Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Change and Choice

Around six years ago, a very good friend told me that she was moving abroad. Not to the other side of the world, but to Spain. It may as well have been the other side of the world. This friend was someone with whom I went to the pub with once a week, and was my gym partner 3 times a week too – a real part of my life. I’ve never really liked change and this was too much change for me. It left me with that big question – what am I going to do now?

Well of course, I had no choice but to accept it. My friend wasn’t exactly going to change her life plans for me, no matter how good our friendship. So, through the change curve I went. I finally accepted it and as a benefit, I’m about 2 stone lighter. Now when I go the gym, I go on my own and do a full hours work there instead of chatting!!!!

I’ve just got back from visiting my friend. I miss her terribly, but when I see her its like we’ve never been apart. We had a good chat. Change has affected her too. The recent recession and price of the Euro has greatly impacted her standard of living. She’s very philosophical about it. She has a choice, she can choose to be miserable about it, cut her losses, and sell up as many of the Brits have done and come home to a standard of living which would be much less than the one she had before or she can choose to work part time, make some economies and make the most of her spare time. She has chosen the latter and as far as I can see – she is happy.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Link - Self Esteem

I found this self esteem test on the web. I took the test - it seems rather spot on.

"When your self-esteem is in good shape you feel great and life seems fantastic. But when your self-esteem is low you start to struggle with yourself and use up a lot of emotional energy - and your quality of life ALWAYS suffers as a consequence."

Apparantly I'm only tapping into 51% of my self esteem potential and much of this is around social and work confidence. Let me know what it says about you.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Looking Back - Falling Out of my Tree

When I took that job 10 years ago – everything changed. I’d been top of my tree for a long time. I knew everything I could know about my old job, I could do it backwards AND standing on my head. Suddenly I found myself starting from scratch, learning new things. It challenged my brain in a way I’d not been challenged for a long time, and I found it very hard.

I don’t know when and how it started, but I began to loose confidence. Maybe I made a mistake and took it to heart. I can be very hard on myself at times. But I started to loose confidence. My boss didn’t help. He’s a nice guy, but by his own admission his skills don’t lie with people. He finds it hard to encourage, motivate and support.

I’d fallen from the top of my tree

See previous Looking Back Post

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Careers Quote

This weeks quote is about careers:

What is the recipe for successful achievement? To my mind there are just four essential ingredients: Choose a career you love, give it the best there is in you, seize your opportunities, and be a member of the team.

Benjamin F. Fairless

Monday, 22 March 2010

Careers Advice Service - Skills Assessment

Here is a link to the Skills Assessment that I did.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Careers Advice Service

My mind went into overdrive. Previously every time I thought about doing something about my new career, my head would fill of thoughts. What if I get it wrong? Do I want to do counselling or coaching? What if I’m no good at it? What about the flexibility I have at work? Where will I find the money to fund my training? Where will I find the time?

Following the parts integration, whenever I start to think these thoughts, my mind just turns it around and dismisses the negative thoughts. So much so that I finally took action. Twice previously I have completed a careers questionnaire on the Careers Advice Service (CAS) website. Twice, I’ve taken a note of the number to ring them. This time, I finally did it. An hour later, I have an action plan to help me work out which route I want to take and an agreed date when the CAS will ring me again. CAS, hour well spent.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Looking Back - The Interview

It was about ten years ago and the interview was the worst I’ve ever had. I struggled with the questions and found the interviewer both challenging and demanding. I walked out of the interview thankful that I had failed and with a belief that I could not do the job. Imagine my surprise when I was offered the job. So much so that I needed to take time to consider the opportunity.

Leaving everything I knew behind was a big risk, and really scary, but here lay an opportunity for something new, a change in direction, learning new skills, a pay rise AND not having to work Saturdays into the bargain. They were taking a big risk on me too, but they were the ones who knew what they were doing.

I took the job!

See previous looking back post

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Motivational Quote 2

"Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome."

Samuel Johnson

I guess this is where I go wrong so often

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Parts Integration

My coach sat down to do a goal setting session with me. This was my final session with her and although I’d resolved a whole host of work stuff (which was the whole purpose of it); there was still lots of stuff going on over what I actually wanted to do. Did I still want to work for this company I’d worked for, for so long? I knew the answer, but all the other stuff was just getting in the way. Stuff like, my flexible working hours, my salary, my routine, my home life.

My coach soon realised there was something behind my lack of commitment to goals. She suggested a technique called ‘parts integration’. I trusted her completely, though was concerned that the curious part of me would get in the way of it working.

I’m not going to tell you exactly what happened in the session – if you ever get to try this; I feel you’ll benefit more from not knowing in advance. But I never expected to feel what I felt, or understand what I understood. But it’s been a real, real turning point for me. I’ve finally turned a corner. Don’t get me wrong – there is so much I still need to understand, but no longer when I think about the future, do I talk myself out of it, I just cast those thoughts aside.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Decision Making

When I find some useful information. I will share this with you. Here's something I found on Decision Making.

Maybe there's hope for me yet.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Looking Back - Taking a step back

20+ years ago, I took a job within the financial services industry. I was more or less straight from school and had very little confidence. The company turned out to be a fantastic employer and I got an opportunity to work with the public for several years. I enjoyed (almost) every minute of working with the public, and blossomed. I had found my niche. It’s a time I look back on with found memories, the people I worked with, the public and the fact that this was a time when I had CONFIDENCE. I could do the job standing on my head and was good at it.

Around ten years ago, I found myself wanting more, a career perhaps, but didn’t really fancy managing a sales team. An internal vacancy came up for something quite different, analytical. I enjoyed thinking and solving problems, it seemed ideal and I applied.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Motivational Quote

If you do not hope, you will not find what is beyond your hopes.

St. Clement of Alexandra

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Square Pegs

I've been very unsettled. My head's been telling me something different to my heart for a while. A square peg in a round hole. I've been talking about a complete career change for some time but I've not really known how to go about it. I've made half hearted attempts at trying to find out what I want to do and taken a couple of courses, but if I want to follow my heart then that means significant change and that's been scaring me.

My confidence at work (in a boring office - financial services industry) had dropped to an all time low - when I decided I needed to do something about my rut. Just over 12 months ago I found myself a coach at work, and she has been an inspiration. Our sessions have enabled me to pick up my shattered confidence and deal with the voices in my head that have been telling me "I can't".

In our last session, she tried an NLP technique called "parts integration". I tend to over analyse a lot and I didn't expect it work. But it did - big style and this is the start of my journey. One that I don't know where it will lead and one that I hope you will journey with me. Over the next few weeks I intend to diarise my journey to date and then together you can join me as my future unfolds.