You don’t feel happy at work but you can’t figure out what’s causing a disconnect. What is your career missing, and what can you change to make things better and you happier?
Kelly Whalley is the co-founder of Find Your Wings, a coaching and mentoring business where she works with individuals who are at a transitional point in their career.
She explains the ‘HEALTHY’ framework she uses to help individuals identify the important aspects of their career, what’s causing a disconnect between them and their work and what they can change to improve their work-life balance and happiness.
Kelly Whalley of Find Your Wings
Website: Find Your Wings
Instagram: Find Your Wings UK
Facebook: Find Your Wings
LinkedIn: Find Your Wings UK
Kelly Whalley is the co-founder of Find Your Wings, a coaching and mentoring business. With 20 years’ experience as a global, strategic digital marketer, Kelly specialised in the B2B sectors of construction and manufacturing. Alongside her marketing expertise, Kelly has extensive mentoring experience and is a mentor for the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).
Kelly works with businesses that understand the importance of internal promotion, talent development and succession planning; with the goals of retention and performance improvement. She also works with individuals who are at a transition point of their career; either starting a new career or stepping up to a new level and who are in need of support and practical tips on how to thrive in this new landscape.
Kelly is a CIM full Member and a contributor to Merseyside Young Lawyers Group and Merseyside Junior Lawyers Division and is also a speaker at the LAPS (Life After Professional Sport) Ahead of the Game event and returning speaker at B2B Online event.
What you’ll learn in this episode
- [1:33] How Find Your Wings helps people through transitional career periods.
- [2:20] What “brain-based science” is.
- [3:07] What motivated Kelly to start her own coaching business.
- [4:46] How coaches can help people who are beginning their careers.
- [5:56] How receptive businesses are to coaching junior staff members.
- [7:25] The seven key areas to developing a healthy and happy career.
- [9:49] How to figure out where your needs aren’t being met.
- [12:19] The extent to which your job should reflect your passions.
- [13:17] How to spend more time doing the tasks you enjoy.
- [15:33] The value of finding developmental opportunities in mundane tasks.
- [18:13] The importance of being proactive in your learning and development.
- [20:25] How to assess if your work fits in well with your life.
- [24:24] Steps you can take to figure out where improvements can be made and where there’s misalignment.
- [27:20] How to know what needs to change in your work life.
- [34:24] How to discover which careers fit with you.
- [38:03] Where to compromise when searching for your dream job.
- [40:13] The importance of perspective and being positive.
- [41:49] How to explore potential alternative careers.
Resources mentioned in this episode
Please note that some of these are affiliate links and we may get a small commission in the event that you make a purchase. This helps us to cover our expenses and is at no additional cost to you.
Episode 135: Why am I unhappy at work? - with Kelly Whalley of Find Your Wings
Jeremy Cline 0:00
Something's wrong at work, but you just can't figure out what it is. You know that you're unhappy, you know that something needs to change, but at the moment, you just have no idea which way to turn. What changes do you need to make? What's not aligning? What's going wrong? That's what we're going to talk about in this week's episode. I'm Jeremy Cline, and this is Change Work Life.
Jeremy Cline 0:38
Hello, and welcome to Change Work Life, the show where we're all about beating the Sunday evening blues and enjoying Mondays again. I'm guessing many of you have had times when you haven't felt happy at work. I mean, you probably wouldn't be listening to this podcast if you hadn't had times like that. But what do you do if you can't figure out why you're unhappy? How can you work out what's not right and what you might need to change to make things better? To help answer these questions, I'm delighted to be joined this week by Kelly Whalley. Kelly is the co-founder of Find Your Wings, a coaching and mentoring business, through which Kelly works with individuals who are at a transition point in their career, and who need support and practical tips on how to thrive. Kelly, welcome to the podcast.
Kelly Whalley 1:24
Hi, it's great to speak to you, Jeremy.
Jeremy Cline 1:26
So, why don't you start by telling us a bit more about Find Your Wings, who it's for, what it's about?
Kelly Whalley 1:31
Sure, no problem. Well, you know what, I actually have the best job in the world, because I help people to find their superpowers and help to turn those then into confidence and the passion and the energy that they need to boost their careers, particularly when they're at a transition point. So, as you mentioned, I'm a coach and a mentor with Find Your Wings, and myself and my business partner came together to combine our business knowledge and our experience with our passion for helping people through these kind of tricky periods in their careers. And what we do is bring together brain-based science, and then our own unique healthy career framework, and we try to offer people a really practical, holistic approach to what can be quite a tricky part of their working careers.
Jeremy Cline 2:16
And what is brain-based science?
Kelly Whalley 2:18
Good question. So, it's all about understanding how your own brain, your own thoughts, have an impact on what you do and how you do it. And if you understand that a little bit better, then you can help to make changes in your life. So, it's often around habits, around behaviours, and understanding what really drives you internally, and how to use some of that knowledge information to help make more informed decisions.
Jeremy Cline 2:46
Okay, so is there an overlap here with things like NLP, which I've covered on the podcast before?
Kelly Whalley 2:50
Yes, yeah, it is. It's all around that kind of similar idea about understanding the science behind how our brain works and using that to our advantage.
Jeremy Cline 2:58
And you mentioned your in your business partner's complementary skills in setting them up. What was your motivation for starting Find Your Wings?
Kelly Whalley 3:06
Well, I think for me, it was that I'd seen so many of my friends and colleagues experience extreme pressure and stress at work, and particularly women and mothers. And a lot of this was all in the name of what was expected of them, and it was in this kind of bid to compete with others for career progression. And it has such negative effects on their family life and their health, and they were also so confused about their own value and their future. And I thought there's got to be a better way to sort of try and have a career, to get a lot of these ideals that we're aiming for, but without this cost to people's health. So, we started to have a look at how to help people in a really practical way, and then, from an early point in their career as well, so actually, they didn't get to this endpoint where they were feeling this great pressure on their health and their life outside of work. So, really, my passion comes from helping people at this early point in their careers, or at this transition point, where everybody's much more open to new ideas and to new ways of looking at a career. And then, if you're open to new ways of thinking, and new ways to set habits and behaviours to do things differently, then there's a much greater chance that you'll make those changes and they'll be successful.
Jeremy Cline 4:20
So, how do people who are at the start of their career know that this is the kind of thing they need? Because in my experience, you can be doing a job for, say, 10 years, and it's then that you might start to think, 'Is this really the way I want to do things?' And then, you start looking at it. So, how, when you're new to the job market, do you appreciate that that really is a time to start looking at this sort of thing?
Kelly Whalley 4:46
I think yes, it's an interesting point, because I think when you're at the early point of your career, so a lot of the time we're talking then about maybe new graduates going into their first professional role, or somebody who's changing career into a completely new profession, or perhaps somebody who's newly qualified, so it might be a new accountant or a new lawyer, and they're going into these new environments for the first time, and I think at that point, everything is so new, and you're taking so much new information on board. What I try to do is try and make it part of that whole learning experience. So, I work with the businesses to slot this kind of information into their existing programmes that are there to help develop and train their early career professionals in sort of the ways of the business, but also helping them to understand themselves better and to be in a stronger position right from the start. So, you're right, it's not something perhaps that they would go out and seek, because they don't know yet that that could potentially be an issue. So, it's something that, when I'm talking to the businesses, it's about getting it in at that early stage, when the businesses are already talking to them, and already trying to develop them as young employees.
Jeremy Cline 5:53
And how receptive are businesses to this sort of help?
Kelly Whalley 5:56
Very receptive a lot of the time, and for businesses, it's mainly around retention, because a lot of these programmes that businesses will put early career employees through, they might be a year, perhaps two years of investment in development and time, and they often have to give a lot of their own personal time, senior managers to these young people. And you really don't want at the end of that for that person to leave, because you've got them to a point where you think they're going to be a really strong part of the business. The idea of somebody being able to come in and help with some of the more holistic parts of a working life and trying to teach people how to bring their whole selves to work, rather than just focusing on business skills, will help the retention of that employee within the business. So, it's generally received fairly well.
Jeremy Cline 6:46
That's good to know, because it's something that I wish I'd had when I started as a trainee and a newly qualified lawyer. So, let's start with the framework, which you've developed in Find Your Wings, the H.E.A.L.T.H.Y framework. So, as I understand it, it's seven areas into which a career might fit. And I think some of those areas are going to be relevant in trying to figure out where the tension might be, where there's the conflicts. But can you start maybe by quickly just running us through those seven areas, and what the H.E.A.L.T.H.Y acronym, what it all stands for, and what it means?
Kelly Whalley 7:24
Yeah, of course. So, yeah, H.E.A.L.T.H.Y career is something that we've developed ourselves and is unique to Find Your Wings. And just as you said, it's the seven areas that we help people to look at, that really spans the whole areas of their life, including their career. So, H stands for Heart, and that's looking at understanding what makes you tick, and really understanding what brings you joy. Enjoy is when we look at the things that you do in your job, and focusing on what you enjoy, and what you're good at, and perhaps what you're not so good at, and trying to manage that. Then, we've got Adapt for A, and Adapt is about change, how you approach change, how you view change. L is Learn, and that's again about trying to encourage people to be lifelong learners, and the value that you can get in carrying on being curious and learning. Then, T is for Team, and from an individual's point of view, that's looking at the team around you at work, but also your wider team, your wider network, and how that can help support you. Then, H, the second H is for Holistic, and that's looking at how work fits in with the other areas of your life, and how well you balance those. And Y is for Yes, which is all about taking opportunities that are offered and feeling that you're in a position to say yes to things when people come and suggest things to you. And we know that people will have different levels of attention and focus in each of those areas, and that's absolutely fine. But I think what we try to focus in on is the fact that you shouldn't have one area which completely dominates everything that you do. There really should be a balance in those, and those balances can change, so that you will have a priority in one area one month, and then that might shift for another month, and that's absolutely fine, but it's about not ignoring an area or having complete sole focus on one area.
Jeremy Cline 9:19
Okay, so some of those areas are more, it seems, about action, so taking action. So, for example, the team of people with whom you surround yourself, or yes, taking opportunities, adapting to change that kind of thing. So, the areas, I think, that stand out most for me as being those areas that we can look at for figuring out where a need might not be being met is particularly Heart, which I think you said what makes us tick, what gives us joy, Enjoy, what are we good at, what do we enjoy doing, and Holistic, so where it fits in. And perhaps, Learn as well, in the context of whether there is opportunity to learn, if that's something that's important to you, whether you're somewhere where you can develop. So, does that sound like good areas to start with?
Kelly Whalley 10:14
Absolutely, yeah, those are three or four great areas. So, we'll start at the top then. So, with Heart, as I said, it's all about understanding yourself well enough to know what makes you tick. So, what we think about is what really makes you light up and smile when you talk about it. And so, if something's ticking that box for Heart, it will give you extra energy and enthusiasm and creativity. And I think the important thing to remember with this is it doesn't have to be your job. So, I think that people can get quite, I guess, wrapped up in this idea that, whatever your passion is or whatever you feel really strongly about has to be your job. And I think that can make us feel quite limited and quite boxed in and a little bit anxious, really, about how do we possibly turn that into a job. But I think what we try to talk to our clients about is, it doesn't have to be your job, but it has to be part of your life. So, if it's not your job, then just make sure that there are areas outside of your job in your life that do tick those boxes, and that do make you light up and give you that energy, and make sure that you're spending enough time on them, so that, perhaps, if you don't get maybe that from work, and work gives you other qualities, that you get that somewhere else. And so, when we talk to people about this, I try to help them to figure out what these things might be, and it's often interesting to look at what you used to do as a child or used to love doing as a child. So, those things are the things that you tend to go to quite naturally. So, it might be something like singing or drawing or fixing something or helping people, what really did you always want to try and do as a child in your free time, and that can often help people to reconnect with that part of themselves, if they don't do that as much anymore.
Jeremy Cline 12:02
Before we move on, it's interesting what you say there about, it might not necessarily be part of the job. Given the amount of time that we spend at work, is it a reasonable aspiration to try and make that at least part of your job as well?
Kelly Whalley 12:19
Yeah, I think it's definitely when you're looking for a career change, or if you're feeling a bit lost, it's often because you don't have any of that in your job at all. So, I think you're absolutely right, when we're looking at a job, there should definitely be things in there that reflect our passions. And you can say, 'Well, I'm doing this job because it links in with my passion for X, Y and Z.' But I think, just because you're a creative person, it doesn't mean that you have to go and be an artist. It's that kind of link, it could be that, when you give presentations at work, you just bring a really creative position to that, and you create really interesting presentations for your colleagues, or you do things really in more creative ways. So, there are ways to bring aspects of what you enjoy into your job, without it having to be the main focus of your work, if that makes sense.
Jeremy Cline 13:13
Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Thanks for that. Onto the next one, Enjoy. How do people look at themselves in the context of that one?
Kelly Whalley 13:22
This is more about focusing quite clearly on what you do at work. So, what we do is we break down the job that somebody does into the tasks or the responsibilities that they do for it, and then, we look at the ones that you enjoy and the ones that you don't. And it's fairly simple, really, what you try to do as best you can is spend more time doing the things you enjoy, and less time doing the things you don't enjoy. So, if you ever need to delegate something, if you've got too much on your to-do list, and you have a team member who is open to taking on something from you, then you give them something that you enjoy less than something that you enjoy. And it sounds like such a simple thing, but I think people can get so tied up in everything that they need to do for their job, and prioritising can sometimes be more around time restraints, rather than actually what works for them. So, this is about putting you at the centre of your job and saying, 'Okay, I have all of these things to do, which do I enjoy, which do I perhaps not enjoy quite so much, what can I do, how can I balance my job so that I get out of it what makes me happier?'
Jeremy Cline 14:27
When you're starting out in your career, particularly when you're a trainee lawyer or a newly qualified lawyer, there's a feeling that you've basically got to say yes to everything and do everything. This sounds like quite a mindset shift for people in that position. I'm just wondering how you get people into the mindset that, even when they are, frankly, I must say this for having been there, qualified solicitor is nigh on useless. I hope no one is going to criticise me for saying that.
Kelly Whalley 14:56
I won't tell anybody, it's fine.
Jeremy Cline 15:00
I think it was probably about three years qualified, where I felt like I started knowing what I was doing. So, when you're in that position, how do you get to this mindset of being able to say no to things, delegate thing? I mean, you might have an assistant that you can delegate to, but otherwise, it's very difficult to delegate, well, you can't delegate to anyone more junior, because there isn't anyone.
Kelly Whalley 15:22
Sure, yeah. It's a great point, and I get asked this quite a bit from some of our younger, some of more junior early career people, like you said, like young lawyers, particularly. And I would say, the answer to that is to look at the task that you're doing, and if it's something that you don't enjoy doing particularly as a task, then try and find something you can get out of it for yourself. For the example of law, perhaps, you have to run an event for the business, and this has been kind of dumped on you, because you're the junior person, you have to do this. Now, it might be that, through that process, you can use that as a great opportunity to extend your network, if you have to invite people to this event. It might be that you can choose speakers or topics that you're actually really interested in. It might be that you want to learn how to project manage or budget manage as part of one of the things that you know you're not so good at yet, you've not had much experience in. So, even if the event management itself is just a real pain, it's the last thing that you want to do, if you can find things that you can get out of it, that can benefit you as an individual, then it helps to take some of the sting out of it, I suppose, and probably makes it feel a bit more worthwhile.
Jeremy Cline 16:28
Do you think you can find that in every task? I mean, I can certainly see an example you've given, yes, there are things that you can get out of it. But let's say you're given 10 full ring binders of documents, and your job is to dictate an index for every single document, and there's several hundreds of them. Where do you find the development opportunity in something like that?
Kelly Whalley 16:48
Yeah, I mean, sometimes work isn't going to be great. And there are definitely going to be days when you've got your ring binders in front of you, and it's the last thing you want to do. I'd say just try and get yourself to do it as efficiently as you possibly can, so you only have to do it once. I think so often we do something that we don't want to do when we rush it, because we want to get to the end of it, and then find we've made a mistake, and we have to go back and do it again. So, I'd say, even if it's something that you don't want to do, try and do it well and do it once. If there is the opportunity to get somebody to help you with it, try that, if you do have somebody that can work alongside you on it. And then, is there a way that you can make the experience a little bit more pleasurable? Could you go and do it in a place that's a nice place for you to sit? Or could you give yourself a little reward or a treat at the end of it? You know, is there something that you can just work with your own, again, thinking about yourself, how do you help to motivate yourself, because really, there's nobody that's going to walk along often and go, 'Oh, you're doing a brilliant job! Well done! Here, have a treat, have a day off!' You often don't get that in those kinds of environments. So, it's really up to yourself to stay as motivated as you can, and to give yourself those little highs as and when you can.
Jeremy Cline 18:03
So, on to the next one, Learn, so whether or not you're in a role which gives you the development opportunities that you crave.
Kelly Whalley 18:11
Yeah, Learn is a really interesting one, because I think most businesses would say that we are really proactive in the way that we help our employees learn and develop, and we're very pro learning. But I think employees can sometimes feel just stagnation. And when you get stagnated, you get bored. And then, when you get bored, it's not challenging, and then you start to get in this loop of wanting something new and wanting to change. So, I would say, if the business is one that says it is very pro learning and development, but perhaps you haven't found anything that suits you or your role, then take responsibility for that and be really proactive. So, look at your role, look at the areas, the way you think you could do with some support, where perhaps you're not as well equipped as you might be, or even if there's something in terms of your career path that you want to do next, within the business or even just generally in your career next. If you know that there are some areas there that you're not well-trained in yet, that you don't understand very well, can you try and take courses or do speak to people around that? And I think the important thing about Learn is it doesn't have to be a formal course. It can be going and speaking to somebody else in the business, at a different level, or in a different department. It could be looking externally, looking to governing bodies, and thinking of things like the chartered institutes of various qualifications. They're often a very good place for that kind of developmental information. Even just going out and going to networking groups or going to events and conferences can, again, help you in that learning way, but that's not necessarily sitting down in front of another Zoom call, and doing that kind of online learning or going to a course. So, it's more about growth and opening up your horizons and opening up options to you, rather than just learning how to use the next programme on your computer.
Jeremy Cline 18:11
Okay, and then, the last one I wanted to look at is Holistic, so does your work fit in with the rest of your life. What's your way of assessing whether or not that is something which is working or not working for you at the moment?
Kelly Whalley 20:23
Yeah, I think this is an important one, as well, when we look at this, people are quite honest with themselves about how much time they spend on work, and then on other areas of their lives. Because when you find yourself swapping time with family or friends or hobbies or downtime with work, then you know that there's something that's out of balance there. So, what we do with people is called a wheel of perspective. So, if you think about a wheel, you would put a circle, you'd split that up into six segments, and on each area, on each spoke of that wheel, you would have a topic. It might be family, friends, downtime, hobbies, work and exercise as you go around that wheel. And then, if you think that at the centre of your wheel is 0%, and then the outside edge is 100%, and along each of those lines, you put a mark on there around, in the last week or month, whatever is appropriate, you put a mark on how much time you have spent on each of those areas. And then, if you join those up, it would look a little bit like a spider's web going around the wheel. And then, you get a different colour, and you do exactly the same exercise again, around how much time you would like to spend on each of those areas. So, in your ideal world, where would you be between that 100 and 0% of your time, and then you join those up. And then, the spokes where the colours are the furthest apart are the ones that you need to spend time looking at, the ones that you need to focus on first, I suppose. And then, if you do that honestly, you should get a fairly quick idea of, right, this is the thing that I need to be doing more of, this is what I need to do to try to make the balance in my life feel more like it fits me.
Jeremy Cline 22:06
There's presumably a risk in doing that, that if you're honest with yourself, work comes below what you can reasonably get away with. You might think, 'Yeah, I'd quite like to only do three hours of work each day, rather than eight hours.' Which I think seems unrealistic for most people. So, to what extent do you have to impose realism on this?
Kelly Whalley 22:28
Well, you do have to be realistic. I mean, we're not talking completely kind of pie in the sky. I think it's more around, say, taking the work example, perhaps you're doing 50 hours a week on an average week, you are a full-time role, perhaps you're in a senior position, so that's more or less expected. And it's about thinking, 'Well, okay, if I'm going to spend that much time doing work, is there a way that I can make that work for me a little bit better, so that it doesn't feel like it takes over my whole life?' So, are there maybe a couple of days a week when you could do your 10- or 11-hour days and kind of plough through it, and on the other days, give yourself a little bit more time off, or to re-evaluate how you spend your time? So, there's also a question there around, if you're doing that week in, week out, is there a question around efficiency? You know, how are you working? How are you being supported by your team or those people around you? Is that a conversation that you need to be having with your line manager or with your business around is that really sustainable? So, it might be that you can't change the thing straightaway, it might be that it's not within your power with something like that, but it's a flag for you to say, 'This is something I need to change, if I want something in my life to be different, then this is something that I need to change.'
Jeremy Cline 23:47
Okay, so we've looked at these four areas. So, we've thought about the sorts of things that make us fight up, we've thought about the sorts of tasks that we enjoy and we don't enjoy, we thought about whether we're learning, developing that kind of thing, and we're looking at how work interacts with the rest of our life. So, you've got a whole load of data in front of you. What steps can you take then to figure out where improvements might need to be made, or perhaps turning around the other way, where there's misalignment?
Kelly Whalley 24:24
Yeah, I think this is a really useful next step to do with, like you say, you'll have a lot of information in front of you. And I'd say, the easiest thing to do is what are your quick wins to start with. So, if you look at the things that are going to help you the most, that's the easiest reach for you. So, it might be, if you're looking at work, that you can look at how you work. So, are you working in a team or on your own? Are you a leader? Do you work within a team? And is there something in there that you could do differently? Or how could you adapt to that, or work in a different way to try to bring in some of these other areas that you're looking at? And it might be around your, if you're looking to get more input into your, you've got some more ideas, perhaps you're feeling a bit stuck, then what are the events that are happening around you? What kind of network could you get involved with, within really easy reach? It might be local to you in terms of geography, or it might be within a sector that you work in, is there something that you can go and do that's just in an evening? Or, like I say, make it really easy, because the easiest things that you can do to start with on this path will be the things that start to then build momentum. And I think sometimes it's just taking that step by step, because every step you can take in any one of these things will help start to improve things. When we were talking about brain-based coaching before, and it comes into play quite a bit here, because you will only do things where you find a reward from them. Because otherwise, it then just feels like an extra thing you have to do, it feels like more work. So, if you can find things that are quite easy to do, that don't require a huge amount from you initially, and then you'll see that reward, you'll see something come back from it, and then that incentivizes you automatically to do something similar again, or to keep going on this path of making little changes and doing things slightly differently. What we try to do, as I say, with our clients, is to make this list of longer-term, perhaps bigger goals, things that they're aiming towards, but then really break that down into the practical things that they can do, either within the next week, or something that's within easy reach for them.
Jeremy Cline 26:34
I love the idea of quick wins, I think it is very, very powerful, and if you make just one change, what does easy look like, and what change could you make to affect that. What can you do if it's not necessarily clear to you what needs to change? So, you might identify something that is out of alignment, maybe it's a value not being met, it's just nothing in work is causing you to light up, but you're not necessarily sure what to do with it, what might work, what might meet the value or cause you to light up. How can you start to explore and figure out what changes you do need to make?
Kelly Whalley 27:21
Yeah, I think when you're looking at career transition potentially, or looking at something new, it can feel so overwhelming, and you can go down so many rabbit holes, you can just tie yourself up in knots. So, what we try and do is go from a completely white, blank piece of paper point of view. And you can either do what we call top-down or bottom-up. So, top-down means that you would take a career or a job that really appeals to you, and something that that, when you think about it, makes you feel energised and excited. You're like, 'Oh, imagine if I was doing this, imagine the people who do this, it must be a brilliant job to have!' And then you really actually dig into that, and you break it down into things like questions around what, how, when, why, who and where. So, the 'what' would be, what are the tasks that you imagine this imaginary person doing, or you doing in that role? Why are they so appealing? What is it about what they're doing that you would love to do? Then, you'd look at the 'how', so how would you access that career role ideally, what's the gap between where you are now and where you would like to be? And then, you think about the 'when', when does this person work? What's their schedule like? Is that something that's appealing to you? The 'why' then looks at the motivation. What's the bigger picture around what they're doing? And what's the impact that they're having? Is that something that really appeals to you? Who are they working with? What type of person, who are they surrounding themselves with, and where is the job done? And if you can try and break down something like that into tangible pieces, then it can sometimes help you identify the things that you are missing, or the thing that you would like to try to replicate in a job or something that you're doing yourself. And then, it's about going out and trying to speak to people who can give you information on that then, and trying to fill in some of those gaps. And I think by doing that, even if this job that you're thinking about could never be something that you could do for whatever reason, the journey that you can take in trying to learn about some of these things that this person would do, or something that the job entails, will automatically open your network circuit, will start you learning and looking at different opportunities, and just starts to open your mind to different things. So, that's the top-down one, does that make sense?
Jeremy Cline 29:38
Yes, I'm hoping the bottom-up one is for someone who doesn't have this ideal job in mind, but they just have no idea what might be out there that might work for them.
Kelly Whalley 29:49
Yeah, exactly. So, bottom-up is doing it the other way around. So, it's focusing instead, taking jobs out of it completely, and focusing on your own skills and your dreams and your preferences and your experience. And then, you work those through and eventually match those two potential careers and job roles. So, you do it the other way around. So, again, if we look down at those six questions, your 'what' would be, what are the specific tasks that you would like to do for the majority of your job? 'How' is like, how much of a change do you actually want from what you're doing now? Is it just a small shift, or is it a complete lifestyle change? When and how much do you want to work? And I know 'want' is slightly in inverted commas there, because it's with a practical head on as well. But what are your priorities? Why? What's your big motivation for working? Is it money? Is it location? Is it because it needs to fit in with family? Is it because you're desperate to work in this kind of sector, or you're really interested in something? So, what's the motivation? And what kind of impact do you want to have? Do you want to be really impactful in a business? Do you just want to be able to go in, do your job really well? Do you want to have an impact on people? Where do you want to have the greatest impact when you work? Then, who would you like to work with? So, what people do you enjoy working with? Do you like to be challenged, or do you like to be part of a team that's very supportive? Do you like to work with people who are similar to you or different to you? So, there's all these kinds of things that you can ask around the types of people that you'd like to work with. And then, where do you want to work? So, very practically, now we've got this option of, is it remote, is it hybrid, do you want to be going into an office, and then location wise, do you want to be travelling, do you want to potentially move to a different country, how big is this scale that we're looking at. So, once you've started to kind of dig into some of those things, hopefully you'll start to have a look and some things will start popping up as being quite important, and maybe some of the priority areas. And then, you can start to have a look at either careers or sectors, regions of the country, if that's one of the one of the criteria that match the things that you've discovered, and then start to kind of build up a picture from there. And then, it's about talking to people, because research and talking to people is absolutely the best thing you can possibly do. And I think it can feel quite scary for people to approach strangers and ask them about their job and ask them about what they do. And I think if there's one thing that I've learned from the experience I've had over the last few years, it's that, generally, people are so willing to talk to you. And so, I don't know, people want to share their experiences, and they love to talk about something that they are passionate about, as well. So, you can connect with people, you can use things like LinkedIn, you can use networking groups, and social groups even, and actually just start conversations with people and ask them to help you. You have to be a little bit vulnerable, I suppose, and say, 'Look, I'm going through a bit of a change at the moment, I really would like some help understanding a little bit more about what you do and what your sector is or what your job is, would you mind spending 15 minutes talking to me about what you do?' And there are very few people who will sort of turn you down flat. And I think even if they do, then you think, 'Okay, that's no problem', and just move on, it doesn't impact you. So, I think, try to narrow down some of those priorities, understand yourself quite well, and then go and research them, would be my advice on that.
Jeremy Cline 33:16
I'm grateful for what you said about the whole networking and reaching out to people. It's something which has come up time and again in interviews with other guests on the podcast. So, it's great to have more confirmation that this is something which people can do. And yes, it's a little bit scary, but it's a great way to learn. And once you do it, it starts becoming less scary when you realise that most people are generally happy to help. And as you say, someone says no, okay, well, there's going to be other people doing it, and you only really need two or three people to say yes, and you can get an awful lot of information. Just pedalling back a little bit to this bottom-up approach, where you've answered your six questions, how practically do you translate the answers to those questions to particular careers? It's a bit of the known unknowns, you don't know what you don't know. What practically can your research methodology be to discover the careers that you hadn't even necessarily considered that could be good for you?
Kelly Whalley 34:24
Yeah, I think, when you're looking at translating what you've got into a skill and a career, the important thing is to pick up on certain words that you might find in job titles, that can be a way to start, or in job descriptions. And then, LinkedIn is a great friend for that. Because even if what you're doing is just looking at jobs that perhaps potentially you would never want to do, if you see what they are talking about links back to what is on your list, you can actually see how close your research is to what's in real life. So, for example, if you love researching, and you love learning new things, and you'd love a job that involves doing studies and going out and talking to people and doing that kind of thing, then you know that, probably within that job description or job title, there's going to be the word research or investigating, new studies or looking at new information, something along those lines. If you find some key words that would match with what you've got on your list, and then you can literally just use LinkedIn, look at the jobs on LinkedIn, and go through and have a look at some of the job titles and some of the job descriptions, and see what things are coming up, see what they're talking about, what the requirements are for the jobs, even companies that do that thing that you're interested in, go and have a look at their website, on their careers pages, and look at the types of careers and the roles and the qualifications that they're asking for, and see if this is getting you closer towards the thing that you think might be a fit. I think, as well, reading books by people who are either in that career already, or who are in that sector, can be really helpful. Because again, that can give you an insight into the way that businesses in that sector operate or the type of language that they use, and then you can start to have a look and see at potential options in terms of what you could do next. So, it sounds a little bit woolly, but it's one of those things that, I think, once you start, once you start to build up your own vocabulary, and you start to find these links, you know what to search for, and then a search term can lead you to something that's really interesting, or a website or a company that does that. Does that help?
Jeremy Cline 36:37
Yeah, and I love the idea of reading books by people who work in a particular sector. I've never thought about that before, but it's one of those things, lots of people are writing books these days. And so, yeah, I can see, that will give you the ideas of language and what they do and that sort of thing. So, thanks for that suggestion, I've never come across that one. And of course, then, once you've looked through the jobs, and you've started to identify things which might be a fit, that's when you can go to what you were saying about contacting these people and finding out more and asking all these questions. So, at some point, you're going to have to take a decision about whether to change your career and what that means, whether it means doing more qualifications, whether it means applying for these different things. How can you get to the point where it's good enough? You've got your framework, you've answered your six questions, you've identified possibilities, you might find something which is a bang on perfect match, or it might be that there are things which, maybe it matches in this area and in this area, but doesn't necessarily match in this area. So, do you always strive for perfection? Do you have a bit of flexibility? How close should you be aiming for in terms of ticking all your boxes?
Kelly Whalley 38:03
Again, I think that's a great point, Jeremy, because I think, if we aim for perfect, we'll never make any changes, because you will talk yourself round and round in circles about what perfect looks like. And then, you'll get yourself to a point where you just don't make any steps forward at all. And I think I'd say, the important thing is that it shifts one of those points on your spoke, on your wheel that we talked about before. So, if you've identified the area that is the most important to you, that you find you're really out of balance with, and that's the thing that's impacting you the most, then if you can find a change in your working life that will help to shift that needle and help to move things more back into balance, then, even just by doing that, you will find that you get more confidence in yourself, you'll find you'll feel happier in yourself, and even just changing that slight dynamic will give you a different view on what you're dealing with. So, I'd say, definitely, it doesn't have to be perfect. I'd say, make sure that it's a step in the right direction, and, hopefully, you'll know what that direction is, because you'll be clear about those areas that you need to impact the most. And it just has to satisfy the now, it has to satisfy something that will make you feel more productive, feel happier and help you to thrive in the current moment, with a view to perhaps it going on to something in the future, but in some cases, you may not even know what that future looks like. And again, that's okay. You don't have to have it mapped out for the next 10 years. It's about impacting the next few months, the next couple of years maybe even, and taking that step forward into something more positive. And it's taking responsibility for yourself, for your career, for your own happiness, and making that one step. So, absolutely, it doesn't need to be perfect.
Jeremy Cline 39:52
That point about not knowing necessarily what the future looks like is such an important one, because, certainly, I've spoken to people who are hung up on just getting it right and getting it right for next 10 years. And I don't think that's particularly realistic, and I don't think you think it is neither.
Kelly Whalley 40:11
Absolutely, I totally agree. And I'd say something as well that I try to remind people about, there is no bad decision. Everything that you do will have lots of different impacts. And it's how you view those a lot of the time. So, it might be that something perhaps doesn't go the way that you plan it, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing. And it's never taking you backwards, because you then had that experience, which, at the very least, will teach you something about what you don't do next, perhaps. So, there is no bad decision you can make. The only thing that has a negative impact is not doing anything, because then you won't change anything, and you will be exactly where you are now, in the next two years, you'll still be in the same position. So, try not to get yourself in the cycle of thinking, what if, what if, what if. And what if it goes wrong, I'll never get myself out of the situation. I think the point to remember is, anything that you can do can have lots and lots of different impacts. And you never quite know what those are going to be, and that's kind of the fun of it as well, bringing a little bit of uncertainty into your life in certain areas can reap some amazing rewards, because you never quite know what's going to happen. So, it's being open to that as well.
Jeremy Cline 41:24
That's the other point, isn't it? Enjoying the process, rather than getting hung up and trying to get everything right. Kelly, this has been fantastic. I've loved all the tips that you've given in this interview. If people want to explore this further, do you have any recommended resources which you suggest to people, or maybe there's a book or podcast or website which you've found has particularly helped you on your own journey?
Kelly Whalley 41:49
Yeah, I'd say there's two, if I'm allowed to kind of slot two in.
Jeremy Cline 41:52
Kelly Whalley 41:52
One that's really useful to gain insights into different careers and people's views on their own careers and what's worked for them is the High Performance podcast that Jake Humphrey is host, which is on all the usual podcast channels. And there's a lot of sort of high-performing people. So, it's not necessarily sports people, there's a lot of businesspeople in there as well, but it can just give you some really interesting insights into different sectors, and how other people view their careers, which can be really interesting. And then, the other one, in terms of a book, is The Squiggly Career. I'm not sure if you've heard of that one.
Jeremy Cline 42:26
Yeah, yeah, they've got a podcast as well, I think, don't they?
Kelly Whalley 42:29
Yes, they do. Yeah. So, it's Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis who wrote that, and I think that's a really, it's a nice read for somebody who is feeling in that space where they just don't know what to do next, and this idea of just climbing the ladder is suddenly now not the thing that they want to do, because that's what they've always been told that they should be doing, and they get to the point where it's just not going to work for them anymore. And I think that's a really easy to access book, and it's really helpful to guide people through that.
Jeremy Cline 42:55
Brilliant, and where would you like people to go to find you?
Kelly Whalley 42:59
So, findyourwings.co.uk is our website. And that can give you information on all of our different programmes for mentoring and coaching. We're also on findyourwingsuk on Instagram and Facebook. And we're actually doing webinars through there, and we put up content quite regularly around coaching tips and mentoring tips for people who follow us.
Jeremy Cline 43:22
Brilliant. Links to all of those will be in the show notes. Well, Kelly, thank you so much for coming on, as I said, some brilliant tips. So, yeah, thanks for coming on and sharing your wisdom and knowledge.
Kelly Whalley 43:34
It's been great spending time with you, Jeremy. Thanks very much.
Jeremy Cline 43:36
Okay, hope you enjoyed that interview with Kelly Whalley of Find Your Wings. I really liked what Kelly has done developing this H.E.A.L.T.H.Y framework and the way that you can use some of the seven areas she described almost as like a diagnostic tool to try and figure out what's going wrong, what's not aligning, what do you need that you're not getting at the moment. I particularly liked the way that she described how you can use the tools to look for quick wins. So, you don't necessarily need to change everything all at once. But you can look at the different areas that need work and figure out, okay, so what's the one change I can make easily, which will give me that first quick win. And it ties in with what Kelly said later in the interview about focusing on what's most important now, rather than getting everything perfect all at once. Kelly was so right when she said that, if we try to do everything, well, we just end up doing nothing, because nothing ever gets us to that stage of 'this is perfect'. It's all about making this change, then making this change, then making this change. They're all small course corrections, but eventually, they add up to pointing in a completely different direction, and one which is hopefully going to be a better direction for you. You'll find the full show notes for this episode at changeworklife.com/135. That's changeworklife.com/135, for Episode 135, where there's a summary of everything we talked about, links to where you can find Kelly and the resources which she mentioned, and also a full transcript of the interview, if there's anything that you want to go back to. Now, at the time of recording this episode, I haven't actually announced to anyone that I am offering career coaching myself. So, this is something where you can work with me to help develop your own career. By the time this episode comes out, I might have sent an email to my list, and I might have something on my websites more about the coaching service that I'm offering. But as we record, I don't actually have any of that up. But I wanted to let you know that you can work with me. And what I'm offering to help you with is really just developing and making the most out of your career. So, it might be that you're contemplating a complete career change, or maybe it's something that you want to do to improve where you're at. Maybe you want to build your confidence, maybe you want to improve your communication skills, maybe you want help with making decisions as to what the best course of action is for you. If you're interested in finding out any more, then get in touch using the contact form on my website at changeworklife.com/contact, that's changeworklife.com/contact. Just mention in that form that you're interested in being coached, and I will get back to you, and we'll set up an initial half-hour conversation to find out how I can help you. It'll be a no-obligation 30-minute consultation, just to find out how I can help, and if we're a good fit. So, if that's something that you'd like to explore, then go to changeworklife.com/contact, and get in touch. In the meantime, there's another great interview coming up in two weeks' time, so subscribe to the show if you haven't already, and I can't wait to see you then. Cheers. Bye.
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