Where Next?

For the past year or so I had grown bored with my job. The transformation program I had been working on was largely done and we were now into the day to day. My team and my work was 500 miles away so I spent my days on conference calls, remote from the every day camaraderie of the office world. Sure, things got done and done well, but the work was mundane and without real challenge. I had given myself 18 months – aiming for the magic Freedom 55. And then the decision was taken away from me.

One day, back in October, I got the letter so many colleagues before me had got. The meeting was full of empty platitudes – bit like being dumped really – ‘it’s not you, it’s me’, that kind of thing. Bottom line – I’m out of the door with a very sizeable cheque and the freedom I had been craving. Except it didn’t feel that way. First thing I did when I had picked myself up was start a job search and blow the dust off my resume. In the first two days I had scoured all the job boards for anything vaguely suited to my diverse skills and had fired off a done applications. I made lists of my network contacts, set up appointments and followed up on leads – desperate to take charge of my life and prove my worth. I see that as the equivalent of the rebound – if you don’t want me I will date the next available warm body to prove my attractiveness.

Within two weeks I had my first interview – went horribly, but then I’ve been out of the dating pool for 7 years, so to be expected. After that, though, I began to settle into this new reality, and my new job became, get a job. I’m getting first dates, the odd second date, but that’s not the point of this post. Point is, I’m not sure why I’m even trying to get another job. My carefully analysed and reviewed financial plan shows I don’t need to work, so it’s not for the money.

I think it is purely down to the fact that I was not in control of the decision – and that’s the root of the issue for anyone involved in change. If you try to force a change on someone, and they don’t have time to accept and buy-in, it will not go well. The change model I used in my work states you need people to have awareness of the need for change, and a desire to participate and support the change as basics entry points, otherwise the change will not go well.

In my case, the forced change meant there was no handover for my team and workload. Files were simply deleted and a huge amount of work and effort was lost. The company will never know what they lost because they simply didn’t bother to ask. For me, the change meant rejection and so that immediate need to prove myself by getting another job.

Three months in and the new paradigm is settling in. Post Christmas I don’t have the fire to keep up the networking – kissing frogs I call it – and so I now need to sit back and reflect on where I want my journey to take me. I’m still not sure what I want next. I consider myself ‘potentially retired’ right now, but in reality, I know I would jump back onto the carousel if and when the opportunity arises.

I would like to think I can accept this new opportunity for what it is and use the change to do what I’ve always said I want to do – write. I’m finding new passions for sure. I’m learning guitar and Spanish, I’ve blown the dust off my old slot car racetrack, I revamped my blog and intend to post again (this being number 1). But can I actually follow through, or will the need to show my ‘ex’ what they lost win through?

Time will tell.

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