Being made redundant was a shock and not something I wanted. At 47, my purpose had gone, and my confidence was badly shaken. I had made promises to my team and despised letting them down. I grieved—for the team, the business, and for me. I was lost.
When people asked, “What are you going to do next?” and I couldn’t answer them, I felt like a complete failure. I truly hated not being able to answer that question. Being offered a job two months later was such a relief. I finally had an answer to that question! I felt useful, wanted and valuable again.
But it wasn’t that simple. A month into the new job, I realised I had made a huge mistake. I had lurched into the job to feel better, but I was unhappier than ever. Five months later I left.
I couldn’t keep doing this. It was time for something different. It was time for a new relationship with my work. Instead of rushing into yet another big job, I finally realised I had to create enough space in my life to discover, explore and experiment – whilst still earning enough to pay the bills of course!
I set about gradually building a portfolio of work that met my needs at that time.
- I worked as an associate for a few different consultancies – to learn my trade as an external consultant. I’d done a lot internally, but not externally.
- I dedicated time to my Masters dissertation research – to challenge myself academically and intellectually.
- I invested time in my teenage children – when they let me – as they navigated a really challenging time in all our lives
- I worked with a fantastic coach to re-discover my place in the world, address the big mid-life questions, figure out what really mattered to me, and clarify who I am.
Taking time to pause and think differently is so important, especially when something like this happens. Thinking differently can be tough though. Not knowing is hard and we often don’t know how to think differently. It’s seductive to revert to what we know – going round and round in circles.
Coaching can be such a blessing at times like this. It is many things, but at it’s core coaching is:
- The chance to have the conversations you really need to have with yourself, but can’t have by yourself.
- A safe space to be both supported and challenged – by an unbiased and qualified guide.
- The opportunity to pause, breathe, think differently, think differently again, access all your sources of knowing, galvanise your resources, take your next steps.
Maybe coaching could help you too?
If you’d like to learn more, drop me an email at email@example.com for a no-obligation, free 30-minute chat.