Is the adventure the journey or getting to the destination? I discovered my own answer this week …

This week my research was published in a respected Coaching Research journal – the culmination of over 2 years work for my Masters.

And here it is …

I would never have described myself as academic in a million years. I suspect this is probably a mini rebellion on my part as both my parents are academic and very intellectual! Doing academic research has undoubtedly changed me though and for the better – I am more rigorous, more transparent, even more curious (which is saying something) and more questioning.

As many of you know, the dissertation process of deciding, designing, starting, gathering, analysing, conceptualising, writing, editing (and much more) is very challenging – and it certainly was for me. It was also thrilling, exhausting, inspiring, frustrating, brain aching and humbling. I would not have made it though without the support and company of others – knowingly or unwittingly along for the ride (particularly Rob, Jas, Linda, Paul and Elizabeth).

So what was the destination? Was it submission, getting the mark 3 months later, winning the research award, having it published 9 months later?

If I am totally honest, achieving a distinction was lovely but also more a relief. When it came down to it, passing mattered more. Winning the award was a huge surprise (as I am not academic – did I mention that!) and mattered more than I ever thought it would – mostly because of the doors it is now opening. Having it published feels like a nice tick in the box – but a week on I noticed that I barely told anyone – until now – which is fascinating. I wonder why that is?

The reason I wanted to publish in the first place was to be able to share the findings as widely as possible – to benefit others reinventing their late careers and the practitioners who work with them. Now that I am excited about. I’ve realised that being a published researcher isn’t the thing for me – but being able to share it and talk about it to as many people as possible – that matters hugely.

So, for me, I guess I don’t see the journey as ending, and I don’t want it to end either – these achievements are simply milestones on a bigger more exciting journey. I know others see these things differently – and that’s absolutely OK. I imagine they celebrate achievements and get way more satisfaction when they get there than I do – for which I am envious! I guess this post is my own way of pausing to acknowledge achieving an important enabling milestone in my life’s journey and one that is helping to propel me into the next chapter of my working life.

Please feel free to download it from here …

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