After I moved to England, I went from a kitchen porter with poor English washing dishes in a local pie and mash shop to an accounts payable manager in six-seven years. So if you are right now not happy with or struggling in your career I can relate to that.
That feeling of wanting to grow professionally and that feeling of not being happy where you are right now is something I know very well. Somehow my curiosity, restlessness and drive helped me to move forward and led me to go into accounting, gain promotions and after a few years of working in a finance team, I got my dream job as a manager. At this point I was supposed to feel happy and fulfilled, right?
But I wasn’t. I felt something … something strange and at that time I was not even able to use words to describe it.
Well, I just wish that five years ago someone had told me that what I went through in my career was rather normal. I wish I knew at that time that career coach is someone who can help me find a new direction.
I didn’t know that there is such a thing like a career coach until my colleague asked me why I don’t I become one? But that is a different story.
Let me share first how it all started …
I was in my early thirties. One day I came to work and overheard a conversation where my colleagues talked about retirement. All of sudden, I stopped typing. I looked around and then I looked at my desk. I saw my computer and a mountain of invoices. I looked through my mailbox flooded with unanswered emails. Suddenly, my inner voice started to count “thirty, thirty-five, forty-five, fifty-five, sixty-five …” and then questioned, “Do you want to do this for the rest of your career – next thirty-five years?”
The answer came out straight and scared me “No, I don’t!”
I was certainly not expecting this. In fact, I thought I just had it all figured out.
I chose finance career because I liked working with numbers, I liked accounting and it made sense to me. After years of studying and hard work, I got promoted and became a manager. My long-desired dream came true.
My career dream came true. I should be happy.
How come I found myself questioning that this is not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life? It just didn’t make any sense to me at all.
To be honest I did not pay much attention to this inner inquiry at first. It scared me and I somehow convinced myself that a finance career is something I should follow. I dedicated years to it. My parents and I paid for my studies. I worked my butt off, so why should I give it up? I ignored my inner voice …
Then I experienced another surprise. My mum came to visit me from Slovakia for Christmas. I couldn’t wait to spend Christmas together and celebrate. Just as we were preparing for the dinner my mum asked me “What is happening with you? I no longer recognise the happy daughter I used to know?!”
Ouch, I was not expecting this kind of conversation.
So I asked my mum to explain what she meant. She continued with her gentle voice …. “Well, you know you seem to be overworked, exhausted and also somehow you lost your zest for life … “ As much as I didn’t like hearing this, my mum was right.
I got stuck. I was in a career that I liked and that I chose. I achieved my goal and somehow it was time to move forward. But I didn’t know what to do next. I didn’t know what else except finance I could do. I was scared to give it all up. I doubted myself. I questioned if I find something better. I worried that I may not be good enough at something else. I had many questions and zero answers.
No matter how many mini-breaks or holidays I went on I always returned to my office desk reminding me that I had to do something. (Btw the picture on the top is from my travels to Canada, which I absolutely loved).
But above all, I felt embarrassed to talk about it. I kept it all inside, hoping that this confusion and frustration would go away somehow one day. They did not …
This was then. My life and career look very different now. I became finance manager for global teams and a career coach. My work fulfils me. Apart from day-to-day challenges my days are filled with childlike curiosity, adventure, and joy.
And this is the reason why there is this blog about the dream job and career change.
I’d like to write about the topics that are so common in our careers but yet we are afraid and worried to talk about them.
What can you take away from it?
I hope that you can take away encouragement, inspiration, and courage to make changes that can lead you to experience joy, fulfilment and success in your own career and life.
Ps: And if you are looking for a safe space where having conversations about confusion, frustration and lack of clarity in your career is rather normal, then I invite you to join our Facebook group – ZERO TO DREAM JOB CLUB.
Author: AdriAna Kosovska
Professional and certified coach & founder of ZERO TO DREAM JOB ACADEMY
I work with employees, couples and organisations that care about
Stress reduction | Talents and strengths development | Dream job