‘If there is one message I want people to take away, is to never compromise being your authentic self. Even if that means making other uncomfortable’
Welcome to blog two of our deep dive into the softer side of your job hunt. Today we are going to be looking at moving away from stereotypes and negative opinions that surround stepping away from the norm. We’re going to ensure that what you are looking for not only aligns with your skills, values and beliefs. But also, makes sure that you are living your vision, making positive steps towards it and equips you on how to handle different opinions when it comes to choosing your career.
Let’s jump in…
Today we live in a society that is both positive and negative. People are able to be whomever and whatever they choose to be for the most part. Sure there are hurdles to jump over and glass ceilings to smash but on the whole, it is a much more progressive society than we’ve ever seen before – although clearly much work still needs to be done. What you may have also noticed, especially if you use the internet is that in order to get there, in order to be who you really want to be and to live the life you want, to have the job of your dreams you may have to deal with a bit of negative thinking from others around you.
The voices in our heads…
Ever since we were little we were surrounded by voices around us telling us things that we should believe about ourselves, or what we should be doing, who we should be with etc. What I’m going to tell you now is that most of those voices give us sound advice, such as:
• Make decisions that are going to provide you with security
• Live a life that makes you feel happy
• Find someone that treats you kindly and makes you feel good about yourself
• If you want to find someone who loves you, you need to love yourself first
• Everyone else’s journey is not yours – life your own life
• Surround yourself with people who inspire you
• Work hard to achieve your dreams…
But what about those voices that fill you with doubt? What about those voices that surround us that make us feel small invalidated, unsure and unmotivated? Those might sound something like:
• You want to do what? Oh no, you’re better than that!
• In my day, you wouldn’t catch anyone doing that job or looking that way
• We have worked too hard to let you do that, or be that person
• In your free time you can be whoever you want, but at home, around us you are X
• You won’t earn any money doing that – choose something else instead
• You must do this, you need to do this, you have to do this…
• But that’s for girls…
• But that’s for boys…
Why do we listen to the negative ones the most?
The thing with the second voices is that most of the time – those expressions come from people around us who have nothing but love in their hearts for us. They come from our nearest and dearest and it makes us 10x more confused because surely they are the people who should be rooting for us the most? No?
What are they really saying when they say when they say these things?
Most of the time our parents, guardians, teachers, guidance counsellors, friends have a certain expectation they place on us or even themselves, which they are incorrectly projecting onto you! If you aren’t doing what they expect, then it can cause them to feel doubt… in themselves, in what they have been teaching you and creates a feeling of uncertainty, because sometimes we want to do things that are outside of what they understand as being ‘normal’ and in some cases can also create an air of jealously as you’re doing something they have always wanted to do!
However, what I want you to understand here is that most of these negative things come from a place of real love and support – they just aren’t great at expressing it! It can also come from a place of uncertainty; where they don’t understand the world in which we live now, or the people who we surround ourselves with, or perhaps who you really want to be in your life and what you want to do.
How can this manifest in your job-hunt?
• You may feel obligated to a career you aren’t passionate about
• You may feel you need to go to university to study something you don’t care about just to please people
• You find yourself changing your mind about who you are or what you want to do to please others
• You diminish your abilities in order to not outshine your peers
• You decide on a different path because people tell you to
• You find yourself longing for another path whilst on a more traditional path
So how can you change the narrative?
Take a step back from the situation. Take the skills, values and beliefs that we looked at last time and work out what it is you want to do and who it is that you really want to be in the world.
Create a vision board – let you imagination run wild. What does your dream life look like? This is your vision board – go nuts!
• Where are you?
• What does your life look like?
• How do you feel in your life?
• Who is there with you?
• What is your dream job?
• What do you wear every day to work?
• What are you colleagues like?
• What does your office look like? Do you even have an office?
Now let’s look at the practicalities
• What qualifications do you need to get this dream job?
• Who could you talk to who’s already doing it?
• Who do you admire that’s already doing it?
• Is your life right now aligned to creating this vision?
• Are you studying the right subjects?
• What subjects do you think you need to study to get to this life?
• What experience do you think you need to get this ife?
I heard a quote yesterday from a mentor of mine ‘Faith + Miracles = Action’
It is absolutely wonderful to have these dreams, these visions – but what I would say to you is this – nothing is achievable in life unless you work at it
So my call to action for you for this blog is
1. Find out what you vision is for you life using a vision board
2. Understand what practical things you need to do to get there
3. See if the life you are living right now is equipping you to make those dreams a reality
4. Make changes, create new hobbies, get experience, work on a qualification that aligns with this vision
This right here is how you change the narrative on how you speak to those people who want the absolute best for you.
Why is action so important?
Soooo many reasons! But the main things are below
• It makes you feel like every day you are working towards something you love
• It helps you to reframe conversations to show that you have it under control
• The more research you do – the better equipped you are to have difficult or expansive conversations with people around you
• It’s fine to have the dream – but what are you doing to get there?
• It starts to make you believe that you really can be who you want to be, doing what you want to do
• If you are proactive about achieving your dreams then it will come to you!
• It makes more sense when you need to spend money, or do a boring job, or a job that ticks a lot of boxes that this is helping you reach your dream
I’ve put some personas below to help you explore this in more detail
Persona one – I am a girl of 15 and I want to be an engineer working in a big city globally, earning over £150,000 a year, in a large well-known firm, enjoying the city and thriving in my career
• I need to have mathematical, engineering, analytical or technical qualifications or experience
• I have done my research into what employers want from me from my first job
• I have found that I can do an apprenticeship with big firms in the city and they require XYZ from me in my A-levels
• I will do an apprenticeship with them and work towards a qualification
• After X years of experience after this qualification I will move on towards a new company to progress in my career
• I will try and get experience abroad to broaden my experience and knowledge
Persona two – I am a boy of 16 and I want to become a fashion designer in men’s tailoring in London, I want to be come well-known and an expert in my field because I am passionate about what I do and because I want to push the boundaries of creativity in this field
• I need to get an apprenticeship with a tailoring company within London, or within a fashion house to get experience of design – it doesn’t matter if it’s within men’s fashion or not – the experience will be beneficial
• I am going to explore what experience or qualifications other people have in the industry to make sure I am competitive
• I follow many designers on IG and I have started my own blog looking at creative designers who I admire
• After X years of experience or through an apprenticeship, after a qualification I will start to narrow down my experience specifically to men’s tailoring
Persona three – I am a person of 14, I see all these famous people on social media and I know that I want their life as they seem to be travelling and meeting people and earning money doing things they’re passionate about. However, I’m not sure exactly how to get there with my own skills
• I look back over my skills, values and beliefs and try and work out what sets me apart from the crowd or what I’m really good at
• I look at people I admire on social media and look for trends on what inspires me
• I start to develop my own identity and skill-set to create my own identity
• I perhaps start a vlog, blog, online shop
• I start to attend free talks, workshops for people who are interested in setting up their own company/brand
• I find people to speak to who are doing something similar and ask for advice
• I see if I need any further qualifications to get to where I need to go
• I look for a part-time job/full-time job in a similar industry to gain experience from a different perspective and to earn some money while I work on my dream