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  • Amina Aitsi-Selmi

The 10 New Commandments of Career Change: Thou shalt not change career...but transform it

First: Congratulations to one of my coaching clients on his recent achievement! Tex Jones whose new company will be featured on BBC1’s national TV programme Homes Under the Hammer. He is CEO and Co-Founder of SureRents has just launched a great new service to improve the UK property renting experience and put people at the heart of it. It will be featured He built this from scratch with his co-founders, while balancing a full time job and looking after his family. Check out His other achievement was to transform his to do list into a new, downsized system that works for him rather than the other way around. Perhaps he’ll agree to do a short interview for a coming Wise Wednesdays so he can share his insights, tips and tricks. Bravo, Tex! NEW WISE WEDNESDAYS SERIES! On changing careers, a new series based on my experience of navigating career change over the years and the evidence on career management for high achievers: The 10 New Commandments of Career Change. It’s aimed at high achievers who don’t feel their talent is being used fully. I’ll be sharing 10 principles that can help you get through the process of change in finding another career or modifying the one you have into a better one.

Commandment I: Thou shalt not change career…but transform it

The idea here is not to throw the baby out with the bathwater when you’re starting to scan the horizon for pastures new. Find the golden thread(s) that runs through your career e.g. a passion for speaking/healing/writing, and examine forgotten talents. Your talent should be a combination of skill and passion (hint: look at your hobbies or revisit forgotten memories of feeling in the flow). It’s the place where you shine and feel inspired; where you know you have impact even if it isn’t directly measurable. Transform your current work situation to bring out and give a bigger platform to this talent. Your career should be moving in a direction where your true talent (your own zone of genius) is given an increasingly greater airing – ideally through the job itself, or through a job that allows you to use this talent elsewhere. It is the use of this talent that will make a difference to others and be a positive contribution as well as bring you reward, recognition and fulfilment. To make a job/career out of your talent, it needs to intersect with what people need and are willing to pay for. It is possible and working to make it happen will bring its own rewards. Two elements to pay attention to in a career transformation (alongside the fact that it takes time to go from the moment you have a realisation to the materialisation of a new situation): Element 1: Work with your inner-mammal Most of us focus on what we don’t have when we are thinking of a better career or job. The inner critic is activated to tell us we can’t do it. This is a defence mechanism against the uncertainty that change brings. Our mammalian brain abhors stepping outside the safety of its comfort zone unless the reward is obvious and, most importantly, the change won't bring any losses (loss aversion trumps possibility of gain). Of course, avoiding loss is nigh on impossible when going through change by definition. So we need to tap into our human, inspired, benevolent empire builder brain to move towards something that isn't guaranteed but means something important to us. The truth is that you have innate talent and transferrable skills that open a wide range of possibilities for you. You come from a species that has crossed continents on pieces of wood and metal and flown to the moon. Most of us don’t take stock of our talents and skills properly and, much less, know how to talk about them to others (subject of another commandment). You may need some additional training or education but you can think creatively…The saying goes: hire for enthusiasm, train for skills. The evidence also shows that women don’t ask enough; and it is thought that men tend to apply for a job two years early whereas women apply for a job two years late…This is to say that our subjective perception can contribute to our hesitation and self-sabotage alongside any structural barriers. Element 2: Choose the right moment The right moment isn't necessarily when you have all your external chips lined up but, rather, when you are ready internally. Differentiate between the healthy evolutionary impulse to change a career or improve it versus needing a break from it all. If you are close to burnout, you need to step back from any kind of activity that requires empire-building energy and coast along for a while as you regroup and take stock. You can also unplug entirely from the game if you need to and if your circumstances allow for a little while. It is important to understand that escape fantasies can lead you down a rabbit hole if you are thinking from a place of fatigue and delusion. There is no rush. You can nurse yourself back to full capacity before setting off on a career transformation path. Of course, burnout and recurrent escape fantasies are a symptom of the need for change…But get your basic needs met first to prepare for the career transformation journey to come. I hope this helps. If you have any reflections, please, share them in the Facebook Group. Thanks to those who shared their mini-wins in the Wise Wednesdays Facebook group this week following a Facebook Live I posted. May your wins be multiplied! Until next week. Amina Are you a high achiever and feel that you are not using your full talent? Are you ready for your next level of greatness in your career and life? Email to arrange a free 30min consultation with. Or if you are ready to move ahead, book a Career Turnaround Now session at Harley Street here. You will be able to get clarity on your career direction, identify self-sabotaging patterns that might be holding you back and recover momentum and energy. In either case you will be able to find out whether coaching is for you and whether there is an opportunity to work with Amina over 3-12 months on a career and life transformation to use your talent fully and feel both success and fulfilment. Find out more at

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