My name is Clara Lawrence and I am a Career Changer…
Is there a support group for Career Changers? Should I start one?
My head is so busy that it feels like a tumble dryer stuck on a never-ending cycle, churning ideas, fears and desires. I seem unable to open the door and take one single item out, every time I open the door, just the tiniest bit, everything comes crashing out and I have to forcibly tuck it away again. It’s been a week of turmoil, but I have worked a few things out…
Yesterday evening I was going out for dinner and left the house at 6.15pm to go to the station. I hummed my way along the road, loving the warm spring sunshine, forgetting that this was home time for commuters. As I arrived at the station, two train loads of people were flushed out through the entrance. I had no choice but to stand back and let them go. Heads down, barging their way to the oyster card scanner, never thinking that someone might be going the other way. A miserable herd of grey, tired and grumpy work cattle. If there is one thing that spurs me on, it is moments like this. It took less than 30 seconds to pan out in front of me, but was enough to make me realise that I am not ready to go back to that. This feeling was reinforced by the ‘Look Up’ video that went viral on social media this week. A new take on my old friend W.H. Davies’ poem ‘Leisure’ – he was clearly a man well ahead of his time.
On Tuesday I finished my mentor training with Mum Plus Mum and pretty soon I will be introduced to a mentee. The prospect is scary. When you don’t have your own life under control it is hard to imagine being a voice of reason for someone else. Our training has been emotional as we have been getting prepared for what lies ahead, but the last session was meant to end on a high. The topic was goal-setting and achievement. I realised that, for me, the essence of this career change so far has been the freedom not to set goals. I follow my heart and follow what interests me. Our trainer used lots of imagery about climbing mountains, false summits and plateaus, but the real joy in climbing mountains is surely to look back – to see the view, where you’ve been and what you have achieved.
The fears in my tumble-dryer mind are the items that fall out of the door most often. Like spare socks making a break for it. I am fearful that no Big Idea will ever come and that I will be forced back into the workhouse. I fear that I have let my family down, by not continuing to take the pay cheques. I fear that the work happiness I seek is at the end of the rainbow and totally unobtainable. The fears are inside me so I hope the answers are inside me too. I want the next stage of my Career Change Project to be less busy, and more reflective to give myself a chance to connect with my old dreams and ideas.
I am spending too much time working alone at my kitchen desk and need a new spark, so next week I plan to launch the next phase of Project Me by meeting someone new or going somewhere new every day.
All ideas welcome!