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Break away to find your vocation

Sep 30 2014 13:03
Matthew le Cordeur

Cape Town – In a world of ruthless competition, people are forced to focus on a career from a young age, without the freedom to explore the countless ways of living their life, a business and career coach said.

Coach Jeremy Behrmann is the author of Breakaway, which explores ways of taking a meaningful sabbatical to discover the options available and how to pursue those ideas effectively.

In this story: Fin24's Matthew le Cordeur interviews Behrmann in the News24 LIVE studio.

Time to experiment

“We put a huge amount of emphasis on one career,” he said. “We invest in education, we do degrees and we trust that the one career will fulfil us.”

“The ultimate wisdom is when you have actually tried something out for yourself and a break away is about creating a window of experience where you can try lots of different things.

“The book helps individuals to understand who they are, what underpins their passions, their values and their abilities, and how they go about designing a trip that helps them to explore all the different careers and experiences that are related to those, to see whether or not they could be sustainable vocations moving forward,” he said.

Change is the only constant

Careers are changing all the time. “We will change about four to five careers in our life time and at each point, we are navigating a transition,” he said. “Either your industry has changed and your product has become irrelevant or you might change and your values have changed.”

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“The whole essence of a break away is helping us to explore and discover things that we had no idea about: the values that we never knew we had, or applications of skill that we never knew that we possessed.”  

We operate in very competitive times, he said. “The emphasis and the need for innovation is massive. What I have found … is the degree to which we step back from our normal business operation and take time to reflect ... has a huge influence on success."

“So this whole idea that when you break away you’re not actually being productive is crazy,” he said. “I believe that coming up with key innovations, break aways are the times when people really discover them.”

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Life as an adventure


A break away changed Behrmann’s life. It even brought about the idea to write a book about the subject and inspired him to take his role in the industry to a whole new level.

“I went on a sabbatical with some kind of uncertainty as to whether or not I was in the right career and I had the opportunity to engage in different work experiences … that gripped my imagination,” he said.

“I worked in advertising in London, I made chocolate in Ecuador, I made a documentary in South Africa, [and] I even looked into coming up with a business plan for a travel light …

The result of his sabbatical was the journey he has embarked on as a coach and author. “It helped me to explore and understand the relationship that I have to everything in my life,” he said.   

“The organ of career cannot thrive on its own,” he said. “You have to ensure that all of the other areas of your life are also holistically balanced. That’s what a break away really helps you to achieve.”

* Buy a copy of pre-copy of Breakaway through Thundafund to help Behrmann publish his book.

- Fin24.

- Follow Matthew on Twitter

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