What I Learned from Cali Bird's event

Esc member Lauren Rosser shares what she learned from Monday’s event with Cali Bird (@calibird). In a nutshell: ‘Anything is possible, if you have the courage to go for it.’ We have a similar upcoming event on Monday 21st October with Charly Cox

I turned 34 this year. And I recently got engaged. When I tell my friends I want to see a careers advisor, they think I’m crazy. “But aren’t you getting married next year?” or “But I thought you were happy – weren’t you only in Monaco last week?” like they’re confirmed indicators of personal happiness and fulfilment. Yes, I am getting married and totally smitten with my partner, and yes I was in Monaco for business but I was stood inside a large industrial tent for two days talking to other industry experts about how to better sell superyachts to the wealthiest people in the world.

And so my story begins. I have been a journalist and editor for more than 10 years. And while it’s been an amazing journey meeting wonderful people from all walks of life, not to mention all the freebies, I no longer feel fulfilled. I am no longer excited to go to work each day.

I didn’t always hate my job. In fact, I loved my job. But at the age of 29, like many Aussies, I had not seen the world. So, I threw in my job as editor for a weekly women’s fashion and lifestyle magazine, and jumped on a plane to London.

At the height of the economic fallout I arrived bright eyed to the big city hoping to land my dream job as a high-flying editor of a glossy magazine, let’s say Vogue. The sky was the limit. I interviewed and won an internship, but I needed to pay the bills, so instead took on a job at a private media company that specialises in superyachts.

And here I remain, four years on, tied to a job I am no longer passionate about because my employer has sponsored me to stay in the country. It’s not all bad – I get to live in London with the man I love, so the feeling is a bittersweet one.

Which bring us to Monday and my first Escape the City event – a talk with Cali Bird covering the topic ‘How to escape without giving up your day job’. It was brilliant. Not only did I walk away feeling inspired, but I was also able to gain more clarity on a question I have been weighing up for months and haven’t been able to answer: Am I unhappy being an editor, or am I just unhappy working for my current employer?

While my quest for my ‘escape route’ will continue – Cali says these things can take years and that’s ok – my connection with Escape to the City has been a positive experience and has reminded me that anything is possible, if you have the courage to go for it.

Here are Cali’s tips for planning your own personal escape route. And remember, it doesn’t matter how long it takes to reach your goal or how long the list is, it matters that you start and continue! I have included my responses, which, miraculously, came out onto paper quite easily following the session. Good luck.

1.Knowing what you want

Look at your life and what you don’t want. For example, do you like where you live, your house, sitting at a desk all day, not earning enough cash?

I want: A high-paying job that provides some freedom to enjoy mornings off, a house with a backyard and sunroom, a job that allows me to travel the world and not to sit at a desk all day!

What is your call to serve?

For example, do I want to help underprivileged kids?
My call to serve is: inspire people who are not as self-motivated and driven as I am to succeed in their health and careers.

What irks you?
For example, does homelessness upset me? Utility prices?
What irks me: Bad health, nutrition and habits. People who have no aspirations.

What is your passion?

Travel, interacting with new cultures, photographing new landscapes, feeling inspired, fresh, renewed. Good health, good food. Cooking. Bringing people together. Laughing.

What would make my workplace better?

More incentives, more cash, less hours, no interaction with accounts, less mundane work, feeling appreciated.

Coping tools
Mind shift – see the value of what you are doing at work. You are earning money to fund what you really want to do.

Journaling – give yourself permission to dare to dream. Dream on paper, it’s a good way to explore.
Vision chart – place a photo of you in the middle of the page. Cut out/print images of things that appeal to you. Commit to what you really want on paper.

2.What would I need to gain to get to my goal?

For example, do you need to gain knowledge in the form of study, or fitness?
What do I need to gain: Knowledge by reading books, researching people in the career I want, study.

3. What would I have to lose?

What would I have to get rid of, to get from where I am now, to where I want to be?
For example, would I need to stop watching too much TV, or say no to nights out to make space in my life? Or cut down my hours at work?
What will I give up: Nights out, social occasions and my man wanting me to sit around watching TV on weekends!

4. Create action points

For example, gain a diploma, lose my debt, find new clients. Do three things towards these goals each week, even if it’s just a phone call, google search or reading. Build an escape fund. When we’re fed up, we spend money (it’s expensive to be unhappy)!

5. What is stopping you!

What is your gremlin? We all have a gremlin (inner voices) that stop us and remind us of our fears. Fear can be tangible, for example a spider, or you are less aware of it as it becomes your pattern. These can be damaging but you don’t know what your pattern is.
What you can do: be aware that your gremlin exists, find out what your pattern is. You don’t get resistance from going to work 70 hours a week, you get it from doing the challenging things, the ones that your heart wants. Take small steps and break down the tasks, and put a time next to your to dos, so the end goal is more easily reached.

6. Beliefs

Just because you think something is true, doesn’t mean that it is.
Remember, you don’t need to be good at everything. Have a willingness to believe. What help would I need to achieve my goals? “If the want is big enough, you will do it!”

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