• Caroline

#TheBigShift or where push and pull meet

Has COVID-19 made you consider a complete career change? I've had a few career changes in my life but my latest one, two years ago, is the only one that felt 100% right. Why? Because it was where 'push and pull' came together and suddenly, the right career became bleedingly obvious. More about that later.

I now have my own company for the first time in my life, having worked for corporates and the third sector previously. It's both scary and liberating in equal measure. I didn't think I was a natural entrepreneur; as an introvert, I did have some doubts. But the excitement over my new career, and the feeling that I had finally found my mission in life, took over. As an introvert, doing a sales role in the corporate world was tough - you just never got a break to re-charge from client meetings. Now, if I've had a few too many client sessions in a row, I take an hour out of my day to decompress. I sit in nature, take a nap or play my guitar. How many other introverts out there in the workplace would be so much happier, less stressed and perform better if they were allowed to plug in their batteries on a regular basis? Although I'm certainly not a natural entrepreneur, my confidence has come from doing something that I love and truly believe in. No more faking it! And being a jack-of-all-trades comes in handy too. In the past, I sometimes felt bad that I wasn't amazing at anything in particular (although I was always pretty good at foreign languages). Now, I relish the fact that I can do my own marketing, sales, customer service, website edits and social media posts and blogs. No more politics. No more hierarchies. I'm my own boss. I decide what and how I do things. This suits me as I'm a values-driven person and couldn't care less about status. The only thing I'm missing is a mentor. I was assigned one by the council earlier this month. It was brilliant; I was lucky enough to get a mentor that suited me perfectly and it made me realise that this was what had been missing. As the sole employee of my own company I'm making all the strategic and operational decisions every day and I had been relying on my husband and a few friends to bounce ideas off and ask for advice. This can work on occasion but it's so much better to either have a mentor or a business partner. And leave my husband to enjoy his evenings. On my career change and motherhood, I can only say that it has worked for me. I work hard (and smart, most of the time) but I can also schedule time for the kids on a regular basis as well as key school events. No more mum guilt. Why did I mention 'push and pull'? I believe many people make a change in life when they are both being pushed away from their current situation/job and being pulled towards something better/their dreams, values and vision. In my case, I was being pushed in the sense that what I was doing wasn't working for me (I was constantly sick, I was tired, I was intellectually dissatisfied and I couldn't get the whole working mother thing working for me).

At the same time, I was being pulled towards a completely different career: I had completed a course in NLP (neuro linguistic programming) and had a burning desire to help people feel better about themselves. I had always been crazy about fitness and the great outdoors and wanted to find a way to marry the two things up. I set up my own company (Mamaste Fitness) which runs outdoor fitness & wellbeing group and 1-1 sessions for women and the rest is history. Follow me on social media: www.instagram.com/mamaste_fitness or www.facebook.com/mamastefitness

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