We all remember our first heartbreak, our first love, our first breakup, our first job...these are all big changes that we experience sooner or later in life.
I have been through a lot of changes myself, both on a professional and a personal level. Moreover, I have helped people change and initiated change in other people’s lives. At my NGO, Project 668, I carry out one-on-one CV reviews and workshops about everything related to job hunting and professional development. It is very rewarding to help young people find their way in the big world of work and also support them as they discover their talents and “sparkle”, as I like to call it.
However, before I could enjoy this feeling and discover my passion for it, I first had to go through a big period of change. It was not always easy, but in the end I quit my job and moved to Brussels.
Despite the many different kinds of change, I believe that change always has 7 ingredients. I had the opportunity to talk about them at CreativeMornings Brussels and would now like to share them with you:
It all starts with a choice. You make a choice and take the decision to look for a new job, to start an MBA program, to be happy, to be more productive, and the list can go on and on. Even when you decide what to wear in the morning, you are making a choice that can already create change in your behaviour and your appearance. But, depending on what you decide to wear, choosing an outfit does not always have to include all the following steps and ingredients.
2. Strong will
You have to focus on your goal and on the choice that you have made. Think of it every day and do not give up. You need a strong will. Remind yourself that you have decided to change and remember that you will be rewarded in the end. You will grow, you will get to know yourself, you will step out of your comfort zone and you will reach happiness (spoiler alert!).
3. Hard work
Bad news: change usually does not happen smoothly. It requires hard work almost every day. It is a process that will take time, nerves and emotions. From the moment when I decided that I needed a change in my life until I finally did it, it took me one year. And people say that Rome wasn’t built in a day either, right?
Enthusiasm is the fuel of change! You have to be enthusiastic about your change; you have to want it. It is the first thing that you think of in the morning and the last thing before you go to bed. Maybe you will even dream about it! Try to imagine yourself in your new situation and make your time travel as realistic as possible. Your imagination will help you to picture yourself in your new environment, your new job, your new relationship, or maybe your new “freedom” and it will support you in going the extra mile.
There will be moments of doubt, periods of uncertainty and you will need support to overcome these unpleasant times. Be it a friend, your family, your partner, your professor, your co-worker - surround yourself with people who will push you and who will support you in your plans. A hot cup of coffee with a friend can sometimes work wonders.
For me this is the trickiest part because I am a very impatient person. Nonetheless, you need patience to survive a process of change. As mentioned earlier, change takes time and it is a process which usually does not happen from one day to the other. So do not give up if you do not find a new job within a few days. Do no despair if your career change takes time and you have to do some training first. Everything will be alright in the end and it will be worth it.
Last but not least there will be pain. Emotional, physical, psychological. Change is painful. However, this should not stop you from continuing or make you lose your focus on your goal. You have to keep going. These periods will be the most memorable ones but also the most creative ones, because you will see that these are the moments when you really feel that change is happening and you will come out stronger.
Finally, I would like to end on a positive note. After all these different phases and stages of change, happiness will be waiting for you. You will see that it was worth all the pain and that you are in the right place (sometimes that right place might change throughout the process and that is also ok). You will be proud of yourself and so you should be!
To sum up and to give you one last piece of advice for your future choices and changes, I would like to share the following with you: “Focus. Set your goal, turn on your engine and start going. Change will follow and happiness will be waiting for you.”