Job centre to juggler: a new year story

A new year is full of new beginnings. Some are voluntary, exciting new goals, like taking up a new hobby or exercise regime, that we hope to enjoy so much it will become part of a better, new, permanent routine.

But some new beginnings happen without us volunteering for them. Maybe it’s at home, and maybe it’s at work. I’m sure a qualified life coach could tell you much more about home life changes, and how they can happen to you while you observe passively, or how you can embrace them and create a new life for yourself.

But work changes can be ground-crumbling too, even though health, family and friends (not necessarily in that order!) are really far more important in the grand scale of things. Threats to our jobs can take away our rudder, like an electric storm wrecking a ship, leaving it bobbing about, directionless. Sadly, too many of you reading this will know just what I’m talking about, and right now.

But it doesn’t have to be that way; it is possible to take control and steer yourself back on course, even if it turns out to be a different one from where you imagined you’d be going. At times like this, I have a few friends and acquaintances who inspire me. It took a Christmas card and a new example to remind me how change can also help break the mould in a fantastic way. (If you are reading this and you recognise yourself here, yes it’s YOU who are the inspiration, and I hope you don’t mind me sharing your story to share some hope along with it.)

  • From market research to cake maker – fantastic, enthusiastic Facebook posts show what a happy experience this change has been.
  • From financial services to theatre – leading to fulfilling a lifelong ambition to perform with the acclaimed Royal Shakespeare Company on their famous stage at Stratford.
  • Best of all, from job centre to juggler! Well, from Unemployment Benefit Office anyway. Back in the early 90’s, there was only one thing worse than having to ‘sign on’ fortnightly in one of those places, and it was having to work in one, five long days a week. (I know from experience, having spent far longer than I cared to in BOTH situations.) In my circle of friends at the time was a man who happened to work in a neighbouring UBO, and we had occasional ‘sharing the pain’ chats. He was keen to follow his dream to a more entertaining career, but was scared to take the leap. Eventually he did, and now he is a juggler and stilt walker, appearing at local events providing street entertainment, and he also runs a circus school.

Now that’s how to break the mould in style!

So if you have choices this New Year, remember there is an option to take an unconventional route, and it can work. Is it time for you to find your inner juggler?

There are lots of great websites to help you consider your options, set your goals, and work out how to get there. Try this article, particularly for women considering changing career direction:



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