My career has provided me with a very specific insight into the lives of many, people, at a very specific time in their career history. They come to me because they are looking to make changes in their life; more often than not it is job-related OR becomes job-related after they have spent some time reflecting.
The common theme is that they have hit a tipping point. And more often than not, becoming a parent tipped the balance!
What is a career tipping point?
The phrase, “tipping point” had been on my radar for a while, without actually understanding where it came from. There may have even been a moment, in mid-2008, that I believed that I had invented it. How very Donald Trump of me!
Very simply it means, how a series of small changes become significant enough to cause a larger, more important change. It has moved into public consumption from the book “The Tipping Point: How little things can make a big difference” by Malcolm Gladwell.
For me, the changes started when my two little humans arrived (plus the experienced of two that didn’t quite make it).
They made me realise that life is too short to play it safe. That my job title wasn’t my number priority and being home for bedtime was more important to me that climbing up the corporate ladder.
The BIG tipping point was the chance to take redundancy, but the smaller changes allowed me to take that leap.
Yes, on paper, leaving a role with a nice, stable wage, paid holiday and a PENSION for self-employment was a gamble, but it was a calculated risk.
So far it’s paid off.
I’m around more for my two, less stressed (ironically, bearing in mind how self-employment can be), more creative and happier.
What was your career tipping point?
I recently asked this question in my Facebook Group, to see what was the tipping point for other working parents. You may see yourself in some of the answers:
Emma Wilders, now runs her own Accountancy Practise, Beyond Profit UK. Her tipping point seems very familiar!
“I think I went beyond the tipping point…4 kids, 2 parents both working full time, always feeling rushed/stressed”
Anna Wright, from In-Indigo Ltd, took the leap after a five-year plan!
My tipping point with one little person…. after 9 years of working flat out, being overstressed and feeling like I had so much more to give, I have been planning this leap for the last 5 years.
So it brings new and different challenges…. am I working less?…. no… probably not, I can’t switch my brain off about what’s next and working hard on business development and financially worse a lot off (at the moment!).
But I am now richer in the more important things… I have loads more time with my little one, am healthier, happier and have lost 19lbs in weight proving the impact that too much stress can have emotionally and physically.
You get one life….. you need to live it your way
Victoria Maus, of Neos Technology, has “tipped” across careers. From Teacher to Brand Development Manager
My tipping point was having my daughter (after being told I’d never have children). That coupled with a very traumatic birth meant I didn’t want to go back to a high-pressure job (where I wasn’t valued at all) and leave her. So I quit! She really made me reassess my priorities in life.
Alison Cupples now runs Direct Admin.
My tipping point was my pregnancy. I knew I couldn’t go back to working in the city centre with a high-pressure job, so I decided to look elsewhere.
But everywhere I looked I was always unsatisfied.
I just couldn’t figure out where I could fit unless I had my own business but I didn’t know what to do. Then after a random comment by somebody saying they hated admin (which I’ve always done and always loved) I decided to work part-time and build my business at the same time. I put my money where my mouth was and created Direct Admin. When my clients needed more of my time, I left the part-time job and haven’t looked back since.
Best decision I ever made. Even if it was taking a severe pay cut, which it didn’t, you cannot put a price on your state of mind and I love working for myself.”
So, take some time to look back. What little things have started building up to be your BIG THING? What are you going to do, to (positively) tip you over the edge?
Want to join a supportive group of working parents? Join The Balance Collective with Clara Wilcox.
Inspired to look at starting your own business? Check out my “Be the Boss” online course to help you take an idea to action in 14-steps!