I was brought up in a village in Ghana, and thanks to my parents’ emphasis on getting a good education, I graduated with honours and began my career at a major investment bank in Paris. It was everything I had dreamt of and I’d worked so hard to get there. Everyone reminded me how lucky I was to be there. There was just one problem. I hated the job.
There was no big picture I could resonate with. The nature of my job meant that I had minimal contact with other people, I couldn’t directly see the results of my work and I had very little interest in the products we offered. I had always admired and wanted to follow in the footsteps of my aunt who is a successful banker, but now that I was actually doing it, the work left me feeling unfulfilled and depressed.
I struggled on for a few years, mainly because I didn’t want to upset my parents, but eventually I knew I couldn’t carry on. I said goodbye to banking, and transitioned into career consultancy for purpose and meaning.
My first job as a career consultant was very rewarding and I knew I’d found my “niche”. I loved it. Instead of feeling stressed at work, I felt I could breathe. Instead of being micro-managed, I was given extra responsibilities. Instead of being criticised by my boss, I was commended for my efforts. There were so many things that I enjoyed about the role – the freedom to do things my own way, and develop my coaching practice with young people who were receptive to trying the ideas I suggested. Seeing my clients move on into their perfect jobs was incredibly rewarding.
However, there was very little financial reward.
Not being able to afford much started to take its toll on my self-esteem, self-worth and confidence. I had a skewed judgement of the value of my skills.
I felt as if it was one or the other: either I could be unhappy in the job but well paid, or I could do what I love for little money.
I started to look for other opportunities – places where I could have the same kind of impact on people’s lives, but look after my own needs as much as others’. This was my Career Change for Money and Recognition.
My next career promised both. At around the same time, what I wanted out of my work was changing. I’ve always loved travel and experiencing new people and cultures, and I was beginning to get itchy feet stuck in London. I started to feel envious of my husband’s ability to go all over the world with his job, wishing that we could travel together and synchronise our schedules.
I wanted more control, flexible working and impact.
So I decided to set up as an independent coach and launched my career consultancy business.
Since taking that step, I’m finally in a place that ticks all the boxes. I feel so lucky to be able to spend my days sharing my experience with others and helping them find a place that meets their needs just as well.
It wasn’t an easy transition to get to my dream role, but I’m so glad I took the journey. Because I know exactly how my clients are feeling, and I know how much better they’ll feel once they’ve secured meaningful work they love, and are being paid handsomely for it. Follow my videos on YOUTUBE