‘Hi, I’d like to sign up to run the New York City Marathon to benefit your charity. My dad had a heart attack a couple of weeks ago and I want to support the Heart Foundation.’
I wrote those words in an email back in January of 2009.
What had happened was: my parents had got off the plane to come and visit me in Melbourne, Australia, and my dad was having trouble walking.
For a while, we all thought that he’d had a bit too much to drink on the flight over!
The actual problem was something much more serious.
After he’d gone to the hospital, received treatment for his heart attack, and was in recovery, I knew that I wanted to do something in his honor and in honor of all the people who’d taken care of him.
Incredibly for me, the Heart Foundation wrote back and said YES.
So suddenly, I was signed up for the 2009 Marathon in New York – even though I couldn’t run more than 5 KM at the time.
(This was back in my early thirties, when I was still kind of a party girl – going out for drinks most weekends, and definitely NOT obsessing over being fit or running long distances…!)
Did I mention that I also had to raise $12,000 for charity to take part in the marathon?
Well, throwing fundraisers and events actually turned out to be heaps of fun…
And I not only successfully completed the marathon, but I ultimately went on to do a triathlon in 2015 in Noosa – the biggest triathlon in the Southern Hemisphere. I signed up for that one to change my mindset around turning 40 and to give my fitness habits another good kick up the arse!
In both cases, though, I was surprised at how much the events ended up being almost more mentally than physically challenging. (Although they were definitely physically difficult too!)
Essentially, to give myself a fighting chance at accomplishing each of them, I had to sign up for reasons that were REALLY important to me.
I also chose two very big, world-famous events to give myself the motivation I needed to keep going and follow through on my initial commitment.
And I had to force myself NOT to focus on the enormity of what I was trying to achieve or on the huge distances I was trying to cover, and to instead just take it one mile at a time, training session by training session.
Honestly, the same strategies hold true for career transitions.
Whether you’re trying to move up to the next level in your job, to change companies or roles, or to switch industries altogether, the prospect of figuring out where you want to go and actually putting in the work you need to do to get there can often feel insurmountable.
But just as I kept myself motivated for my marathon training by reminding myself why I’d signed up for it in the first place (for my dad, and to raise money for others suffering from heart problems…), and also kept imagining the eventual thrill of running through an amazing city with thousands of other people in New York to make myself enthusiastic, I know that YOU can also keep your mindset where it needs to be to succeed in your career change.
Here are your three simple steps to follow:
- Focus on the reasons driving you to make your career move and why it’s so important for you to do this.
- Stay positive by regularly dreaming of how great your new job will be and how it will have an amazing impact on multiple areas of your life.
- And, rather than getting letting yourself get overwhelmed thinking about things like CVs, cover letters, networking events, LinkedIn profiles, and interviews, aim to break down every step of your job hunt into bite-size, manageable tasks.
Also don’t forget to:
- Get clear on what your fantasy career actually looks like IN DETAIL, so you can be specific and use that vision to keep yourself motivated.
- Focus on completing each of your smaller steps – such as updating your LinkedIn profile or doing some research into potential ideal companies – one by one, in order to give yourself the best possible chance at completing your marathon.
Because seriously, making a change in your career shouldn’t be a blind, breathless sprint to whichever random company sends you a job offer first.
Instead, you want to be strategic.
You want to pace yourself, and move in a purposeful direction that will keep you on the right track to working in a career you LOVE.
If you want any help with landing your dream role (or simply with figuring out what your dream role even IS, so you can create a clear plan to land it!), send me an email to set up a free discovery call.
Let’s keep working together towards a world where more people love what they do!