If you’re feeling blah about career change or life in general, I’d recommend reading this article from the New York Times about ‘languishing’.

A friend brought it to my attention as we were discussing this strange feeling so many of us seem to be experiencing at the moment:

“Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021.”

It’s been a tough old time. And we’re still in this strange hinterland of not being locked down, being able to be out and about more, maybe even socialising and seeing people we love…and yet, we’re not there yet. 

Travel isn’t ok, allowed, or easy. New variants pop up to give us the fear once again. Vaccinations are happening – but being vaccinated doesn’t suddenly make everything ok. 

And so, we’re struggling. We’re OK. But not great. Not full of energy, plans or joy. Motivation is a tricky one. Somehow so many of us are just about managing to go through the motions.

But anything that requires energy and effort, like looking for a new job, or starting to explore new possibilities, just seems so hard right now.

Small wins and flow

The article recommends focusing on small goals as a way to counteract this feeling. And getting into a flow state, where time passes without your awareness of it because you’re fully absorbed in doing something. 

I guess getting into a flow state means making sure you spend a bit of time each day doing something you love, and that makes you feel good. 

For me this means going for a walk and listening to a podcast. I forget everything, I focus on moving forwards and taking in what I’m listening to. 

Or it means watching a great tv show.

Or having a good chat with a family member or friend.

Or reading.

That’s all pretty doable. And as for the small wins?

Something that has helped me for over a year now, thanks to a little book given to me by a friend, is to write at the end of each day, a few things that made me smile.

It could be remembering how pretty the flowers looked in the park this morning. An funny exchange with a colleague. A text from a friend which feels like a hug. A particularly delicious snack. Lying on the sofa after work and doing nothing for a bit. 

The amazing thing is that it brings awareness to your day. Something happens and you make a mental note that this will be one of your wins of the day. And causes you to pause, take it in, reflect, and move on.

Then at the end of the day, even if it has seemed pretty so-so and uneventful, you sit and reflect and realise there were a few brilliant moments. Moments of beauty, of connection, of contentment. Of gratitude. 

We’re all languishing. It’s to be expected. I’m trying to remind myself that it won’t always be this way. And in the meantime, focus on the small wins. The great moments.

If you feel like gently getting things moving and would like my help and support with your career change, you can book a package of 3 x 1-hour sessions with me. You can book your sessions weekly, fortnightly or monthly. I’ll help you unpick where you’re feeling stuck, and make a plan to move forwards. Find me on LinkedIn or email me at

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Start small, start slowly, but start

I saw a quote yesterday from a rapper called Willie D – no idea of the context, but it struck me. He was basically saying that whatever happens in his life, illness, disaster, whatever, every single day he has to spend 5 minutes working towards whatever it is he wants to achieve.

5 minutes is small, but it’s something. And you can do a surprising amount in 5 minutes

I’m currently doing a writing course, and we’re starting off with 10 minute writing exercises each morning. It always surprises me how long 10 minutes seems. I splurge on the page for a minute and then it’s a matter of keeping going, keeping going, think think, what more can you write? 10 minutes does not necessarily fly by.

5 minutes is also enough time to do something. To look something up, find something out. Start and maybe finish an email. Start and maybe finish a post.  Tweak and finalise a document. Read an article. Listen to something that inspires you.

Dedicating 5 minutes means that you can spend the rest of the day safe in the knowledge that you have done something for yourself, to improve your situation, to take control. 

The worst is not doing ANYTHING. This is when the self-doubt and self-recrimination comes in, and the super negative thoughts. This is where you procrastinate and feel bad. You tell yourself the situation will never change, this is it forever, you’re going to feel bad forever more.

But doing 5 minutes of something changes everything. Suddenly you’re a person who is moving forwards, who is dedicating time to something important. You’re taking action, you’re proactive, you have energy. You’re focussed. You will change your situation.

Start with 5 minutes, doing whatever it is you need to do. Start small, start slowly, but start.

If you’d like some career coaching with me, you can find out more about me on LinkedIn and send me a message. Or email me at

Photo by Veri Ivanova on Unsplash

Unlikely inspiration

There’s a podcaster I admire. He has a massively successful podcast with his wife, called Notes in Spanish, helping people to learn Spanish. I first discovered them years ago, when I started learning Spanish at an adult education centre. I was set to take a GSCE in Spanish and needed all the help I could get.

They made learning Spanish so fun, listening to Spanish Marina quietly correcting English Ben. Their focus is very much on going for it, making mistakes, enjoying the process. You got an insight into their life, their views and beliefs, and life in Madrid.

It turns out Ben’s written a book on how to start up an online business. He talks through how they grew a chance experiment – trying out creating a 10 minute podcast for the fun of it – into an online business where they could both quit their ‘real’ jobs and pay off their mortgage super quick.

Dream big

What I loved about reading the book was the way it inspired me. Ben’s quite a straightforward, slightly cynical guy, very down to earth. And in this book he talks about all the business self-help books he read to help him in growing the business, guided by ‘Gurus’ as he puts it.  He talks about the importance of dreaming big, writing down your goals.

How a random goal you had a few years ago, his was (and I paraphrase massively) ‘I want to work fewer hours, spend more time with my family, do my own thing’, can come true.

I love it because I didn’t really expect him to quote Tim Ferriss or Tony Robbins, massive superstars in the entrepreneurial start-up/self-help/let’s maximise productivity world. Yet here he is, with his own particular self-help theory of saying ‘why not?’ whenever faced with doing something you don’t know how to do, but that interests you.

His enthusiasm and passion for finding something you are interested in and enjoy, and putting loads of time and hard work into it, learning loads along the way, is massively inspiring.

It made me think hard about what I want. And reminded me to just get on and do things. Stop procrastinating and thinking of reasons why not and just make stuff happen. As I always say, one tiny step at a time, which is exactly what he and Marina did.

I can’t emphasise enough how important I think it is to find people that inspire you. Read about them, or listen to them speak, or speak to them if that’s possible. There’s a reason they inspire you, there’s a spark there that you relate to. And there’s nothing like that burst of energy you get from someone making you think that maybe you too can dive into something exciting.

If you’d like to book a career change coaching session with me, contact me via LinkedIn or email at

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Don’t lose hope

A client who’d lost her job contacted me in February for some coaching just before the pandemic truly hit. She was in a difficult place, but hadn’t quite lost all hope.

Luckily she could leave London and go and live with her Mum, so rent wasn’t a worry. But it wasn’t ideal.

She needed to find a new job, and get on with her life. She had great aspirations, she wanted to buy her own place, and to travel.

And, she’d really lost her confidence. Her working environment before being made redundant hadn’t been great, then losing her job hit her hard.

So, we worked on building her confidence. I set her small tasks to do each week; honestly working out what her strengths are; noting when she’d acted in a confident manner, contacting strangers on LinkedIn and asking for advice on applying for the company they work for.

She was scared of being seen as annoying.

But she was determined, completed her tasks, and found that it was easier than she’d imagined.

People saw her for what she is, a lovely, capable, dedicated person.

She ended up with several job interviews – one a direct approach from LinkedIn.

And she found a new job in May!

With a company that seemed to share her values, who wants to hear her voice, and who are committed to employee wellbeing and happiness, with open conversations. Just what she needed.

None of this would have happened if she hadn’t taken action. As much as she was scared, feeling low, and lacking in self-esteem – she knew that she’d have to do some work in order to find a new job.

She took it step by step, was proactive, asked for help. And she persisted, even when it felt cringey, uncomfortable, risky. She didn’t’ lose hope, and it paid off.

If you’d like to try coaching with me, read more and contact me via LinkedIn, or send me an email at

Photo by Peter Boccia on Unsplash

It’s a plan! Why planning is so important in career change.

I’m a planner. I’m always thinking ahead, working out what needs to be done, how things will fit in, what steps are needed.

I was going to write that I love planning, but I’m not 100% sure that’s correct. Sometimes I find it quite stressful: planning trips, meals for other people, weekend plans – when it involves other people it’s not always so easy. 

But MY plans, just for me, I love. Planning something I want to do, enjoy or achieve. I love writing a big old list of all the things I need to do, then ticking them off, one by one. 


Being a planner comes into my coaching – I love encouraging other people to make a plan too. 

I’m aware that when we try to hold too much stuff in our heads we rarely get anything done, we just end up thinking and procrastinating and finding excuses.

But getting things down on paper, ordered, with timings – that’s when things fall into place. Because now you’ve got a plan. 

When coaching clients work with me we create a solid plan for their career change. We go through an initial brainstorm and uncover what the client really wants (quite often hidden behind fears). Then it all comes down to planning, and then taking action. 


By the end of their time working with me my clients have clearly mapped out what they need to do. They’ll have already started taking steps towards change too. 

New job, new home, new life

Take my client Sarah, who was based in London. She planned to:

  • Contact her current work and ask to cut down her hours and work remotely.
  • Apply for jobs teaching English part-time in Paris.
  • Find somewhere to live in Paris.
  • Sort out the admin involved in moving to France.

This might all sound massive and overwhelming. But Sarah was 100% sure this was what she wanted, and that it was feasible. 

She was desperate to live in Paris, it was a massive life goal. In her heart she wanted to work with young people and education. If she could work remotely in her current job, she could take it to Paris and carry on enjoying the stable income, whilst exploring other avenues.

Super focused

We broke down each big step into even smaller steps. It would take some work and effort – but it was doable. 

Suddenly, rather than dreaming and procrastinating and hating her current situation, Sarah was clear on what she had to do. She became highly focused and proactive. It was easier to bat away the feelings of resistance, because her goal felt real and achievable.

Things started to ‘fall into place’, because she was making it happen. She had her plan, and she was acting on it.

She’s now doing exactly what she’d dreamed of, in Paris. She made it all happen.

If you need helping making a plan, and you’d like to try coaching with me, send me a message for more details. Connect with me on LinkedIn to find out more, or email me at

Written during Writers’ Hour. Join me on the next one.

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash