“I felt confident that if I pushed myself and took a leap of faith, something would come my way.”
What work were you doing previously?
I worked in the City of London for a bank.
What are you doing now?
I am self-employed as a Property Consultant.
Why did you change?
After over twenty years in the City, I decided that I needed a career change. A personal change in my life was probably the greater force. I don't think I realised that at the time.
When was the moment you decided to make the change?
When I arrived back from two weeks holiday and found 2,000+ emails in my inbox. I realised I didn't actually have to answer them; I had a choice. I got up and resigned immediately.
Are you happy with the change?
Yes, very happy. I'm loving it.
What do you miss and what don't you miss?
I miss nothing except the people. It's always about who you work with.
How did you go about making the shift?
After I quit, I had no fixed idea what I wanted to do. However, I felt confident that if I pushed myself and took a leap of faith, something would come my way.
I rested for a month, did nothing, read, lay about and stopped worrying about what may happen. I then traveled to Italy and France. I tried just to 'be'. I made an effort not to think of work or any fears that I may have had. I know it sounds strange but I wanted to feel unattached to any outcome, good or bad. It was hard mentally. I fought with myself every day.
When I got back I wanted to do something fun also to make me feel motivated. I had always had an interest in wine so decided to take a wine course at the WSET School. I loved the freedom and was excited about meeting others with a similar passion. I also made some good contacts and thought maybe this would be a good industry to carve a career in.
After the course, I pounded the streets of London and talked to as many people I could who ran independent wine shops or vintners (maybe fifty in total). They were more than happy to give me their time and talk of their experiences. I also drank a lot of wine!
As I explored my options and spoke to people in the trade, I found that while I certainly enjoyed the tasting of wine, it was just not the career for me.
I felt relief, that I had explored an option and gained valuable insight so that I could let it go.
At the same time, I was also looking to move house, and had been to see Majestic, as they have free wine-tastings. I was in a rush but had seen an Estate Agent which I had never seen before and they had a property in the window I liked. I looked them up, found that were a franchise agency, and that they were looking for agents in the property business.
I called to arrange a meeting and was invited to attend a seminar which I did. I loved the buzz and the social aspect of it. There was a wide range of people from various backgrounds who were seeking self-employment.
I had a great sense of feeling that this is something I could enjoy doing. It was fun, and met my desire to help others find something they were looking for.
I made an application and got accepted.
I knew I was on my way. I had freedom, I was largely self-employed but with the support of a larger organisation. I have not looked back since and all the imaginary fears of course never materialised.
How did you handle your finances to make your change possible?
The largest support was from my partner, and some savings. I had faith that it would be OK. Mental strength is 90% of the battle.
What was the most difficult thing about changing?
Just finding the courage to do it. Once you make the decision everything becomes an opportunity.
What help did you get?
Careershifters helped guide me in my decision-making process. What I found important was to ask yourself the question: ‘What is it you want?’.
What have you learnt in the process?
To be true to myself at all cost. You must be who you are, not what others want you to be. For me this is non-negotiable.
What do you wish you'd done differently?
Make the decision much earlier.
What would you advise others to do in the same situation?
Believe in yourself and let go of ANY fear you have. Fear only exists in our head, and we put it there.
What resources would you recommend to others?
Careershifters to help guide you with both the practical and reflective aspects of the change. I found meditation also helped a lot.
What lessons could you take from Glen's story to use in your own career change? Let us know in the comments below.