Jacob is probably my oldest client. Having just celebrated the birthday of his mid-fifties and having left some decades of working in one industry behind him, he decided it was time for a change. We started the coaching process together, using one of my favourite opening methods: dream big, as if anything was possible. Jacob went away and dreamt. As he opened up his mind to different possibilities, as if out of nowhere, fantastic creative ideas started coming to him. I could see that Jacob was enjoying himself. He was in a good mood, exploring various options. That is, until one day, when he came back and told me that his wife had suggested he was taking this coaching process too far and questioned whether he was losing his mind. Jacob was, after many years of hard work, having fun. His family had never seen him like this; thus, the conclusion: Jacob had gone mad.
Jacob’s situation did not surprise me; the majority of my ‘not single’ clients suffer from the ‘what will my family say’ syndrome. When I follow my ‘5 Steps Programme to a Successful Career Change’, one of the steps works around ‘setting up your environment in a supportive way’. Part of this process entails an effective time management, de-cluttering and cutting down on not-enjoyable activities. The other half, however, takes people into account. You can re-schedule your time and get yourself a spanking new office space, but if the people in your life are not supportive of your dreams, you will not get far. Unless . . .
Unless you make a very firm decision that your career change will be yours and your only business. In that case, ‘setting up your environment in a supportive way’ would mean explaining to everybody that you are going to go through this career change process, because it is really important to you. You will do it to the best of your capacity and would welcome their help and support but not doubt and questioning. People who truly love and respect you will be understanding. The rest of them . . . well, you wouldn’t want their opinion, would you?
The most important step towards career change (and any change, for that matter) is taking the decision making into your own hands. That way, you can’t put any blame or excuses on anyone else. At the same time, the success will taste so much sweeter.
If, at any point, you want the support of someone who is 100% on your side yet completely pragmatic and realistic, you can contact me at: email@example.com. Having a coach will make the process faster, smoother and more enjoyable.
P.S. And, for the record, after the ‘dream big’ period always comes the phase of ‘now how can these dreams realistically happen’? All your family has to do is to give you a bit of time and space and ‘the madness period’ will be over when the time is right . . .