For Anyone Suffering With Career Shame.

You know that feeling when someone new asks you what you do for a living and you want to pretend that you're getting a phone call to get out of talking about your job. If that sounds familiar then check this out.

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Let’s talk about career shame. It’s a very real thing and not only do I hear it all the time, I’ve also experienced it.

I’ll start by telling you about me. I worked as a full time hair stylist for about 8 years, at first I really enjoyed it, I loved being creative and connecting with people but after about 6 years I started to get really bored.

I rode it out for a while thinking that I was just tired and needed a holiday or something, but no amount of time off stopped the dread I was feeling about going back to work. It felt like the life force was being sucked out of me (I know that sounds super dramatic but I’m painting a picture here).

In the end I couldn’t take it any longer, I was so out of alignment with what I wanted to do and how I wanted to live that I knew I had to make some big changes!

This was the first time I tried to start a business. I had trained as a Pilates instructor while working at the salon and finally plucked up the courage to take it on full time.

I wasn’t going to work for somebody else though, years and years of working late nights and weekends had made me determined to be totally in control of when and where I worked, so I became a freelance teacher and looked at renting my own space.

Prior to this I had spent at least a year complaining to just about anyone who’d listen about how much I hated my job. Then when I began my instructor training and made it known that I was going to be doing it full time, it was all anyone would ask me about.

I began to feel the pressure, starting a business was a totally new thing for me. I had no idea how to do it and I was spending hours upon hours trying to google everything about marketing myself. It was so overwhelming and the work was slow going.

To top it off, I had come to realise that Pilates teaching wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life either! So when people would ask me about it I felt instant shame and embarrassment about my attempt at being a successful adult who had her sh*t together.

I was constantly feeling like I had to justify myself to others and conceal the sad truth that was my life and my business.

It’s such a sucky place to be, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. (Great advice right).

I see this a lot when I speak to people, the inevitable question comes up when you meet someone for the first time, “What do you do?”. Instantly they get all small and shifty and start rambling about I T or something, prefacing it with, “Oh it’s really boring.”

I recognise that career shame a mile off!

Here’s how you fix it…

1- Realise that you always have a choice.

Please don’t be of the mindset that you have no control and that life just happens to you. There is always a way you can make your life awesome and do that cool thing you’ve always wanted to. Firstly, you have to believe it and secondly, you gotta break it down into tiny manageable chunks so that you can actually make it happen.

2- Change the definition and answer to the, “What do you do?” question.

What you do for a living doesn’t define you. Where you’ve been and where you are now doesn’t dictate where you can go. The only limits you have are the ones you’ve put on yourself.

Change your answer to that question and tell people what you will do, what your dreams are and what your future holds.

Start inspiring yourself by dreaming big instead of feeling like you have to be perfect now.

If you do these 2 simple things, you will be amazed at what happens.

By opening up my mind and dreaming big I have found that thing that fulfils me and have created a successful business doing it.

Maybe you have an entrepreneurial streak, a message or a unique skill and you just feel you need permission to make it happen. You don’t need permission! What you do need is to remember that life is too short to waste feeling bored and unfulfilled by your career. It’s time to take control and start doing your thing.

Amy Shefik

Happiness Coach, The Fierce Flamingo

I help people navigate their way through the challenges and expectations of being a grown up in modern society, whilst building happiness, self-worth and having more fun.