Monday 26 July 2010


Hello Charmian,

I see you're unhappy with your job in a call centre and the lifestyle it imposes. Work takes up nearly half our waking lives and so being in a job you aren't passionate about is a waste of life, and the bleed-over affects of being unhappy at work often pollute your personal life when you get home. But most jobs feel like a trap - you need the money, you don't know what else you'd do and perhaps there's fear of change - better the devil you know - in there, too.

You've already spelled out that you hate about the job; in coaching, we take a step which most people don't bother with - we ask what you WOULD like. You might try asking yourself that now. An easy way to start is to invert your hates - so, for example, you say you feel isolated because you're older than other workers. So, presumably, you'd like to feel an integrated member of a team - you could write that down. Now - a team of what? Of people your age - or a team of all ages who respect eachother? Or what? Then you can move out - what is the team doing? How do they work? Where are they? How much are you earning? Which part of the world are you in? What are you wearing? What are you doing? And so on. Go nuts!

Most people aren't ready to take this seriously. I like a quote form the film actor Will Smith - he said:

"Being realistic is at the heart of most mediocre lives"

I love it.

So - if you can answer what you really want, you're ready for the next step - which is asking how you can get it. Again - sounds so simple it must be a pointless pie-in-the-sky trick, but it's really another essential step on the road to change. These things are not easy to do because our human minds are cluttered up with emotions like fear of change, with hidden beliefs like "I could never do any nice job", "people like me just have to graft until we retire" and so on. Then there's wavering motivation, and the busy-ness of life to distract you from your project of life change. Oh, and most people around you will be amused that you seriously think you can make a change - that doesn't help either.

So, I help my clients by addressing their concerns, supplementing their motivations, providing missing tools and skills and more. The combination of all those things makes life change happen.

That's where the real progress happens.

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