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I'm back from a week away in rural Dorset with my 82-year-old mother
and my beloved dog. It was very relaxing and lovely to spend time with
both of them. My mother is one of those people who is always keen to
learn and experience new things - within the limitations of her age
which doesn't seem to stop her doing too much!
on her attitude to life got me thinking about my clients and the fear
that can hold them back. Fear of the unknown. Fear of making a mistake.
Fear of making the wrong move.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the "R" stage of the DREAM process which is to Refine your career
possibilities. We looked at how helpful it can be to truly experience a
career possibility before making moves towards it; so that you can check
that it will fit you like a glove.
recently been rereading "How to Find Fulfilling Work" by Roman Krznaric
(part of the School of Life). He advocates experimenting with different
careers before making any concrete decisions. This way you get to "try
before you buy" to make sure that you would really and truly thrive in a
way of doing this is to take what Krznaric refers to as a "radical
sabbatical". This involves granting yourself some dedicated time to
explore career possibilities via job shadowing or volunteering in
organisations which you find appealing. He tells the story of Laura van
Bouchout, a Belgian woman in her late twenties, who couldn't quite
settle on a career. She decided to conduct an experiment and to try out
30 different careers before her 30th birthday.
got a part-time job to pay the bills and then used the rest of her time
to contact people who she thought had dream jobs or interesting careers
and then asked to follow them or work with them for at least three
days. The list of careers she tried out included a fashion photographer,
a bed-and-breakfast review writer, a creative director at an
advertising agency, an owner of a cat hotel, a member of the European
parliament, a director of a recycling centre and a manager of a youth
likened the experience to dating inasmuch as you might meet a potential
partner that ticks all your boxes but there's no spark or, conversely,
someone that doesn't fit the bill on paper but sweeps you off your feet.
Thus by trying out these different careers, you can see which one
creates that spark.
experimentation is really helpful in reducing some of the fear about
making a misstep. Krznaric advocates continually conducting such
experiments throughout your career, even when you are happy in your
What to do now
you have a list of career possibilities you'd like to explore, why not
spend some of your leisure time work shadowing or volunteering in that
area? Tap into your network and see what ideas for a radical sabbatical
you can come up with. This new service https://www.bravestarts.com/ might be able to help pair you up with someone you'd like to work shadow.
for me, writing this email has reminded me of a job I was coveting some
years ago. It is the job of Features Editor of Country Walking magazine
because she seems to always be going on amazing long distance walks and
then gets to write about them and also gets paid for it. I have her
contact details and am minded to connect with her to find out more.
That's a career possibility for my future self! I'll let you know how I
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