Growing up, she had no idea what she wanted to be. She found subject selection at GSCE, A Level and Degree stage confusing. She was so worried about making the wrong decision and regretting it in later life, that she put off the decision to the last minute. This little girl was so envious of those that knew exactly what they wanted to do as this meant they knew what they should study. Because she didn’t know, she felt like a failure.
She opted for broad subjects that would give her broad options further down the line. By then she would know what she wanted to do. When the time came, she still didn’t know.
When it came to applying for ‘real’ jobs, she found it completely overwhelming - scanning the jobs section of the newspaper endlessly for her perfect role.
She was none the wiser on which industry or specialised field to go into, she hadn’t narrowed her options and she had very generalised skills and education.
So when she applied for a job and they offered it to her, she felt so grateful. She couldn't believe they had selected her, when she was the one with no clue, no career direction and no dream job to chase.
This became a recurring theme. Whenever she felt it was time to move on and look for her next career move, she became incredibly overwhelmed with job searching, and subsequently so blessed that ‘thank god, someone picked me’.
She would regularly say ‘opportunities came to me, I got here by accident’. She believed that she would be found out and her boss would realise that she'd no right being here.
It was this inner voice that led her to spend most of her career being someone else. Being what she thought she needed to be, rather than being her true self. Everyday she would put on the mask for work and off she'd go. For so long she didn't even know she was doing it. Until it started to become so wearing, so draining.
Now she IS in her dream job (the one she didn't know was out there) and has learnt a valuable lesson along the way- to trust the process. All her past experience has led her right up to this point. She now understands that she has skills and attributes that make her unique and which are valued. She can see that it is ok to be herself.
She doesn't need to change who she is, but simply be who she is. And she works on this every day.
Why am I sharing my story with you?
Because 70% of girls feel more confident about their futures after hearing from women role models. The #thislittlegirlisme campaign initiated by Inspiring Girls International to mark International Day of the Girl on 11 October 2021.
I'd love to hear your story.
Gemma Brown is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation, working with individuals and groups to navigate successfully through transitions - be it career, relationships or life in general. Her belief is that when we confidently bring our whole selves to all areas of life, anything is possible. Transitions exist in both our personal and business life, and so often, the two fiercely overlap. Coaching with Gemma focuses on you as a whole, enabling you to identify your strengths, build confidence and to live a life with increased purpose and direction. Gemma works face to face with clients in the Cambridge area as well as via Zoom. For more about Gemma, visit her 'About' page or contact her directly.