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  • Amina Aitsi-Selmi

2 keys to take a career leap  [Wise Wednesdays]

Recently, I spoke to two women who’ve worked with the UN and have had similar experiences to mine. They’ve both had to take big career leaps including leaps into the UN and out of it.

I wondered why some people were OK taking these leaps. Was there something different about them?

One of these women is Allyson Scammell who worked with NGOs and intergovernmental organisations before setting up her own intuitive business coaching practice. This aligned better with her true passion and also gave her more time with her family. We dug into the subject of Imposter Phenomenon/Imposter Syndrome and you can hear our conversation on her podcast here. We discovered that we both worked in South Sudan. And, that we both had to develop ways to deal with various fears – even now.

Overcoming the fears that hold you back seems to be one big pieces of the puzzle. Embodying a feel the fear and do it anyway mindset seems to be an important key to taking career leaps.

It’s unfortunate that our educational systems (and work cultures) still largely run counter to this and teach more of a be afraid and do what you’re told mentality, unless you’re blessed with great teachers or an exceptional school.

During a coaching conversation with another of these brave, career-leaping women, I learned that we also overlapped - in our climate adaptation work. She told me she wanted to take a new leap now. She loved her work but wanted to move to another organisation. But she was afraid.

‘I know how that feels’, I said. But I also knew how much she had going for her.

‘What if it wasn’t fear you’re feeling but excitement?’, I asked.

She smiled and said: I need to take that in. It’s blowing my mind right now.

She didn’t need career advice or interview help. That’s not what I do anyway. More often than not, it’s the feeling of being seen and understood, that shifts everything.

Transformation doesn’t come from information. It’s the powerful questions that evoke new possibilities that blow the lid off limiting beliefs and fear.

 Having people around you who see you in your entirety, understand you without any judgement and support your dreams even if you forget them is another key ingredient for career leaping.

‘Understanding is love’s other name.’- Thich Nhat Hahn

This morning I got a call from sunny Togo from a young US doctor in training who went to volunteer there. She’s thinking of stepping away from the conventional track to pursue a passion. But she’s encountering advice that feels more constrictive than supportive…

I could see a bright future ahead of her that didn’t involve doing a job she doesn’t like just to be ‘safe’. I just listened and reflected back how she could trust herself. The video call was unstable but I could see she was smiling with relief.

Feeling safe, heard and understood in one’s deepest fears and aspirations is a powerful healing balm and tonic. Giving this to someone could be just what they need to take the leap they’ve been dreaming of.

Have a great week,


p.s. It’s official! How to Break Out of Overwhelm and Love Your Work Again workshop is happening on the 3rd of December at 7pm UK. Join me in this interactive coaching space to reduce stress, alleviate pandemic fatigue, reconnect with a sense of purpose and feel energised and inspired!

Sign up here:

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