Do you feel stuck in a career that doesn’t fit? You are not alone! When I first met John, he was struggling with completing his chartered accountant designation. He had several physical challenges, such as insomnia and severe back pain, that were making it difficult for him to study for his accounting exams. John was working as a junior accountant for an accounting firm. While he was grateful to have a secure, well-paying job, the work in the office was draining him, further aggravating his physical symptoms. He felt very stuck.

Meanwhile his friends were telling him, “John you are not the accountant type.” Deep down he knew they were right, but he had no idea what to do instead. He didn’t know how to even begin to explore what career was right for him. He had invested a lot in his accounting career up to this point.

career-stressJohn thought, “If I could just work a little harder, muster up a little more self-discipline and push myself through the final few exams, I could get my chartered accountant designation.” At the same time, the prospect of pushing harder, given his physical challenges, seemed daunting even on his best days.

John felt that life was slipping through his hands fast. He was filled with an appetite to live an engaging and adventurous life. Yet he was frustrated to find himself too physically weak and stressed to do so.

Challenge Your Limiting Beliefs

When he hired me as his career coach, he was hoping to discover a more satisfying, fulfilling career. We began exploring his many strengths. Quickly John realized how much more rewarding life could be, if he was working in a career that naturally catered to his strengths. He had no clue yet what career path might be aligned with his strengths. In John’s mind his natural strengths were tailored for hobbies and social life but not for making a living.

career-secure-jobYou too may believe that the activities that energize you are merely applicable to your personal life. Just like John, you may believe that you can’t make money doing what you love. This belief had John clinging onto his experience, the skills he had built as an accountant, and to his secure job. Just like John, you too may be clinging onto the familiar, even though it’s not working for you and maybe even making you sick.

Career Setbacks May Be Blessings in Disguise

Then one day, John was let go from his accounting job. During his coaching session, he admitted that he had not had the courage to quit, not knowing what was next for him. John felt somewhat relieved that the decision had now been made for him. He no longer had to struggle through each painful day at the office, feeling stuck behind his computer, annoyed at his spreadsheets.

Since he still didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do long term, he began looking for alternatives within the financial sector. Was there a way that he could use his financial knowledge in a way that was more energizing for him? John was looking for jobs that involved more interactions with people and offered more opportunities to move around throughout the day.

career-financial-plannerThis exploration led him to interview several financial planners. He eventually found a financial planning firm he liked and began to work for this firm as a junior associate. Now, John was taking classes on securities, life and critical illness insurance to complete his financial planner designation. In the meantime, he had also secured a bookkeeping contract with the accounting firm he used to work for. This bookkeeping contract helped pay his bills while he was working on his financial planner designation.

career-next-stepOften the journey to career clarity doesn’t happen as one big leap, but rather as a series of steps in the direction of more and more fulfilling work. What might you do to apply your training and experience in a way that energizes and inspires you more?

How to Stay Open on Your Journey to Career Clarity

career-journal-ideasDeep down John knew, that financial planning wasn’t his final destination, he kept a journal of ideas about what he really wanted to do with his life. Becoming an actor, being a camp guide and working as a youth counsellor were some of the ideas he was exploring and dreaming about. He also felt strongly about law and politics.

You too, may want to explore your ideas and interests by keeping a journal.

career-traffic-lightA few months later, a seemingly random thought inspired John to explore a completely different career path. While waiting at a red traffic light, John thought to himself: “I don’t like red lights. Ambulances and fire engines don’t have to stop at red lights. I wonder what it would be like to work as a paramedic?”

Follow Your Curiosity on Your Career Clarity Journey

career-paramedicThis thought, prompted John to explore the possibility of becoming a paramedic. The more he learned about this profession, the more excited he got. It seemed to naturally play to his strength of compassion and value of service.

Just like John, I encourage you to follow even seemingly random ideas. Stay curious and open as you continue to explore possibilities.

How You Know That You Have Arrived

Only a few weeks later, John was taking his first paramedic training and loving every aspect of it. John turned his paramedic training into an adventure, as he decided to travel to another part of the province to do his training. He was amazed how quickly he bonded with his classmates and instructors and grateful for the sense of community he experienced during the training. “I finally found my tribe. Especially when connecting with the senior paramedic instructors, I can really see a lot of myself in them.”

You too will know when you have found your tribe, when you feel a deep sense of belonging with a group of people have just met.

Reflecting on his career clarity journey, John says: “I never liked being stuck in an office all day. I now see my health issues as a blessing in disguise. They forced me to take a step back, to deepen my understanding of myself and what I want out of life.

career-trustThe hardest part was to keep on looking for the pieces of the puzzle and to let go of preconceived notions of myself. Having an experienced no nonsense guide like Julia who believed in me, kept me going.

Working as a paramedic, I am always on the move, in action, interacting with people and helping people. I am so glad that I finally found a career path, I really feel excited about that allows me to contribute in a meaningful way.”

Just like John, you too can find a career path that energizes you and allows you to contribute in meaningful ways. Request your free consultation today! I look forward to exploring how I may support you on your journey to career clarity!