12 Career Changes that have led me No Where

17 Jan , 2015 Thoughts

12 Career Changes that have led me No Where

So I saw this article written on LinkedIn and I thought it was quite interesting and I shall do it too. The guy in the article wrote 12 career (or was it 21 career changes) that had led him to no where. I was thinking about the same idea with business ideas/adventures. I wish I saved the link to his article.

Why am I doing this you ask?

This week has been really weird. I was very low and very down. I felt very lost and felt like people hated me. In reality, I just hated me and I felt I had lost passion for life. Albeit eating really well this week, I still wasn’t feeling 100%. 

Today, I had a bit of a crying sesh with my boyfriend and then a lot of things started to surface and mingle together. In reality I had my doubts about the organisation, the “dream job”, I had doubts about the people and I had doubts about what they were positioning themselves to be. Would I have been able to let go of the “coach” in me and work with people who think Tony Robbins events are brain washing events? Would I have been ok in an organisation where your credentials HAVE TO speak louder than what you can do? (Not that they are arrogant, but as my boyfriend said, innovation at the end of the day can be and will be seen as “fluffy” stuff)

The other is, I am such a lover of people, is helping organisation’s make money while cutting employees, something that I can live with?

All these thoughts in my head, I thought I’d document a little bit more about all the career thoughts I had, just to have a good overview of how I’ve been doing things or what I’ve been thinking.

The 12 Career Changes that have lead me No Where.

Prep – Grade 1: At this stage, I wanted to be a lawyer. I’m not sure whether it was my parents influence or whether it was the TVB drama series “File of Justice (壹號皇庭)” but I clearly remember we had to draw what we wanted to be and I drew a Police Officer because I didn’t know what ‘Lawyer’ was in English. So I thought, Police was close enough.

Grade 2 to 3: I was still very much into the Lawyer business.

Grade 4: I made a shift to fashion after watching another TVB drama series, “Glittering Moments (Catwalk 俏佳人)” and I was obsessed with models and fashion. I started to draw chicks and close. I think it was also around this time that I was making close for my barbies and dressing and undressing them. Putting looks and styles together. I even did their hair with cool stuff ALL THE FREAKING TIME. (edit: Why did I write “clothes” as “close”? I’ll leave it in anyway.)

Grade 5 to 7: I was into friends, singing and boys. I don’t think I thought much about where I was going with life but just thinking about who was cute and getting a boyfriend. Maybe the career choice at this stage was “Girlfriend”. LOL

Year 8 – 9: I think I was still focused on making friends and thinking about boys around this time. In the later days of Year 9, I did engage in a lot of conversations with Susan and Angel about politics. Especially about our love for Jeff Kenneth. lol  I also remember talking to my friend’s ex-boyfriend about being lawyers and how we would be better than the other.

Wait, this was the year when a girl named “Jacqui Hoang” graduated and our school had an “Art Exhibition” for everyone’s work. I still remember volunteering to help the art teacher set up and she said, “Put Jacqui’s in the front and all the shit ones at the back”. At that point, I wanted to be the next Jacqui Hoang and my work was not going to be “the shit ones”.

Year 10: Tipping point. I think it was this year that I really wanted to be a fashion designer. This year, we did a small business project and I influenced my team (Kim, Ly, “Bunny”) to sell bags. So we bought denim fabric and some asian fabric and made bags with zips too for use as a pencil case, MD (remember those!!) holders and a general one. We made quite a bit of money from it! From memory close to $100 per person!! And we did it asian production line styles. 😀

This was also the year that I felt I had competition. I forgot the girl’s name but we both wanted to be the “DESIGNER” and although I didn’t really know her, I’m sure we both knew of each other. Fashion designer was all I wanted to be then.

VCE: By now I was Fashion Designer mode, although the idea of being a Lawyer was still there. I also was fascinated when I took Unit 1 & 2 of Psychology and LOVED the grainy black and white videos. I was actually going to take Unit 3 & 4 Psychology over Art, but the timetable clashed. I also hated the class as all the naughty ones were in it and I just wanted to learn more about psych!

Apart from that, I was really determined to be a fashion designer and have a internationally renown fashion business called “KLUU” and the first step was get into RMIT Fashion – The Best Place to Be.

First to Third Year Fashion: I was stoked when I got into fashion at RMIT. I dressed the part. I worked hard. I had a good eye for design. I worked as a tutor and a retail assistant in Myer. But I was miserable at school. Things only started to pick up a little when I was in third year, but first year, I felt not talented at all. I felt like I wasn’t as good as the others. Heck, I didn’t even feel like I had friends. But I still carried on.

Fourth Year Fashion: Still designer, still my own business.

Fashion Designer/Product designer: I did do a quick stint in fashion and probably tested the wrong side of town (menswear and a start-up label in Vietnam called “Unavailable”, probably should’ve known from the name that the business, in the end, would end up unavailable). None of it worked. I was still wanting to have my own business so I started, “GINTZE” with a friend. I got together a design team, put together measurements to sample some t-shirts. I wanted to sell t-shirts in chip packets in vending machines and at supermarkets, positioned next to real chip packets so people are like, “Why are those chips so expensive??”

In the end it got no where so I decided to stop the process and put some designs on RedBubble just to prove to myself that I could sell t-shirts.

Schools T-Shirt Business: At this stage, I wanted to create a program where I would go into schools and work with kids to help them see hope and use art as a way of expressing themselves. Then I wanted them to design something that defines them, like an icon or design that is a positive reinforcement to them. Then I wanted to produce all the t-shirts and send it back to the kids as a gift to remind them that hope is real.

Grad Dip in Counselling: I really enjoyed this course. I think I did the best during this time and I really learnt a lot about who I was. When I was finishing the course, I wanted to be a Relationship Counsellor and work with families (the only HD I got was for this subject). When I finished though, I realised that being just a counsellor wasn’t enough to fulfil my dream of having my own business.

Drink-Drive Education Trainer/Assessor: Not sure how and why I got into this when Alcohol and Drugs wasn’t even something I liked. I guess, when I did a quick 2 week placement at a consulting firm ‘DBM’, I’m not sure that they exist now, I was told by the Director that I would never had the qualifications to be a consultant. I was taken back and thought, “Nah, I will be a consultant in 6 mths time” and hence why I got into this role. The role was intially “Alcohol and Drug Education Consultant”.

Social Enterprise and Make Melbourne Awesome: Around this time, I was thinking about having a service in Melbourne that is a bit like a search engine  in Melbourne (this is way before Westfield decided to do it). Basically, there are search hubs in Melbourne CBD where all product data is linked to. These Search Hubs would be around train stations as like a mini stand where there is an ipad attached and also a hub cafe where people sit down, have a drink and use ipads and touch screens to search for items.

How is it used? Well, imagine going shopping for bridesmaids dresses (at that time, that was the problem) and you wanted to buy a brown dress with sequins. Instead of walking into every shop, why not just type it in the search hub!

How is this a social enterprise? I wanted to link this service online as well so that people can do all their searching in their office or at home. THEN if they wanted to have the products bought and delivered to them, they could for a small additional cost. So let’s say you were at work and there was a party and you forgot a gift or you don’t have a spare change of clothes to wear, you could use the system. I even went as far as pitching it to a few people who talked about VCs and stuff, but that went no where in the end.

Coaching Business: After going to Tony Robbins and being totally emersed and sucked in, I decided to take my counselling stuff to the next level and do coaching and NLP to be like Tony Robbins. I really got into it, going to see my TR friends for meetings every week. Networking. Doing workshops. Coaching people. Redefining and repositioning, changing websites. I went from “life and business coach” to “identity coach” to “relationship coach” back to “life and business coach”. Eventually, the desire died down when I had no clients, no workshops. I pumped out a book that went no where.

Tailored Jackets for Coaches: This business idea came from attending the NLP or Master NLP course and a lot of people were commenting on how cool the instructor’s jacket was (Helmut Lang). I thought, what if I designed some really cool jackets and stuff for coaches, implement the “structured clothing” stuff that I learnt from uni? And yes, that didn’t go anywhere either.

Online Fashion: This was a business idea that I thought about after TR and I wanted to do it with someone else. It was an idea of re-structuring how people thought about fashion. I thought, well instead of doing it the way everyone else did, what if my price points were backwards? What if instead of clothing going on sale, the clothes was on sale first and as the number of stock was dropping, the pricing went up. So to say that clothing is not a cheap commodity but something that you need to get before it’s gone. And yes, the guy and I didn’t take it any further, so yes, this also didn’t go any further.

Innovation Facilitation: As per my previous posts a few weeks back, I heard about this from the NLP course (I have lots of thoughts at NLP courses) and I thought, “Wow, putting two things that I love together, innovation/design and facilitation (coaching)”. I thought of doing this and totally sent out postcards which got no where.

Bridal Fashion: The small stint that got me printing out some cheap business cards (that look great), this didn’t go very far either besides making a dress for my friend.

Chicken wings business: I have only just thought of this one recently. What if I had a chicken wings stand/food truck that only made chicken wings and in a lot of different sauces. Then I thought about whether or not I wanted to smell like chicken wings all day and whether I wanted to do this. This is not a huge “no go” but I still want to think really thoroughly about this before I go ahead.


Now having a look at it all like this, it wasn’t really 12 career changes. In fact there’s only been a few that I have hovered over again and again – Fashion designer, business owner, coaching/counselling.

Also, I have not been very thorough about any of these business ideas – perhaps more brainstorming, throwing the idea around, asking financial/accounting type people, business people.

I have also not been good with “following through” with things. It’s been thoughts, ideas, but execution wise, nil. Haven’t really been much of a doer and a “give it a go” person but more of a thinker, a dreamer, an ideas generator (I accidentally typed “ideations generator”, a Freudian slip?)

I haven’t been one to just stick to one thing but constantly jumping back and forth. Fashion. Counselling. Fashion. Business. Coaching. Fashion.

I can see my weaknesses, but are they weaknesses or are they strengths. Are my thoughts and ideas viable or are they just thoughts?

So I don’t know.

The 12 Career changes that have gotten me No Where, or as Dr Wayne Dyer would put it, “The 12 Career changes that have gotten me Now Here”, my question is now what?

Karen x

ps – I still want to have a fashion business, but I still want to coach others and facilitate workshops too. How can I tie them all together and change the world?

lost in life



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