After publishing 7 Inspiring Stories of People Who Create a Career Around Their Passion in Switzerland, I received many highly positive responses from many of you who wanted to hear more success stories from people who are pursuing the work that makes them come alive.
I did some digging and want to share two more stories from my clients who are pursuing a path that is aligned with who they really are.
How Joanne Found Her True Calling After Relocating to Switzerland
Joanne worked in finance for several years, mostly at big corporations. When she relocated from Spain to Switzerland, she saw an opportunity to pursue something that makes her come alive and break out of the corporate world that left her feeling empty for years.
After a few coaching sessions, we figured that partnering with a startup in the educational space, where she could bring in her finance experience, would be truly aligned with her passion, strengths, experience and values.
Once that decision was made, it was time to go out there and start talking to people. Joanne’s networking goal was to find out why people joined or founded certain startups and why they had chosen that path for themselves.
She leveraged LinkedIn and meetup.com to connect with literally everybody in the startup scene in Switzerland who had to do anything with education.
After a few weeks, she started to get requests for meetings and phone conversations from people she contacted. She asked them questions like “Why did you start this company?” and “What did you do before joining this industry?”.
Because she made the conversations not about her but about the other person, the requests kept coming.
During the three months we worked together, she met with countless people. She met investors, startup founders, CEOs, financial consultants in the startup industry and organizers of startup events.
The insights she gained from talking to them were eye opening and priceless. With every meeting, it got clearer to her that she was pursuing the right path because so many people she met shared her values and were highly passionate about what they do.
Furthermore, she was also building a networking of influencers and decision makers in her chosen field. These people were eventually the reason why she was literally overwhelmed with offers to join startups and partner with other founders.
Through our work together, Joanne got the clarity and confidence to pursue the path she was meant to pursue. She also met the people who eventually helped make that career happen.
How Marco Got Clarity on Which Career Path to Pursue
Marco had worked in the corporate world his whole life. He held many senior positions in the private and public sector. Eventually, he left the corporate world to start his own business to help organizations improve their communication.
Leaving the corporate world was a big step for him and he feels grateful for becoming self-employed. However, he still did not feel truly fulfilled with his new business. Something was missing.
One of Marco’s biggest values is freedom and because he now makes up his own schedule – at least most of the time – he feels a lot better than before, where he was working at rigid corporations from 9-5. The missing piece had more to do with doing work that makes a difference and helping those who help others than simply having his own business.
We identified what changes he wants to see in the world though his work. We pulled information from the past where he held roles that truly made him feel alive.
Above everything else, we discovered that helping the less fortunate, no matter if in the 3rd world or in Switzerland, was his strongest inner drive. That’s what fires him up and fuels his passion.
In this case, working at an NGO would be the right thing for him. But aren’t NGOs famous for their bureaucracy, rigid structures and slow movements? How is he going to align working at one of the large colossuses with his urge for freedom?
NGOs was one potential path on Marco’s list to pursue. However, who says that it has to be one of the top 50 charities?
We worked on opening his mind for other possibilities. He remembered that one of his friends is the owner of a private foundation in Lichtenstein. Now, that sparked something in him. His energy level suddenly spiked when we moved away from talking about large NGOs to private foundations.
Marco was very excited about his new discoveries. However, the possibility of employment simply seemed wrong for him due to his core value of freedom. So we looked at alternatives. Does it have to be black or white? Why not try gray?
There are many things between being employed and being an entrepreneur. Marco got fired up about the idea of not just working at one of these private foundations but maybe to work with 3 or 5 as clients. The business model is something to be figured out later down the road but it was clear that traditional employment was not an option.
There was one more limiting belief that Marco expressed. How many of these private foundations are based in Zurich, the place he wants to live? Would he have to relocate in order to pursue his passion?
Again, we worked on thinking differently and thinking bigger.
Why does such a foundation have to be based in Zurich or even Switzerland? Would the work that he does require him to be in an office from 9-5 every day? Most likely not. He would spend his days outside the office anyway, nurturing relationships with stakeholders like investors, donors and heads of governments.
That opened up a whole new world of opportunities. He could work with one foundation in Switzerland, maybe two in the U.S. and one in Asia. It would also allow him to travel, one of the only things he really enjoyed in his corporate career.
Your Journey to Loving Mondays
When was the last time you woke up on Monday morning, jumped out of bed and were excited to get to work?
If that happens to you regularly, congratulations. I’d love to hear your story and how you have created your ideal career.
If that’s not the case, it’s time to change right now. There is a Chinese proverb that says “The best time to plant an oak tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.”
What story do you want to tell your grandkids when you are 80 years old?
If you decide to tell the story of no regrets and living life to the fullest, let’s talk about how to make that happen for you.
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