40,000+ hrs – will you invest them wisely?

June 2, 2015

I'm jess!

Life and leadership coach for women, mental health maven and soul guide.

I support women to do LESS people-pleasing, perfectionism and over-working ... and experience MORE ease, joy, vitality and confidence.


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40,000 hours. 5,000 days. That’s a conservative estimate of how much time an average 40 year old has left of their working life.


Do you love what you do? Not in a it’s-fine-I-don’t-hate-it kind of way. I mean do you derive joy and fulfilment from it? And if not, are you taking steps every day towards making a change?

I find that many conversations around this topic tend to go like this:

Client: ‘I’m really not enjoying my work, but I just have absolutely no clue what else I could do. It’d be impossible to make a change now.’

Me: ‘Ok, talk me through what you’ve done so far to work out what you’d like to do?’


A lucky few of us grew up knowing what our dream career was and doggedly pursued that path from the beginning. I have a friend like that. She knew she wanted to be a doctor almost before she could walk and with incredible focus and diligence, she’s crafted a career that she loves as much as she imagined she would.The rest of us need to do the work. To use those old chestnuts of trial and error to nudge closer to what we want.

Opening up parts of ourselves that we’ve likely been ignoring for some time, even when that means sitting with uncomfortable emotions. Being brave enough to ask ourselves what we actually want, and move past the conditioning of our families, schools and culture as to what constitutes an acceptable and or/fruitful career. (I know this path well – let’s just say that life coach was not on the list of approved jobs at the school I attended.)

The other way this conversation often goes down is this:

Client: ‘I would absolutely love to be a [insert creative career here eg. dance teacher/writer/artist] but there’s no way in hell that could ever be financially viable’

Me: ‘Sounds pretty amazing to me. So what steps have you taken so far to explore the viability?’

Crickets again. A minority of us are lucky enough to have a dream career where it’s super easy to see a clear path to a lucrative job/business and financial reward.

For most of us, we have to work at it. Maybe there’s an unexpected way to make it financially fruitful. Maybe we’ll adjust our lifestyle so it’s viable. Maybe our conclusion will be that it’s not, but we’ll find a related job we hadn’t thought of, or a way to bring that passion consistently into our life outside of our work.

There’s magic to be found in the process of asking the questions, in bringing our longing into the light.

There’s one other thing I often hear when my beautiful clients are half-heartedly convincing me (and themselves) that it’s best to stay put in their soul-sucking jobs. A job is only a job, they’ll say, so it really doesn’t matter if you don’t enjoy it.

I agree 100% with the former but not the latter. Your job or career absolutely does not define you and needn’t be the centre point for your life.

But I warrant that unless you find fulfilment in whatever you spend the majority of your time doing, you’ll find yourself living a life of constant waiting (for 6pm, for the weekend, for your holidays, for maternity leave, for retirement).

And to me, that feels like a pretty sad way to spend those thousands of days.

*A little addendum on timeframes. Sometimes it’s not going to happen overnight (although sometimes it will). It’s took me nearly eight years to get from a career I hated (law) to a career I love (coaching), with plenty of not-quite-but-nearly jobs/careers in between.As I put that in writing, eight years seems an awfully long time. Certainly, if I knew then what I know now, it would have been a much quicker and easier path. But to put it in perspective, I hope to be blessed with 40+ more years of work in my life. (Yes, I really hope I’m still coaching when I’m 80!) So when you put it like that … however long it takes, it really is worth it.

I'm Jess, mind whisperer, mama & ocean lover

I'm a former lawyer turned women’s leadership and life coach. 

I guide women who have created their success largely through driving, pushing and controlling, to reconnect with their intuition, vitality and radiance.

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 I gratefully acknowledge the Turrbal and Jagera people as the traditional owners of this land upon which I live and work.

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