently.

This subconsciously starts to gently break down what you have always believed to be ‘the way’ and makes room for new possibilities to be allowed in to your thinking.

  1. Make it a little bit real, even if you’re not ready

Do something small that brings your dream ever so slightly into the real world, all the while still not having truly committed to taking the leap. This gives you a chance to once again safely see and feel how it might be for you.

Some ideas include talking to a stranger about your idea as if it is happening, coming up with a business name, registering a business name, creating a simple website home page using a free trial, searching for a domain name, sketching out a logo/album cover/book cover, or writing a simple business plan or marketing plan.

I guarantee you that a feeling will wash over you that you’ve possibly never felt before, almost like an awakening to something so new. You will want to know more about this new feeling and new space. You will realise how un-scary it can be, and that it just might be possible.

  1. Join a tribe of like-minded leapers (or those thinking about it)

Being amongst people who share your thoughts and fears is incredibly empowering. You learn from people who are at different stages of their journey, realise you are not alone, and feel supported in what is a big deal.

You can do this by becoming a member of an online group, working for a time in a collaborative workspace, going to meetings and events with inspiring guest speakers, or having regular coffee meet ups with like-minded friends to share ideas and fears, and encourage each other.

This is yet another great way to support yourself and gently coax yourself in a forward direction where the opportunities become clearer for you, and the fears less apparent.

There are endless positives to how my life is now. I’m excited, inspired, and motivated on a daily basis. I’m also tired, overwhelmed and frightened sometimes, but there’s something about chasing and growing your passion that gives you the ability to get past any obstacle. Get started, be gentle with yourself, and gather support – the rest will come.

Kim Knight is a qualified and experienced marketing professional and the Founder of Marketing Mate, on online web application that helps individuals, small businesses and organizations easily plan and manage their marketing in the one place, any time. She believes marketing plans and the planning process hold the key to success and growth for any business, and that everyone deserves that opportunity. Visit www.marketingmate.info for more information.