How many people do you know who work in their dream job? According to a study conducted by the mattress maker (yes!) Simba, 9 out of 10 people in the UK are not. Yet, according to a Perkbox study, 64% of adults still wish they would have pursued their childhood dream job. 43% felt they didn’t have the resources, support or talent to pursue the career they longed for. I think many of us can identify with their feelings.
The pandemic has put another dent in our ambitions: Two in five of 15-16-year-olds believe they will “never have a job I really love“. That’s a sobering statistic. How did we end up here?
From a young age, we are trained to listen to others who “know best”- our teacher, our professor at University, a family friend. We assume that they have the answers we are looking for – after all, they are educators or specialists in their chosen profession. But we want more than that: we want a dream job. Many of them haven’t chosen their dream career, following advice from others instead, so how should they guide us?
If we want to create a career that suits our personality and talents, we have to actively lookout for new role models. We can learn from those who pushed through despite the circumstances. Reggie Nelson, who grew up on a council estate and decided to break the circle of poverty after being excluded from school and having run-ins with the law, is a good example. He wanted to learn from wealthy people how they had reached their goals. A poor area in East London wasn’t precisely the place for that, so he travelled to Kensington, London’s most affluent borough, and knocked at its inhabitants’ doors, politely asking if they could tell him how to get where they are. One woman, Elizabeth Price, was so amazed that she introduced him to her husband. Quintin Price was equally impressed, eventually getting him the work experience he needed- and a mentor. Today, Nelson now has his dream job in investment management and shows others how they can reach their goals.
You don’t have to adapt such unconventional methods. All you need to find is the one person who inspires you to change and gives you the tools to create the life you planned for yourself. If they’re excellent, they might even find hidden talents and bring out grit and determination you never knew you had. As is so often the case, the Americans found a term and a profession for it: The business coach.
The origins of coaching
The coaching history is relatively short: an American financial planner, Thomas Leonard, is credited with its invention. He observed that many of his clients did not need therapy but guidance in some areas of their life. Gradually, he became their career counsellor, financial advisor and life guide. His book “the portable coach” combined the strategies he used with his clients and was groundbreaking. In the 1990s, he was also the first person to develop a coach-training program and one of the International Coaching Federation co-founders, the first organisation to create industry standards in that field. That was necessary to ensure clients received the right help and show sceptics that this new trend wasn’t just a fad to make more money.
Before Leonard, another American had made waves with his book “the inner game of Tennis”. Timothy Gallwey had observed that tennis consisted of an “inner” and an “outer” game; Players fought against an opponent as well as themselves. They often were their own worst enemy by doubting their abilities. Gallwey stated that this created mental mind blocks which hindered their success. When his book came out in 1972, it quickly became a bestseller and enriched discussions at many dinner parties.
Today, the coach’s image is diverse- every aspect of your life can be improved by the right one, be it business, health or mind. Despite Leonards’ best efforts, the term is still not protected in many countries, a fact that leads to the many self-styled life coaches that grace Instagram.
Many of us can’t identify with the coaches we see online- what we can call the “Dubai lifestyle”. We don’t want camels and bikinis (well, not ALL the time); we want a job we love and a career we can look forward to and work on strategically.
But how can you get there?
Why group coaching makes a difference
Many of us have been told for years what we should and shouldn’t do when it comes to jobs and finances- get a stable job, study law, apply for the right uni – but to live our truth and the life that is destined for us we have to relearn how to think about a career. Yes, we need others to find our way, but we need feedback from those in the same situation and can relate to our struggles. Those who want to grow are ambitious enough to push their boundaries but only want to compete with themselves, not other women. When we exchange ideas and tap into others’ expert knowledge, light bulb moments pop up everywhere.
The Career Clubhouse is a space for you to own your goals and rise above your inner and outer challenges. You don’t need to justify your ambitions; the members (I call them Phenoms because they are simply phenomenal!) want the same.
We might have different ideas about how our dream job should look and feel, but we share the same vision – a life lived with purpose and self-awareness. Coaching is a unique opportunity for that to happen. The group coaching is unbiased and utterly focused on the things beneficial for ourselves. It will increase your confidence to step into unknown paths and forge your dream career- so you can become the one person out of 10 who can say: “yes, I work in my dream job.”