March 1, 2023 in Case Study, English

From Clueless to Finding My Exact Calling: Read Sara’s Career Change Story

Sara Dance spent nearly 20 years in the communications sector where she became the Head of Communications before realising that she wanted to do something different. She now runs her own business which helps individuals and organisations boost their wellbeing. 

You should read this interview because…

  • Sara found her passion after nearly twenty years in one career field.
  • Sara moved from Head of Communications to Business Owner.
  • Sara’s career change was bold and powerful and you can do the same!

What you will learn from Sara’s change of career:

  • You too can change the direction of your career.
  • It is possible to discover your career passion no matter what stage of career you’re at.
  • Changing your career to align with your gifts can transform your whole life.

Hey Sara, amazing to see you again!
Please tell us what’s your career now and what were you doing before?

I run my own business called Breathways, which has been running for a year and a half. I’m a breath coach and Wim Hof Method instructor. I work with organisations and individuals using the breath to support all areas of wellbeing

Before this I worked in communications in the City of London for nearly 20 years, mostly in the public sector. I achieved my objective of becoming Head of Communications, then realised that wasn’t what I actually wanted at all.

What made you think you wanted to change your career? And when you realised a change was needed, did you already know what you wanted to do? or did you have no idea what else you could do?

I’d always known I had huge passion, but I didn’t know what for. I achieved all of my ‘corporate’ job dreams, and realised they weren’t actually fulfilling me at all. I’d always wanted to run my own business, but had no idea what it should be, so I turned to a career coach.

I really felt like I didn’t fit the typical mould as I wasn’t looking for a career boost, I was looking for a totally new path. This was incredibly daunting and I didn’t know if it would work for me. It’s also a huge investment, so I wanted to make sure I was making the money work hard for me.

Looking back, the process of career coaching for me wasn’t really about my ‘career’, it was about me having the confidence to listen to myself, try things and trust that it would figure itself out.

How did you find out what was your ideal career if you had no idea?

The best piece of advice I received from Bruna, and I still use it regularly is, ‘find what feeds you and do more of it’, the simplest and most powerful piece of advice.

When Bruna and I began to work together, I imagined I was a challenging client - I wanted to know when this magical process would work! But I soon realised the process was really about me growing out of my old life and forming a new one, where I left behind all of my self limiting beliefs.

We visited the idea of many different creative careers (as these were my best memories from younger years), but Bruna helped me see that there can be a career in any area of life and I should and could make my own rules.

I had seen a website for a breath coach and I was drawn to it, but dismissed it in the early days of my coaching, as ‘not for me’. As my confidence grew I came to realise that everything was open to me and a real passion of mine was in the wellbeing space. I was already a student of the Wim Hof Method and that made me realise that I could create a career out of breath coaching.

I worked with a few friends, coaching them on breathing techniques, and realised I absolutely loved it, so I followed Bruna’s advice. I didn’t think about why it might not work, I just followed my passion.

I now understand that when you follow your true passion and offer what you do to the world, something magical happens. I get feedback from every session I do about how my passion is obvious for all to see and I think that’s key. It comes from my soul.

When you decided to change your career, what obstacles and challenges did you face and how did you overcome them? 

The obstacles are everywhere. 

Friends and family, while positive, were often bemused as my new path didn’t fit their idea of what I was and should be doing. My mum was uncomfortable as I didn’t want a ‘job’. People get uncomfortable when you don’t want to fit in with the norm anymore, so I decided to thrive on that. The more bonkers they thought I was, the more it fed me.

My husband was incredibly supportive and had always been my biggest cheerleader as was Bruna and the encouragement really helped push me forwards. Try and find someone that will push you on, this could be your coach, but you need someone to bounce ideas off.
On a really practical note, I had saved some money so I could spend time setting up the business and not have to worry about the finances.

Also, I had literally no basis for my new business, no experience and a blank piece of paper, so I used what I had. I reached out to contacts and offered discounted sessions for both corporate and 1-2-1, I built up a few reviews and then slowly word of mouth has kicked things into another gear.

Even if you’re starting from a blank piece of paper like I was, you still have everything that has gone before to help you start something new.

Please describe the steps you’ve taken to land the new job:

For me, I started the business from nothing in the middle of a global pandemic, it shouldn’t have worked, but within a year it was profitable.

I think the most important thing is to be passionate about what you do. Then you need to be credible, so I set up a really professional website. I started off offering discounts and then gathered testimonials. I also work with great partners that inspire me.

It was really hard setting up the business as it’s such a mental battle and I really did burn myself out in the first year. I’ve learnt from that now and my well-being comes first. That way I am better able to support my clients.

I love what I do, but my business is here to serve my clients and me, not the other way around, so it requires discipline.

In order to make the change, did you take a salary cut? If you did, what helped you afford it?

I absolutely took a salary cut to start with. I had saved for a few years to allow me to do that. One of the big drivers for me about running my own wellbeing business is to get a good work life balance, but I still want to earn a good salary and support the life I want.

Following the initial work with Bruna I have continued to work on myself. The experience of living in my consciousness has changed.I am alive with energy and passion. I feel unstoppable. 

How did working with Bruna help you?

Working with Bruna changed my life and changed my trajectory. I now have the confidence to see I am capable of anything I put my mind to. I am living my dream life and each day just gets better.

I was originally nervous about the investment in career coaching, but looking back this was the best money I have spent in my life. To be where I am today, running my own business, loving what I do means the world to me and Bruna was the perfect fit to help me drive this change. She adapts her style and offer and really supported me to shine.

In what way did Bruna help you get unstuck?

She made me see that I was the only one holding myself back. It was a mental game as much as anything. That I was free to make my own rules in life and to have the confidence that when you put part of yourself out into the world, the universe responds to this great energy.

Describe three or more things you enjoyed about the process of working with Bruna.

  1. I ditched my self limiting beliefs;
  2. I found my power and belief;
  3. She helped me become aware of myself;
  4. She was so much fun to do this with;
  5. She loves my journey as much as I do;
  6. She has great energy!
  7. She helped me set myself free.

How do you feel in your new career path? What benefits are you experiencing in terms of happiness, aliveness, fulfillment, finances, mood and so on?

This is really off the charts for me. I’m a whole new human. Following the initial work with Bruna I have continued to work on myself. The experience of living in my consciousness has changed.

I love my life. I am alive with energy and passion and I am using my gifts and sharing them with the world, where they are so appreciated. I feel unstoppable.

What is the major benefit in your life of this career change?

I am empowered, enabled, joyous and living my extraordinary life. Who wouldn’t want that?

Thinking about the future, would you consider using a Career Coach again to progress or change a part of your career? Explain your reasoning.

Absolutely, if I felt I needed the external guidance or support and it’s something I recommend to people a lot. The work I have done so far does really help me to be my own coach as well though.

On top of your career change, in what way this coaching journey helped you grow in other areas of your personal life? 

The journey kicked off a process of self awareness for me, which means I am on a path to continuous self improvement. I’ve found my path, unlocked my potential and now I’m enjoying the ride that is my life! Loving every single day. I couldn’t say that before!

What have you learned about yourself through coaching with Bruna?

That self limiting beliefs are just that. Let them go, and then have a laugh at the nonsense you used to keep yourself small. We serve no one in life by playing it small and now I do what makes me happy, because by doing that I can give so much more to the world.

I used to think that I should and had to work hard and struggle - not any more. Now I work in flow and do what makes me feel great and it all seems to work out beautifully. It took me so long to understand that, and it still challenges me now, but I keep reminding myself and coming back to the simplicity of this idea.

Finally, what is your top tip for people who are stuck in the wrong career?

Get yourself a Bruna. Stop playing small. You can be anything you decide. The universe needs you to meet your amazing potential.

Thank you Sara, we appreciate your honesty and wise advice here!
Good luck with your fab adventure!

In conclusion:

As you can learn from Sara's career move:

  • Changing the direction of your career is possible no matter how long you’ve worked in a field
  • You can align your natural talents with your career which in turn can change your life
  • Finally, you can discover your passions at any stage in your life

If you, too, want to change your career and feel great as Sara today does, choose the career change programme that best suits your budget and learning preferences!

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