I left school before finishing my final year not knowing exactly what I wanted to do but knowing I didn’t want to be at school. If you’d ask me then I’d have said my career dream was flight attendant or actor.
I entered the workplace wide awake, ready to take on the world. As an enthusiastic 17 year old I was quickly nicknamed the Whirling Dervish for my boundless energy and desire to learn everything. Then I encountered difficult bosses, had some opportunities blocked and I got lulled into believing I wasn’t capable of more. One day I turned around and found myself married and working as a PA wondering “how did that happen?”.
This was not my dream, more like my nightmare, so I woke up and broke up with both of them.
I started searching for my dream career, using temping to help me broaden my options. Along the way I discovered Toastmasters and became a volunteer at Taronga Zoo presenting a show to visitors while handling native animals. I was also introduced to the world of HR and training. Finally here was a career that woke me up. I threw myself into it, eventually completing a degree in Adult Education while working full time and not getting a lot of sleep.
Then my new partner, a lawyer, announced he was having a mid life crisis at 32 and wanted to pursue his dream career so he joined the Northern Territory Police as a probationary constable. I went from living in South Dowling Street Surrey Hills to Darwin. I don’t fish, shoot or drink beer. I had bad hair every day. But I was determined to make the most of the “opportunity” so I started my own training business. I was the wide eyed Southerner who got 10 years experience in 3 years. It was a real wake up call being thrown into this totally foreign environment. The business was a success but the relationship wasn’t so I moved to Brisbane and fulfilled a new dream of becoming a speaker.
Over the next 15 years I lived that dream . . . I wrote 5 books, won awards, visited 8 countries, travelled business class, stayed in luxury hotels, was the VIP at events signing autographs and posing for photos. I bought an inner city apartment and a sports car.
Sounds impressive. Well, it was until it all disappeared. I went from wonder how I could live without valet parking to wondering how I was going to pay for petrol. I’d fallen asleep at the wheel.
Over the years I’d had more than a couple of dips. I would go up and then crash, then up and another crash. I just thought it was because I hated business development but I was wrong.
It was only when I was offered a great development opportunity that I declined that I got professional help. A psychologist helped me to understand why I was struggling and I also did some research on how others had dealt with challenges in their careers which led me to develop a 5 step process for turning your dream career into reality. I had a few false starts along the way which made the process slower than it could have been. That’s because I was fearful of giving up what I had and I wasn’t clear on what authentic success meant for me. Once I figured that out the decision on what to do next was much easier.
My mission now is to help other people wake up and turn their dream career into reality.
I’ve learnt the hard way that you can’t do that alone. You need the right support to help you make decisions and take action. One of my strengths is being able to look at other people’s situations and offer advice on their options. I get real satisfaction from seeing people enjoy their careers as much as I enjoy mine!
A recent report by Monitor Deloitte on the Future of Human Resources paints an interesting picture for the future role of the profession:
“The days of Human Resources as we know it at present may be numbered … shifts in the role and importance of unions in the business world, employee preferences regarding…Continue
Are you still offering traditional leadership development programs and wondering why you aren’t getting better results? Have you updated the content, hired new trainers or adjusted the delivery schedule hoping for a boost but nothing has changed? Maybe you’ve implemented a Blended Learning or Flipped Classroom model but are yet to see any improvement. Then what you need is to apply a valuable lesson from the gardening world and learn how to use the power of the hybrid.
Language matters. What we call something can help or hinder our understanding of it. The gardening world is full of examples of plants that have been given names that have no relationship to the plant. This can make it very confusing for new gardeners. For example, Pineapples aren’t related to pines or apples, Peanuts aren’t actually a nut and Primoses aren’t roses. I see the same problem happening in the workplace when we call people team leaders when they are really team managers. I have…Continue
I was inspired to write this post while watching a telecast of the 2016 Rio Olympic games. With a motto of “faster, higher, stronger” the Olympic movement is all about pushing people to their limits to see how well they can perform, thus separating the top .01% from the rest. At one level I admire that goal…Continue