"I feel like I’m uncovering where I belong. I’m so much more in tune with myself."
Why did you decide to join the Launch Pad?
I had achieved what I wanted in my events role and felt I needed a change.
I could foresee that my life would remain exactly the same for another ten years if I didn’t start to make some drastic decisions, but I felt stuck for ideas and had no clue what to do.
Past experience with recruitment agencies hadn’t been great as they wanted to put me into a box based on what they saw from the outside rather than what I felt on the inside.
I wanted to go beyond the superficial thought of a future role simply being a job to make money and instead, focus on what I felt I was put on this earth to do; utilising my unique skills and, most importantly, doing something I absolutely love.
What were your reservations or scepticism?
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but went in with an open mind, hoping that it would be a good investment of my time and money.
I did initially dither on the cost and whether it was worth it, but ultimately, I saw the benefits of getting help rather than fumbling on solo without any direction.
What was the experience like?
I absolutely loved it.
It felt exciting, refreshing and maverick! I wish I’d had careers advice like the Launch Pad at school because it got to the essence of so many crucial points.
The course structure allowed me to take one step at a time so I could absorb and process along the way.
It also revealed the fundamental need to be part of a group because even though other participants were interested in different industries/careers, we were going through a similar experience and could support and encourage each other along the way (I’m still in touch with several of them).
What were the highlights?
The weekly missions were my favourite.
Not knowing what to expect and getting out of my comfort zone was scary but euphoric when I gained the confidence to do things I would never normally do.
I felt like the rulebook was ripped up and I could look at career change with a fresh pair of eyes. The tasks really lifted the lid on my previous limiting thoughts and beliefs.
Discovering the term ‘portfolio career’ was an epiphany and I felt immediately drawn to it as sounding like something I would love.
What were the toughest moments?
The final coaching call was hard because it felt like I was being pushed out of the nest and I wasn’t quite ready to fly.
Two months of calls, missions and exercises felt monumental in terms of my self-development and awareness and I was sad to know that I wouldn’t have more to look forward to (little did I realise that I would continue to seek more out in other places).
The last couple of weeks were also difficult because I wasn’t sure how to turn my big dreams and ideas into reality. I understood the process but didn’t have anything tangible I wanted to try out to get started.
What was the impact on you?
It was the first stepping-stone that led me to where I am today and I know without a doubt, that I wouldn’t have journeyed on this path if I hadn’t taken the course.
I felt like I’d pressed the reset button on archaic job-hunting methods and discovered a brand-new way of thinking and seeing the world.
I finally had permission to really consider the boxes I wanted to tick rather than moulding myself into the shape of what other people wanted me to be.
I gained clarity on the essence of who I really am and rediscovered innate skills that I’d pushed away to gather dust.
I also found a new inner confidence to put myself in front of people and situations that I would have previously shied away from.
What on the course led to that impact?
‘Be bold and detach from the outcome’.
That sentence still runs through my head on a regular basis and allows me to stop thinking and take action.
Before, I was the one holding myself back because I was scared of what might happen or if other people would judge me but now, I tend to think ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’ and just give it a go.
The other big lesson was the importance of looking for people and not jobs.
Developing relationships and rapport is fundamental to opening new doors because people are drawn to who they know, like and trust and opportunities can appear without effort if the right conversations are had.
Just because something isn’t advertised, doesn’t mean it won’t exist.
Where are you now in your career?
I have almost (unknowingly and by accident) created a portfolio career with my main art business flanked by freelance jobs here and there.
I am certainly still progressing and developing myself and my business, but I’ve made some of the initial big and scary strides already.
Becoming self-employed has required a great deal of adjustment and I’ve learnt an incredible amount about myself as well as business.
I have a long journey ahead of me in terms of what I want to achieve but each step takes me a bit closer and I’m proud of where I’ve got so far.
Starting from scratch means the growth and success of physical achievements and financial rewards are a long-term goals that continue to get bigger.
How do you feel about your work?
I feel like I’m uncovering where I belong.
I’m so much more in tune with myself and my artwork certainly flows because I get into a zone that feels completely natural.
I’ve specialised in safari wildlife because nature and travel are where my passion lies. I am intuitively led as to what to create and I know that’s when I produce my best work because it comes from the heart. I’ve also found that my work creates deeper meanings about my personal identity through the many hours/days/weeks that it comes to life on paper.
I really enjoy including a message behind the work because it becomes more than just a picture and people can connect to it on another level.
The business side of things has been unsettling because I’ve had to do things I’ve never done before and use skills I don’t excel in. However, the tough situations are made all the sweeter when I break through barriers and succeed.
Now when I’m faced with something I find difficult, I remind myself of how many tough and dark months I got myself through during 2020 and know that everything is progress.
When I keep trying and stay true to what feels right, that’s when I feel like I’m living my purpose.
What’s been the impact of your shift on your wider life?
I’ve loved the freedom of spontaneity to be able to do what I want, when I want.
I used to be quite strict on myself in my previous job and focused heavily on extreme efficiency, organisation and productivity so it has been nice to embrace a little more fluidity and flexibility in the structure of my days.
My lifestyle is more relaxed and in the present moment and I love that I can go for a walk across the fields and not worry about being back for a precise time.
How did the Launch Pad help you get clear on and move into your new career?
Seeing things from a different perspective, taking ownership of what I genuinely wanted and giving myself the permission and courage to take the next step were all crucial learnings I took from the course.
The Launch Pad helped give me focus so I was more sure of the decisions I was making.
What would you recommend to anyone considering the Launch Pad?
If you keep doing the same things, you’ll keep getting the same results!
If you’ve tried everything else and you are still unhappy in your current job, what have you got to lose?
Go in with an open mind to try new things (even if they feel a bit scary) and step into action.
The team will hold your hand and provide beneficial insights and guidance but ultimately you’ll have to be willing to put in some effort to make changes in your life.
A brighter horizon is out there but you’ve got to make the first step.
Photo © Neil Cannon
You can find full details about the course on our dedicated Launch Pad page.