“What If It All Turns Out To Be A Big, Embarrassing Mistake?”

Christine has an exciting idea for her future career, but she's scared to make the leap in case it all goes wrong. Is it ever worth risking everything you have for something you can't be sure of?

What's your career history and current job?

I'm a property solicitor.

I converted to Law after my linguistics degree and I've been in property law ever since.

How do you feel about your work?

I'm grateful for the time I've had here, but honestly, I'm bored.

It's hard to say because I've achieved a lot of great things with the company. I'm outwardly very successful, but recently I've felt like I'm climbing a ladder that I don't want to be at the top of. I'm just climbing for the sake of climbing, not because I'm actually motivated and inspired to do better.

It feels fake.

It's really hard to admit this, actually. I feel ungrateful and selfish, because I'm making a good living and everyone I know is proud of me. I'm not sure why I'm not proud, too, but I'm not. Sometimes I really wonder what's wrong with me: why can't I enjoy this success?

I'm living a dream, but it's someone else's dream, not mine.

What would you like to be doing instead?

I want to run a lifestyle website, coaching women like me who are successful, but who feel like their success at work is all they've got.

I imagine a health and well-being section, and a section on relationships, and maybe something around starting projects outside work that fulfil them. I'd want to create a support system or community for women, and maybe offer one-on-one coaching and support.

I spent a long time when I first realised I was unhappy at work looking at blogs and websites like these, and I've always been really inspired by the businesses that have been created around them. Every time I imagine doing something different, that's what I picture myself doing.

What's the biggest obstacle in your way?

It just feels like such a risky move.

I know I love the idea of working for myself, but taking the step feels so hard. There's nobody to hide behind and nobody to rely on; it'll just be me, putting myself out there and every time I think about it I feel so vulnerable.

What if I'm no good? What if people don't want what I have to provide? What will my friends and family think? They already think I'm crazy for considering this; it would be awful if it all went wrong.

And I don't know anything about running a business like this, really. I know what it looks like from the outside, but what if I leave my job and get started and it turns out to be a big mistake?

Can you help Christine?
  • Have you been in a similar situation, or are you in the same boat right now?
  • Do you know anyone she could talk to?
  • What could she do to feel more confident in her career change, and minimise the risks?

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