What I’ve learnt about changing continents, careers and creating a completely new life.
I’ve made some big changes in my life in the last 4 years and I’ve experienced the whirl of emotions, setbacks and leaps forward that come along with any big transition.
My changes involved moving back to the UK after 22 years in Dubai at the end of a 35-year marriage; creating a new life to support myself; shifting from paid employment to creating my own business; moving from a cosmopolitan city to a regional capital in the lovely SW of England; living in a large family home to a small sunny apartment; and from living amongst a wide circle of family, friends and connections to starting a whole new network of friendships as a single woman.
So I think I know a little about change.
As a career change coach, it’s also my business – so I know both the theory and the practice. And I know from working with clients around the world that everyone experiences change differently.
The 4 Instincts
In my own story, I discovered four clear instincts that I followed in finding my own inspiration through these changes.
First instinct - security
When I first arrived back in the UK, my initial thought was to secure a job that would help me feel settled, that used my skills and had meaning. Luckily, this didn’t take too long (6 months and 5 applications). But after a couple of years I started to realize that this had only ever been intended as a holding position and that now I was ready to start the thrilling journey of what I really wanted from this stage of my life!
Second instinct – being authentic
I dived deeper into coaching, strengthening my qualifications and experiencing the power and joy of uncovering what mattered most to me. I was on my way to founding Freestyle Careers, the work that enables me to stand in my highest values every single day, make the contribution and have the impact on people’s lives that I’d been craving and that uses my strengths and talents to perfection. I knew both rationally and intuitively that this was where I was meant to be.
The 4 stages of a career change journey
Expect some unpredictable weather, but a fulfilling destination
Third instinct – making the leap
So I started the journey from safe, reliable employment to being a solopreneur – with all the uncertainties and steep learning that go along with this choice. I became an expert in the 4 stages of transition: disorientation, accepting uncertainty, emerging clarity, and finally, integration into my new path.
Of course it wasn’t that straightforward – ups, downs, whirlwinds and so many doubts and fears were my frequent companions.
Fourth instinct – time and space to honour it
But I didn’t lose faith - and in September 2018 I started working full-time in my own business - Freestyle Careers. And it was only then that I knew I had to mark this occasion fully with my eyes wide open, with commitment, presence and intention. The result was my online course and self-guided retreat: INSPIRED ~ Starting Again with Confidence.
I had such fun developing it, testing the practices on my own retreat to the gorgeous Watergate Bay in Cornwall, deciding what to include that would help others cross their own thresholds and claim authentic futures, inspired by what they’d learnt from that experience.
My retreat - an overnight stay
Watergate Bay, Cornwall
Why this matters
From my own life, I know that we often feel over-loaded by demands on our time, drained of energy and lacking purposeful direction.
So above all else, I wanted to offer the space and time for people making significant changes in their lives to notice where they’ve come from, exactly where they now are and what their future could be.
By creating this quiet, reflective space I knew that transition would be the richer and that participants could emerge replenished, clear and confident about the next chapter of their lives.
This is a brief extract:
I believe that when we struggle long and bravely to move into a new chapter in our lives, it deserves celebrating.
I believe that overcoming setbacks, losses, and difficult obstacles, then creating a brave new world, deserves attention.
I also believe that having the courage to ask challenging questions of ourselves and answer them with a new start, demands appreciation.
For these reasons, and many more, I designed this self-guided retreat to honour all those people who write a new chapter out of difficult circumstances.
You deserve time and space to reflect, envision and embrace your hard won - and inspiring - future.
And what is INSPIRED?
An online course and self-guided retreat, INSPIRED gives you the chance to truly notice where you’ve come from, exactly where you are right now, what you want your future to be and then to claim it with clarity and confidence.
It’s launching on May 21st and you can find out more here. Or take a look at my preview video below!
It’s the perfect way to make a new start with your eyes wide open.
It’s also perfect for anyone who’s going through a big change or creating a new way of living or working. It made all the difference to me when I was creating this career change business, and could work for anyone who wants to strengthen their ability to manage this change on their own terms, empowered and true to themselves.
And your new start?
What changes are you experiencing or creating in your life? Whether moving house, country, career or finding yourself in new personal circumstances, you’ll do better to press pause and pay attention to this important transition.
What have you found most challenging in your new start and what has helped you learn to love this new life? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below…..