Need great career advice? Listen to the Spice Girls!

Remember the Spice Girls song with the line, ‘Tell me what you want, what you really, really want’? It captured the imagination of a generation of young women who were invited to consider what they wanted in life, and inspired them to go for it.

Time has moved on (as have the Spice Girls) but the sentiment they championed is just as relevant today. Though sadly it seems like it has all too often been overlooked by the very women it resonated with in the 90s – as author and NLP expert Judy Bartkowiak explains.

What you really, really don’t want

In my work, I help mums and children using NLP, and recently I’ve lost count of the number of wannabe working mums who come into a counselling session telling me everything they don’t want out of a career. And they’re not the only ones. If we’re honest with ourselves, we all do it at some time or another. How many times have you found yourself telling someone or even yourself:

  • I don’t want to go back to work.
  • I don’t want to have a long commute.
  • I don’t want to lose all my money in childcare costs.
  • I don’t want to give up my career.
  • I don’t want someone else looking after my child.

Stop talking and start listening to the Spice Girls

My response to the frustrated working mums that I speak to is always to ask them what they want – a question that usually leaves them looking at me in astonishment. Then they say that they don’t know, or explain that it’s impossible to get what they want – which is flexible paid work that they feel is worthwhile, enjoyable and stimulating in some way.

But I really believe that it IS possible to get what you want. You just need to follow the Spice Girls’ advice (and practice a couple of key NLP techniques)!

Visualise your desired outcome as a working mum

NLP techniques may seem simple, but they can be incredibly powerful and can bring amazing results when practised regularly. The first technique I use with ambitious working mums is to visualise your desired outcome. It may help to take yourself somewhere quiet and close your eyes, turn off your phone and let your mind wander. Or you could practise this in bed at the end of the day, just before you drift off to sleep.

To start, conjure up your ideal job and get a picture of it in your mind. See yourself doing it. What are you wearing? Where are you? Who else is there? Set the scene. What can you hear? Who is talking? What are they saying? Who is doing what? What are you doing? Fill the scene with your visual, auditory and kinaesthetic senses. If you can picture your perfect scenario, then it could happen. It is possible.

Find your models of excellence

The second task I set my working mums is to disprove their limiting beliefs – those dangerous ‘I can’t’s. Who says you can’t achieve your career dreams? Start looking online and locally for people who can and do.

These are your ‘models of excellence’. If someone can do it then you can do it – you just have to find out how and get on with it. Assess the skills you have and how these will help, then consider the skills you still need in order to achieve your ambitions. Find out who has those skills and how you could learn them.

Believe in yourself like Victoria Beckham

If you’re determined to realise your career ambitions as a working mum, remain focussed and get your partner on your side, you’ll be well on the way to achieving them. Just look at the success of Spice Girl Victoria Beckham. Not many would have believed she could have built a successful fashion career. But clearly she believed in herself – and that’s all that matters.

Judy Bartkowiak is the author of Be a happier parent with NLP, NLP Workbook, and  all published by Hodder and available from local bookshops and Amazon. You can also order signed copies from NLP for Kids.