Living out your dream

I was talking to a friend yesterday about her daughter, who ever since she was a little girl, loved books, and wanted to write. Now 18, she has landed an internship with a Global Publishing House in Australia, and is seen to be a future talent within this highly competitive industry.

What a fabulous example of doing what you love; of carrying a vision, a plan, and making it happen, even from a very young age.

When we are young, the world is our oyster; we think we can turn our hand to just about anything and everything, and we believe we can do that too. But once the responsibilities of adulthood kick in, our choices become filtered and quite often we choose what is practical or, in the corporate world, the linear route of vertical progression because that is what the traditional notion of a career is all about.

I was in this mindset too; despite having a love for literature and languages at school, I chose to study Business Management at university (how I cringe now!) which set me on the course that shaped my career, my life, who I am.

It was only when I stepped off the hamster wheel of corporate life during my maternity leave and career break when I began to re-live the child-like tendencies of wonder and excitement about ‘what I will do when I grow up’, in this case, when my daughter went to school. And so began a never ending list of ideas, from landscape gardening (I don’t know a weed from a prize-winning rose!) to teaching, to being a personal trainer or a travel agent, which kept my brain ticking over during the many all nighters I pulled when my daughter decided to play at 2am rather than sleep.

By analysing each idea, and asking myself ‘what is it about that idea that appeals to me?’ I was able to identify the themes that stood out, such as creativity, helping other people, being able to work flexibly, that I was able to get a clearer picture of what it was that I really thought I would be able to do.

I recently qualified as a Firework certified career coach, to enable me to help others make their own career transition, and learned that my approach to coming up with lots of ideas, however silly, wasn’t silly at all! Without realising, I was building my own Ideas Bank, the very first step to working out what it is that you love to do.

A long maternity leave is often ridiculed in the press for being detrimental to your career; whilst it might be if you yearn for the vertical, traditional career progression a large corporate can offer. An alternative view is that it actually becomes a catalyst for helping you to become clearer on your values, your amazing strengths, the passions that have been long sent to the back of your brain because there just isn’t time for playing the saxophone or writing a book or rock climbing amongst the busyness of corporate life.

I’m now thrilled to have created a portfolio of work where I can help others create the space in their lives to consider what is important to them; a creative, flexible role, just what I was yearning for during those long nights.

I’d love to help you. Because it’s never too late to live out your dream.