"I don't know what to do - but I don't want to do this": Sound Familiar?
“I don’t know what to do – I just don’t want to do this”
When people come to me for help with their career, the conversation invariably starts with all the reasons behind them falling out of love with their current role: losing motivation, not earning enough, lack of faith in their leaders, lost sight of why they did it in the first place, not seeing their family enough… the list goes on.
This is perfectly natural – it is often a time bomb of stress, uncertainty and frustration that has been ticking away for years. It’s good to talk, as the TV ad used to say – and that’s absolutely a valid part of seeking out impartial and confidential help, which is what we offer.
However, what Mightify is about is helping you make positive and lasting changes. Doing stuff. Making things happen. We don’t really deal in what I’ve heard described as “tea and sympathy” (although I do like tea). So, one of my first questions to my clients is: “What would you like to do?”
At this stage I want to make the point that 90% of people do not know the answer to this question (yet) so it is not something to see as a failure. Quite the opposite, in fact.
I’ll write it out again, because this is such a crucial point, but one that I see so many people scoot straight past. What do you want to do?
In any other area of your life, in any decision you make, you go through this thought process.
Sometimes this is simple: if you decide to commit to eating more healthily, you might decide that rather than ordering takeaway, you’ll go to the supermarket and buy fresh ingredients. Straightforward swap. Slightly more complex – you decide to change your ageing car for a newer model – there are variables like brand, colour, engine, extras… but you probably have an idea of what you want, what it looks like and what it will give you.
With careers, it often isn’t so simple. What if you only know one industry? What if you’ve only had one job since you were 18? What if your trade/skill is so niche that you feel confined to it? What if you don’t have a degree? What if the thought of networking or an interview makes your stomach turn?
Let me ask you another question, because sometimes I’m here to be annoying like that: So what?
The limiting beliefs I listed above are ones I hear regularly, and to be honest most of them aren’t relevant. They’re things that can be worked on, worked round, ignored full stop. It just takes a bit of work in the right areas, commitment and an acceptance that it might take a little time. Like anything worth having, then.
Never lose sight of the end goal – why are you doing this? Why do you want to move or change?
Would you rather:
a) spend a month – maybe 6 months, maybe a year or more – going outside your comfort zone and working on weaknesses (perceived or real) to get what you want
b) do what you do now, stay where you are and have what you have, feeling the same way
I’ll give you a clue – all those people who are described using phrases like “he/she’s done well”, “turned out alright for him/her”, “lucky bastard”, “how did he/she manage that” – chose a).
Here are some of our top tips to get the ball rolling when you feel overwhelmed:
1. Please do steps 2-5 (at least) before you go anywhere near Indeed, Reed, Monster et al.
2. Start from the end goal, and don’t be afraid to stick to what you really want. If it’s a salary figure, weekends off, relocating to the country… it’s your life so you choose.
3. Make an honest assessment of what you need on a practical level. Maybe even split into “survival”, “comfortable” and “dream” levels of income/time/practicality. Be realistic – sometimes a close friend (or a coach..) can be good for accountability here.
4. Write down some things that you are interested in or that excite you – remember at this stage nothing is discounted, get your ideas out there and we can funnel them down later!
5. Ask. Know someone in an industry you fancy? Wondering how someone got where they are given their background? Curious about someone’s job/role/city? Ask them!
Otherwise, I’ll wager that within a week you’ll be scrolling those big job boards getting progressively more demoralised – which will only reinforce that negative nonsense about what you can’t do.
We really don’t want that to happen. I get so frustrated when I hear people with so much to offer tell me that they are stuck where they are and have no skills. It just isn’t true of anyone in the emergency services.
Our “menu” of services is pretty simple. We help you get from where you are to where you want to be. You can enlist our help to do one specific task: CV, LinkedIn, cover letters, research opportunities for you, interview prep or specific application processes. Alternatively, if perhaps you are at square one or really have fire in your belly to make it happen – we roll our expertise in all these areas into structured, bespoke programmes.
Want some help or advice? Ask!