The 5 Minute Career Coach

Helping Career Changers Around The World

July 2012


Is it time to have a Big Conversation?




Having a Big Conversation

We all put up barriers to stop us making the break from a job that is wearing us down. But they are often barriers that we have built up over time in our own minds – barriers that could be broken down if only we had the courage to have a Big Conversation.

Conversation is such an everyday thing and yet, when used powerfully, it can radically change the direction in which your life is going.

What is the quality of your everyday conversations? Are you skimming over the surface of the Big Issues, avoiding saying what needs to be said?

Maybe the time has come to have that Big Conversation.


Who do you need to have your Big Conversation with?

Who do you think is standing in the way of your career change? There are a number of people who you may feel are 'getting in the way'. Having a Big Conversation with these people could just break the log jam.

Is it your current boss or employer?

Is it time for you to have an open and honest conversation with your boss? Do they really understand what is going on for you at work that is making you so unhappy? What would you like to say to them to clear the air? What would make a difference to you and meet your and their needs?

A Big Conversation could lead to changes at work that would make your day-to-day situation more bearable.

Is it your partner or a family member – even your children?

What assumptions are you making about what someone in your family circle thinks about you changing career? Are you imposing expectations on them that may not be true? Have you ever really discussed the issue with them? Do they understand how important it is for you to make changes in your working life?

A Big Conversation could reveal them as being more supportive than you think.

Is it yourself?

We can be our own worst enemies. Are you having a constant battle in your own head between the voice that tells you to go for it and the voice that tells you it won’t work?

It can really help to play that conversation out at a conscious level as if two people were participating.

Put your ‘Gremlin’ on a chair opposite you and enter into a dialogue with him. What is he really trying to do when he discourages you from taking a leap of faith? What could you ask him to do or say that would be more helpful?

A Big Conversation where you acknowledge his good intentions but ask for his support could change your internal dialogue for ever.


How do you prepare for the Big Conversation?

Preparing the ground is essential. There is not enough space to cover everything here but the key points to consider are:

  • What are the facts (not the emotions) of the situation?
  • Why is it important to confront and resolve this issue?
  • What do I want for me, for them, for the relationship between us?
  • What am I doing that may be contributing to the ‘block’ in communication we are experiencing?
  • What assumptions am I making about the other person before we even begin? What else might be the reality for them?
  • What can I do to approach the conversation with an open-minded curiosity and with a willingness to really hear their story?
  • What are the possible responses and how will I react to them?


Practice makes perfect – or at least better prepared! So rehearse the conversation with a friend so you can spot when your own emotional responses may be triggered and reflect on how you will deal with them. You may find that you need to have the conversation more than once to work things through – that’s OK. At least you will have set things in motion.


When will you get started?

Big Conversations are so easy to put off. You are always waiting for the 'right moment', you can't quite decide how to approach it, you are afraid of the outcome.

Well truth be told, there is never a perfect moment or a perfect way to deliver, but you can prepare the ground carefully. And you cannot know the outcome, but better to face it that to have all the possibilities festering in your mind for weeks, months – even years.

So when will you step up and have your Big Conversation? It could be the tipping point that will free you up to really get going on your career change journey.

Thought for the Day


The most important thing about communication

is learning to hear what is not being said.

~ Author Unknown ~


With best wishes for your career change success



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