When Natalie Coleman won Masterchef 2013 last week John Torrode said of the three finalists ‘ This is not the end of their journey, it’s the start of their journey”.
Yes. This is where it all really begins
By going on the show, going through their paces, doing it, doing it SO unbelievably well, proving it, showing their passion, staying the course, the ups the downs, the criticisms, the praise, the honour, the experience, the baptism by fire – they showcased themselves and their extraordinary talent to the nation. Gave themselves A STAGE. And so a passport to work at almost any restaurant in Britain.
What I love about this is that they are people like you and me. Barristers, credit controllers, charity marketeers. Except once you win (or do well) on Masterchef you don’t have to do those things anymore. None of the previous winners to the best of my knowledge are still stuck in their old day jobs. Their real journeys BEGAN.
So here’s what some of them went on to do:
Shelina Permalloo who one last year is just about to publish a lavish book – Sunshine On A Plate ( on my to buy list). And has worked and collaborated on cookery projects and been in culinary demand ever since. Going on Masterchef she said completely changed her life.
James Nathan ( 2008) finally realised his dream of owning his own restaurant and opened The Green Room in Cornwall
Mat Follas (2009) my all time favourite contestant opened Wild Garlic and brought foraging onto our waiting plates
Thomasina Miers one of the earlier winners went on to present on TV and opened the mexican London restaurant chain Wahaca. Here’s her gorgeous site
And so on and on.
Who knows what opportunity awaits the extraordinary Natalie Coleman now. Its exciting. And yet when she applied to enter this years show did she think she would win? No. Did she feel scared? Yes. Was she afraid of making a fool of herself? Almost certainly. Did she worry she wouldn’t be good enough? Very likely. Did she feel confident? No. She even said so on the show that she wasn’t confident of herself. But she DID IT. And you could see her confidence growing and growing and growing, because confidence too comes by DOING. And now Michelin starred restaurants who wouldn’t even have given her a second glance before, are turning their heads, and her world is changed forever.
Well done Natalie!
p.s Fear, the competition, confidence etc etc etc can keep us all trapped in places we don’t want to be. So can not knowing what you want to do. It’s these things we address in the workshop I run – the next one runs on Saturday May 18 – if you want to take action and DO something about it. Details here.
Photos courtesy: Sophie The Tulip/ Cat
… when you try it, it isn’t really”
So I overheard a 10 year old boy to his brother in the park the other day as he was leaping over a stream.
I like it! A nice analogy for career change fears too.
That’s because when you’re thinking about changing careers it can feel really hard, even impossible:
- it feels too far away from what you do now
- you feel everyone else is better at it than you, that they had a head start
- that it’s too competitive
- that it’s too daunting
- that it’s too late
- that it’s too DAMN HARD!
(and that’s if you KNOW what you want to do. Feels even more paralysing otherwise!)
Often that’s because you’re standing on the other side of the chasm. But when you start to check things out, dip your toe in or throw yourself into those worlds it feels less scary, closer, friendlier, more do-able. And things open up.
btw after much persuasion and doubt his brother jumped too. And made it! Who needs tv with reality drama in the park
A client said to me last week that he was living for 2 days out of 7. In other words he was living for the weekend. And EVERY WEEK 5 days of his life was siphoning itself away in a job he was working all hours at, but that didn’t challenge, interest or fulfill him.
Hm. Sound familiar?
To put that chillingly in perspective here’s a pie chart:
Here’s how he wanted it to be:
What’s interesting about this is that often people who really love their work, don’t delineate workdays vs weekends – it’s all the same thing. – because work doesn’t feel worky. You’re interested, learning, engaged, challenged, achieving and it feels GREAT.
[Looking for ways you can create work you love is what we do in the career change workshop I run. The next one is on Saturday April 20. Life's too short to waste every week (and years) stuck in the wrong job. Don't miss it. Details here. Early bird ends this Wednesday!]
I’m on holiday in India, country of my youth. Sun on my skin, bougianvillea on the breeze, and time to read! Surrounded by the familiar bird song that takes me straight back to being 10.
In the book I’m reading called Tell the Wolves I’m Home a proper holiday page turning coming of age novel the protagonist says about her and her sister ‘ Neither of us would ever want to work in an office, which so far is true for me. If things went my way I would be working as a falconer. I wouldn’t have to worry about climbing career ladders or getting promotions, because falconry’s not like that. Either you’re a falconer or you’re not. Either the birds come back to you or they fly away’
I love this. The realness of this. The truthful, immediate intelligence of this. Not that I’m into hunting or captivity by ANY stretch by the way. I just loved how she put it. And how different her definition can feel to the more common experience of pointless meeting, politics, long hours, and ladders to nowhere you particularly want to be…
…you’ll have to do something you’ve never done”
In this month’s issue of Elle magazine Arianna Huffington says “Failure is not the opposite of success -it’s a stepping stone to success’. The context ? Being told “No” thirty seven times in a row when looking for a publisher for her second book.
By Rejection 25 she was wondering if she should look for a different career. She didn’t.
This is none other than Arianna Huffington of the online publishing sensation that is The Huffington Post. Her advice - “Don’t let the fears in your head get in your way. Don’t allow the voice of doubt to have the last word” It’s easy when you hear people say these things (that always sound trite in retrospect!) to think it was a breeze for them. It’s wasn’t. That’s the point of course.
Also in Elle another story of persistence. Emma Hill at 43, is Creative Director of Mulberry. When she started out she took her portfolio to New York and gave herself 5 days to get a job. Here’s what she did, she took a huge bag of quarters and hit the phones, cold-calling everyone for an interview. Eventually she got one – with Liz Claiborne. It was her first break.
A thing or two about first breaks:
First breaks take bravery.
First breaks come after alot of no-breaks.
It’s so easy to get discouraged.
One of the best thing’s we can learn? How to respond to No.
A good response? Next!
‘I want to feel proud of what I do’ said one of the participants in the career change workshop I ran last weekend. There was a moment of tingly silence in the room when he said it. I think everyone felt it too.
Such a deep human statement with so much power in it.
Not pride in the arrogant sense. Not pride in the ‘I’ll prove it’ sense.
Pride in the feeling that you’ve done something GOOD. Something creative, something worth while, something that made a difference, something that requires immense skill or dedication, something that touched someone, or just touched you. Something that expresses you and who you are. Something you want to talk about, not cringe from talking about. Something that feels like you when you say it. When you say ‘THIS is what I do’.
It’s so powerful because it cuts straight to the chase. It tells you in an instant what you need. (i.e if you’re not proud, why not? What’s missing?)
And what’s missing is what you need to follow. It’s what motivates and drives you. It tells you what you WANT.
Incase you think you don’t know what you want….
These are the things that happen in the workshop. People who come tell me, it’s such a special space, such a useful inspirational practical day that they get so much out of… The next one runs on Saturday March 2. If you don’t enjoy your work and want to do something about it you should be there. Details here. And…I can completely say I’m proud of it.
That’s the new ad slogan from fashion label Max Mara. I like it. I really like it.
Could swap places as a slogan for work, for life.
Evolving out of what you’ve learned and become , updating what needs to be left behind, adapting to the world, expressing yourself truly (always, always), transforming all the time into the next version of you.
Because when we get stuck, it’s because we’ve got fixated. Or fixed. To an image of ourselves, to a static idea of ‘careers’, to how we think things should be, to the past, or to a mythical point in the future.
Evolve. Update. Adapt. Express. Transform
Here. Now. I love it. Or did I already say that?
p.s I’m pleased that the yoga bandana I sport around the house is making it on to the catwalk this year. Hurray fashionable at last!