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Share YOUR Career Story – And Win A Prize! The 5 Minute Career Coach December 2010
December 01, 2010

Helping Career Changers Around The World

December 2010


Welcome to the December 2010 edition of The 5 Minute Career Coach.

What's in this Issue

Everyone loves a story – and when you are thinking of a career change, you are naturally interested in how other people's careers have unfolded.

I have created a new section on the How To Change Careers website specifically designed to allow you to share the ups and downs of your working life. You'll find it here.

Please don't think you can only share if your career has been a total success story from beginning to end. Hearing how people have struggled, made mistakes and still persevered is inspirational and will encourage others to keep aiming for their dreams.

With best wishes

Quote of the Day

"When you have learned something it always feels at first
as if you have lost something."

~H.G. Wells~

So if you write your career story and in doing so you learn that you have been going in the wrong direction for the last 20 years, yes you may feel that to let go is to lose quite a lot of who you think you are. But you will only discover your true identity if you are willing to let go of that part you have been playing and let the real you emerge.

Are you willing to lose in order to win?

What's YOUR Career Story?

If the story of your career were written as a book, what would the title be?

  • Same Old, Same Old
  • Onwards and Upwards
  • Follow My Lead
  • The Daily Grind
  • Just Keep Your Head Down...?

It is quite an interesting thought experiment to imagine your career story this way because it forces you to take a step back and see if there is a theme, an underlying message that has shaped the way your working life has gone.

What are your messages?

That underlying theme is there for most of us if we just take the time to stop and look for it. Often it comes from messages we picked up from our early lives. Messages which told us what was expected of us. For example:

'All our family go into the law'
'We Johnsons are not the kind of people to go to University'
'Mike is the practical one in the family'
'Sonja is going to take over the family business when she grows up'
'Work is hard, so you just have to get on with it and mustn't complain'
'You don't expect work to be fun, do you?'

There are many more – and I am sure reading the examples above will have prompted you to come up with a few from your own career and life story.

So are you stuck with these messages? Are they woven into the very fabric of your being?


That doesn't mean that it will always be easy to undo the conditioning that has come from those messages, but it is not impossible.

So how do you do it?

  1. Recognise the messages that have shaped your career story
  2. Ask yourself whether they are serving you well. Have they helped you to reach a place in your working life where you feel happy and fulfilled?
  3. If you have any doubts about 2 above, then what will you do to change the direction of your career story from now on?

Write the next chapter

Take some time to decide how you would like the next chapter of your working life to look. What will be the new, helpful messages that will underpin it? What will be the title of the next chapter?

  • Breaking Free

  • Becoming Myself

  • Finding The Answer

Over to you. You are the author of your own story, so from today onwards, you can choose to take it in a new direction, if you so desire.

Share your future plans

If you are committing to taking your career in a new direction, why not tell your story up to now on the How To Change Careers website. Use the space to ask for ideas and advice from other visitors – they may have travelled a similar journey to you. Let us know what your plans are and then come back to the site in a few months time to tell us how you are getting on and to celebrate your progress!

Your 5 Minute Coaching Session

Challenging questions are one of the key tools coaches use in helping clients to create change.

Each month I offer you a mini coaching session by asking you a challenging question to think about. The questions I ask are designed to get you thinking in new ways and hopefully gain insights that may open your mind to new possibilities for you career and for your life.

Well, I already asked 'what's your story?', so you have a pretty big question for this month already. But how about this variation...

How would your best friend/partner/mother describe your career story?

You might be surprised at how differently they see things. If their view is very different, don't just reject it. Ask yourself what it is that has led them to see your story so differently? What do they perceive in you that you don't? What can you learn about you from asking this question?

Recommended Resources

Affirm Your Life

I first came across Che Garman on Twitter(@AffirmYourLife) and loved the encouraging thoughts she shares. This is how she describes what she aims to do:

"My passion is creating empowering affirmations - my mission is to inspire you to achieve your goals. Affirm Your Life has 1,000s of free affirmations to help make it happen!"

Che writes an associated blog, which includes 1000s of affirmations as well as tips on how to use them.

And in addition to the affirmations, she is giving away over 50 free ebooks on topics such as Self Improvement, Success, Wealth and Time Management.

It is a blog well worth visiting and I recommend you follow her on Twitter too so you get a daily dose of positive thinking to help you keep going with your career change.

More recommendations
If you would like to see more recommendations for books and similar resources, follow the link to the Career Change Books page of the How To Change Careers website. Do keep popping back to it as I am adding to it all the time.

And if there are books, websites and other resources that have inspired you and that you would like to recommend, there is a place for you to do so on that page.

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