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A Career Changing Decision

What career changing decisions have you made in your life?  Did they empower you or limit you?  Are you still being held back by those decisions today?  Here is a personal story of how one decision changed my career path.

Many of my friends and colleagues know that my all-time favourite show is The Big Bang Theory, and that it is one of the few shows that I do watch on TV.  I have been a fan of the show since watching the very first episode about 9 years ago.  With my recent purchase of season 8 on DVD (my complete Big Bang Theory DVD collection is in the photo below), I was reflecting on why I love that show so much.  The comedy is brilliant and the interrelationships between the characters are deep when you look beyond the comedy. Yet for me there was more to the show.

Then it dawned on me!   

Then during a recent early morning walk, it dawned on me.  The Big Bang Theory has reignited my fascination with science.  I remember through high school I was a very diligent student, a very shy and nerdy schoolgirl.  As a straight “A” student, I remember studying some of my favourite subjects in years 1, 2 and 3 – English (even though this was my second language), Maths, French and Science.  Then something happened in year 3 science class that changed the course of my career and life.

There we were in the science lab, the substitute teacher was taking the class and he gave us a science test.  I diligently worked through the test – I knew the answers, I had studied and studied as I always did.  Then during the test, the teacher noticed a couple of students cheating.  He decided to punish them and the whole class by giving the rest of the class a “C” for the test (without even reading or marking our tests).  I got a “C”… how could this be?  I knew the answers, I studied, this couldn’t be happening!!!!

I agonised over this “C” for days.  Too shy to speak up or to protest, I accepted the “C” and took it personally.  A personal failure.  I decided then and there that I am not good at science (and believed this for many years afterwards).  As a result, my career aspirations in the science field were over.

I made a mountain out of a molehill… 

I interpreted that one event to mean that I am not good at science.  This is despite consistently having “A”s in science previously and even submitting an award-winning science entry earlier that year.  Yet, I made this career changing decision.

So from year 4 high school, I pursued humanities subjects.  My career path had changed based on that one event – that one decision.  I then went on to study Economics and Econometrics at University, and then retrained myself in the behavioural change fields of NLP and Hypnotherapy.

My Fascination with Science

Then about 9 years ago while completing my PhD, something happened – and with a big bang!  The Big Bang Theory TV show started and I was captivated.  My fascination with science was reignited! I started studying physics and other fields of science, attending courses, watching DVDs, reading books and listening to CDs.  I even incorporate some physics and other science principles into the trainings that I run, and have developed my own behavioural change techniques based on scientific principles.

Today I am very grateful to that science teacher (and the cheating students in class) because, as a result of that experience and the decision I made, I love what I do now.  The teacher and students have taught me some valuable life lessons from that experience.  So thank you to my science teacher, the students and The Big Bang Theory cast and producers!

What career and life changing decisions have you made?  Have you made mountains out of molehills?  Do your past career decisions limit you or empower you today?

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