New year, new job

Looking for a new job is a daunting prospect. Picture: Andrew Stuart
Looking for a new job is a daunting prospect. Picture: Andrew Stuart
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the ever-optimistic Del Boy said: “This time next year Rodney, we’ll be millionaires!” Maybe you say something similar to yourself at this time of year, every year: “This time next year, I won’t be in a job I hate” and it never quite happens.

If you’re one of the hundreds and thousands of people who are dreading going back to work on Monday, then you need to read this article very carefully indeed, because it might just change your life – for the better.

When I work with my coaching clients, the first thing I talk to them about is focusing on more of what they want. When you focus on not having a job you hate, your brain concentrates on the job you hate rather than focusing on a job you love.

The first rule of changing careers is: focus on a job you would love to do or find the areas of your current job that you love.

Around 15 years ago, someone told me I should start my own business. My immediate reaction was, “I can’t do that” and after sleeping on it, I woke up the next morning and realised there was nothing stopping me.

When other people are telling you or you’re telling yourself you can’t do something, ask yourself this: “What would happen if I did or what would happen if I could?”

Opening up possibilities is the second rule of changing careers. The most important component of loving what you do for a living is to be passionate about whatever you’re doing.

When you are passionate about your work, you find you don’t think of it as working, you think of it as something you do that you happen to get paid for. Sometimes it’s enough for people to have a hobby outside of work that they’re passionate about and that keeps them going throughout their working day. Sometimes that’s not enough and people feel dead inside during their working day. If that’s you, then it’s time to take stock.

Rule number three of changing your career: Do what you love doing and never work another day in your life.

Whether it’s knitting, baking, hand-gliding, typing, cleaning, painting, drawing, making, arguing, writing etc, it really doesn’t matter. Find your passion and find a way to do that every day and get paid for it. I used to run a recruitment business and now I train and coach people in the corporate world because my heart was no longer in the recruitment business. I love the job I do. It didn’t happen by accident, though.

I needed to go back to school to learn a whole new set of skills which took time, money and hard work. It meant that money was in very short supply and I needed to study in the evenings after a full day’s work whilst juggling family life with three kids and a husband.

The fourth rule of changing your career is asking yourself this question: What sacrifices do I need to make to get what I really want? Expecting to be able to change your career without taking a couple of steps back or making a few sacrifices is like thinking you can make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.

How much time do you spend whinging and moaning about your job? How often do you bore your friends and family with your tales of frustration, disappointment and misery? Are you sick of hearing yourself complain about work?

For most people, things have to get really bad before they decide to do anything, which I believe is a bit of a waste of time. We only get one shot at life and, personally, I think that spending your time feeling bad about your job is a waste of that precious time.

When you play the movie of your working life forward one year, two years or even ten years, how does it make you feel? If you play your movie forward one year and things seem bright, happy and fulfilling, then you’re on the right track. If, however, you’re playing it forward one year and all is dark, gloomy and frankly, depressing, then you need to take some major steps to change things.

When you imagine yourself doing something fulfilling, life becomes a whole lot easier. I know it’s only your imagination, but your brain is a wonderful thing because it can’t tell the difference between something you imagine happening and something that is happening.

Athletes use such visualisation techniques all the time and scientists have clearly demonstrated that the same areas of the brain light up when imagining running a race as they do when the athletes are actually running the race.

So, here’s the fifth rule of changing careers: If you’re going to make your future up as you go along, make it good

It’s so much nicer to create a fulfilled future for yourself in your mind, don’t you think.

Finally, we can all dream. It is all very well, but is meaningless unless you are prepared to take action.

I am not suggesting you resign on Monday (although some of you may wish to take that kind of action), what I always suggest to my clients is to take baby steps towards your desired future.

Each and every day do something that gets you closer to where you want to be and very soon you’ll love the work you do, wondering why you didn’t do something about it sooner.

Rule number six of changing careers: Take action, now. Finally, when you’re ready to change, attending my next seven-day Licensed NLP Practitioner Course will set you with more confidence, more ideas, better ways of thinking about your future and give your career the boost it needs.

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n Rebecca Bonnington is the author of How To Outshine The Rest and specialises in coaching, training and mentoring