“I’ve Figured Out What I Want To Do. How Do I Take The Next Step?”

Karolina finally knows where she wants to shift to in her career. But while she's clear about the 'what', she's not so sure about the 'how'. What do you do when you can see your destination, but there's no clear path to get there?

What's your career history and current job?

I've been working as an accountant for an international marketing company for more than five years.

Initially, when I started out, I thought it was a fantastic career path. It's financially rewarding, it's secure and there are lots of job opportunities.

I studied hard to get my qualifications, even though I don't enjoy studying, because I knew it was the right thing to do if I wanted to move up in the industry, which I did at the time.

How do you feel about your work?

The more time goes by, the more I'm realising that this isn't the right role for me.

Day after day, month after month, year after year, it's the same routine. It isn't challenging or fulfilling, and it doesn't excite me. People tell me I should be happy because the money is good and the work is flexible, but that just isn't enough.

I'm approaching 40, and I wonder if that's partly why I've had trouble with anxiety during this time, but it's also more than that – I don't want to turn 50 and find that all I've done in my life is accountancy. I know I'm capable of so much more.

I've been seeing a career coach, listening to a lot of motivational talks and attending some workshops, and I've started to make lots of small steps towards working out what I want to do. I know now that in order to be happy, you first have to be open minded about your options.

I'm feeling positive about the future now. I believe in myself and the path I'm about to take.

What would you like to be doing instead?

I have a passion for fitness, healthy lifestyles, and for helping people.

I want to inspire people to have a positive mental attitude towards their own fitness goals by moving into coaching. I'd like to start up my own business providing some sort of fitness coaching services, to be able to help people find the solutions to their problems.

Even though I'm stepping into the unknown – this is so far removed from accountancy – I finally feel good about it.

I do still have my down days. It can feel overwhelming and I doubt myself sometimes. There are people out there with more experience and qualifications than me, why should I get anywhere? But I'm 100% sure that this is what I want to do.

I'm using myself as a guinea pig, in a way: applying the different techniques that I have learned to cope with change and increase self-belief, so that I can be sure that the service I provide will be valuable for other people.

I'm doing a sports psychology diploma and have also done a course in how to deal with anxiety. I may do courses in nutrition, and possibly cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), too.

What's the biggest obstacle in your way?

I don't have a deadline, or an actual plan.

I've never created a business plan before. There's so much information out there; it can be overwhelming deciding what to do next.

I spend a lot of time thinking about everything that is involved, but I get confused and don't know how to approach it.

I think I need some help to create a structure. I'm confident that I can deliver the fitness coaching services, but I don't know anything about marketing, business plans, insurance, or any of those things.

I wonder if having a mentor would help. I feel like I could work well with someone in a similar position to me, someone who is also starting out in an area of business that I don't know about and who could use me as a guinea pig!

How do I execute my ideas? How do I make money from them? How do I take the next step?

Can you help Karolina?

  • Have you been in a similar situation, or are you in the same boat right now?
  • How do you think Karolina could move her shift forwards?
  • Do you know anyone she could talk to?

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