How to make a leap from an unfulfilling career
I first discovered Onpartu when I was still working as lawyer in the City seeking a side project where I could do something different and help make a meaningful impact – and so I joined Onpartu’s social media team. I’ve since moved on, but I LOVE following Onpartu’s journey and seeing the amazing impact it has on the lives on many women! Now I’m grateful to be able to write this guest blog post and share my story with you.
18 months ago I quit my career as a City lawyer and took a leap into the unknown . I walked away from everything I had invested in that career – 4 years of study and 6 years working at a corporate law firm. At the time, some people thought I was crazy. To me, it just felt right. I walked away from a “successful” career – never to look back again….
Now I’m a Freedom Coach + Strategist, specialising in helping ambitious women free themselves from unfulfilling careers, define and live out their version of success. I work remotely as a “digital nomad” mainly from Bali but I split my time between here, the UK and travelling wherever my soul takes me. This is a far cry from my previous way of living and working.
In the end, I was fed up of gravitating to the same office everyday, working in an environment which didn’t inspire me and doing work which lacked meaningful impact and purpose. Ok, so my life isn’t that Instagram perfect picture ALL of the time now, BUT there are plenty of awesome bits. When I’m riding my scooter through the Balinese rice field on the way to work from Dojo, a co-working space (only bare feet allowed) my heart literally does a cartwheel. I’m surrounded by things I love – yoga, surfing, beach bootcamps and healthy food. And I work with amazing women to create the freedom they crave and do work they are passionate about to make their impact on the world – cue a further heart cartwheel.
I realise now that I had been living and working in accordance with society’s version of success. I accepted that having a “successful” career is supposed to be hard work, involve long hours, not be enjoyable, and make you live for the weekends and get that dread feeling on a Sunday evening. I wasn’t willing to settle for that anymore so I went on to define and live out my own version of success and fulfilment - and now I help other women do the same.
Success, freedom and purpose are different for every woman. I get that living a digital nomad style life is not for all, but I want every woman who feels stuck and unfulfilled in their career to know that making a change is possible! Whatever degree of change that is for them and whatever their definition of success is. Believe in yourself, believe in your dreams and go for it.
So how do you actually go about it? It can be a deep and lengthy process. I’ve created the manageable framework below to help you in your journey.
MINDSET – Get out of your own way
Deal with any limiting beliefs you’re imposing on yourself about taking a leap and doing something different. I get it – fears of the unknown, fear of failure and worrying about what other’s will think etc. Most people experience all or some of these, I certainly did.
How do you manage these limitations? There are so many ways. Two example tips:
Write down all of the times you have succeeded in something, in ANYTHING. It doesn’t have to be in a work context. I bet you create a really long list. You clearly have the capability to succeed. What was your key to success in each of those things?
Absorb yourself with inspiration from others who have taken leaps that paid off and reduce negative chatter around you. Read biographies, listen to podcasts of people who have succeeded, join community Facebook groups with people on the same journey.
YOU – Get clear on your passions, values and skills
Many women who feel unfulfilled know that they don’t want to settle anymore but they are not sure what an alternative would look like. Often they’ve lost touch with who they are and what makes them tick. Self discovery is a critical component to getting clear on your passions and purpose to move forward into your freedom life.
Get clear on what you’re passionate about. Not just in a working context but in life. What do you love to do? What makes you light up? When do you shine your brightest?
What do you value the most and won’t compromise on? For me one of my core value was freedom – freedom to live and work where / how I want. For you this may be money, family, being in a city, helping other people, the environment etc.
Understand your zones of genius – what are you awesome at? But map this carefully against passions and values – avoid going into something only because you’re good at it.
Once you get clear on your skills, what you love and value, you can start to shape the work and life you want to live. You will probably see that opportunities will start to present themselves - getting clarity brings more vision – you see things you didn’t see before.
TAKE ACTION – Make your passions and vision a reality
Now work backwards from the passion based life you’ve painted out for yourself. What action do you need to take to get there? Create a plan and get to action.
It may be a longer-term plan, but what step could you take today to get you closer to it? What small step could you take every day? Just one month of taking a small step everyday amounts to 30 days of action!
My leap isn’t specific to the legal world or the coaching industry. Anyone can do it. I meet and work with amazing women all the time we have taken various leaps from and into all sorts, examples include: from the military to starting an NGO, marketing executive to English teacher abroad, fashion sales assistant to motivational coach, IT specialist to a travelling yoga blogger. ANYTHING is possible.
I invite every woman to think about what “success” means to her and to know that it’s ok to quit something that doesn’t allow you to shine your brightest. Rather than “quit”, I think the word “surrender” is more appropriate. Surrender to new things, opportunities, people and places. It’s full of prospect and personal growth.
Wishing you all the best with your journey to freedom, fulfilment and success.
With love from Bali,
Lauren Kay | Freedom Coach + Strategist
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