I changed my life. I ditched a career I hated and started a new one I loved. It wasn’t easy, but by following my 20 steps, I can help make it easier for you. Here are the first 10 …
1. Congratulate yourself that you were curious to question things – most people don’t.
2. Don’t be hard on yourself. To struggle is part of being human.
3. Be honest with yourself. What you are about to start involves getting out of your comfort zone and, by definition, getting out of your comfort zone puts you in an uncomfortable place. So ask yourself whether you are happy to stomach a bit of discomfort for the greater good. If the answer is no, fair enough – at least you’re being honest with yourself.
4. I’m sorry to break this to you, but you don’t have all the time in the world. If you want to change your life and want to do something you love and have a more meaningful life, get off your ass and do something about it. Now.
5. Some people are gifted – they know from an early age exactly what they want in their lives. Some don’t, and some (like me) ignore what they want and opt for a comfortable existence. If you belong to the last two groups, now is the time to find out what you want.
6. You have so many skills that you don’t even realise. When I started the life of an adventurer and a film-maker, I discovered that my financial skills helped me to budget better than many other adventurers and film-makers that have been doing this their whole lives. The organisational skills that I picked up during my time in finance – attention to detail, project management, etc – all were transferable skills that I was able to use in my new life. Don’t underestimate the things that you know. You have skills, so use them.
7. And what if you don’t actually know what it is you want to do? Then join the club. I’ve been there. Many have. Finding out what you want to do is difficult, but not impossible. Think about what makes you happy, and what made you happy when you were a little kid. It doesn’t matter how childish and crazy it gets. Think about your hobbies. Think about the things you’d rather spend your time doing. For me, it was travel and adventure. Once I was certain about it, I decided to make a living out of what I love. Do you like playing ping-pong, doing graphite, sports, travel, going to gigs, making films, climbing mountains? Or something entirely different? Whatever it is, go and do it. And, while you’re doing it, think about how you can make a living from it.
8. Money matters. Call me materialistic, but you need to earn money. You need to earn good money. Why not? Earning good money whilst doing something you love is the best thing in the world. But without earning, your new career will be unsustainable. It will become merely a passion rather than a career.
9. Dream big. It’s a cliché but it’s the truth. People who laugh at your dream probably don’t have a dream of their own. You shouldn’t put any limits on your dreams.
10. Be realistic. Think in relative terms. If you want to make a career out of music and you are in your forties, it’s highly unlikely you’ll become the next Arctic Monkeys or Kasabian. However, you could become a good band manager.
Be sure to check back in next Sunday (5th Feb) for the final 10 steps on how to change your career.
My book, ‘Kapp to Cape’ is available for pre-order here and will be released on 9th Feb.
If you’d like to meet me in person, feel free to come along to my book launch – 6.30pm-8.00pm, 15th Feb, Stanford’s Bookshop, Covent Garden, London.