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Making what you love what you do

November 10, 2021

What did you fill your time with when you were ten? Maybe you were a joiner-inner at clubs where you loved helping the grown-ups organise everyone. Or you had an obsession, like pirates or outer space; you knew everything there was to know about that subject and explored it in make-believe games. 

When I’m working with clients who are dissatisfied with their current role but not sure what else they want to do, I sometimes get them to go back to their childhood to search for clues about what they’re interested in, good at and enjoy. 

For example, I liked concrete stuff. Not literally concrete 😁, but things I could touch and do. I sewed, played with Lego and created cosy homes in the old caravan at the bottom of our garden. I liked to see an outcome to what I did. So it’s no surprise that ‘practical’ is one of the five words that describe my coaching. When I work with women, seeing something in their world change, something new created, gives me the same buzz as when I finished a Lego model way back then. (Who am I kidding? I still build Lego models today 😄). 

The danger of throwaway comments 

The thing is, when you’re little, you’re not bothered what others think. You choose things because they’re what you want to do, because they give you joy! You’ve only got to catch those moments when kids are totally absorbed in what they’re doing to see this. 

But then you grow up and that thing called puberty happens and suddenly what other people think about you really matters. That’s when throwaway comments can inadvertently crush dreams and slam doors on what we are well suited for. 

Take my client Amy for example, who is only now challenging just such a throwaway comment from a teacher many years ago. She says: “Ever since I can remember, I have been drawing or doodling as a regular hobby. For a long time, I didn’t realise how important that fact was. Then I noticed how happy and sparkly it made me when I drew, and others too when I shared doodles with them. I decided to listen to this happy sparkle and not to the GCSE Art teacher who told me not to bother when I was 14.” 

The thrill of a breakthrough session!

That realisation came about this year whilst we’ve been working together, exploring how Amy could grow her business.

It has been so inspiring to see her reconnect with her love of drawing. You can see in the sketch she sent me afterwards, just what that breakthrough meant to her! She’s now combining her two passions – drawing and wellbeing – to help people find their own sparkle. So far, you can enjoy her sketches through uplifting cards, personalised family prints and a wellbeing journal for children. 

Make what you love, what you do 

So, back to you at ten. What are the clues from that time about the things you love doing and are good at? Did you pursue them, or is there a route you didn’t take for some reason? If so, how could you make that something you do more of now? 

Amy started by making her creative outlet a priority: every day, after she got home from the school run, she’d sit down with her coffee and get her pens out. In so doing, she found the thing that re-energises her (very much needed for a mum of two) and a new direction. 

Maybe there’s a new direction or a side-hustle to be found in the thing you love doing? Let me know if you discover it 😊.

About me

I’m Celia Clark. I’m a career development coach based in the dreaming spires of Oxford. I help you think clearly about your job, in all its ups and downs, so you can be happy and successful in your work.

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