When we spoke last time I shared my story via video about being absolutely terrified when I lost my job after moving to the UK after only being in the role for 12 months. I was told they were selling the company and offered me extra to stay and help them with the transition. Talk about freaking out so I went into overdrive, and even though I had not been in the UK very long, I contacted my network far and wide.
One of my former colleagues in the US got in touch and told me about a Marketing Director role with another publisher and offered to introduce me to the Company President and eureka – within a week of leaving one company I had another role. Some may ask why I didn’t go back to Canada? Basically I had taken resident status in the UK which meant I had to stay away for at least 2 years and a day, hence my panic. I had moved everything here so for me giving up was not an option. Lots of tears and anguish dealing with life in the corporate world, as in Canada as a Senior Sales Account manager as long as I delivered my sales numbers, no one bothered me, so it was a shock being in a head office environment.
The new role was hard! Firstly it was in Hemel Hempstead, (I had no idea where it was lol) and I was in Richmond. I had to drive a car on a different side of the road, deal with traffic, roundabouts and the land of magic roundabouts. I was permanently stressed out, but on a mission to prove myself. The saving grace was covering Europe so not a lot of time in the office. Pretty soon I realised that I was in an organisation that really didn’t fit my values, but I was a marketing director which was a great opportunity to learn some new skills and see how far I could go.
After 18 months I decided the company was not for me. The culture, the way people were treated and some of their HR practices were outdated and old fashioned. So, once again I found myself at a crossroads – stay and be miserable or leave without a job. I left after negotiating my exit with 3 months’ pay, my bonus and a car for a bit (long story) and as I drove off the premises I felt like I was flying as free as a bird – I had taken a risk, negotiated and won. After facing that fear it meant I could do anything!
Always surround yourself with positive people
I don’t know about you, but when you find yourself at a crossroads like me, people struggle to find their way. Facing many fears including confidence, self-esteem, income and where to start on that transition. And with COVID this has increased ten-fold.
I decided to go and register with an agency which was recommended by a former colleague called Stopgap. Before doing that I was an emotional wreck so I went to Canada for Christmas to regroup and feel the support of friends and family who knew me very well. Surround yourself with positive people always as change is hard enough without naysayers at every turn.
I registered and within a few weeks they found an opportunity for me with The London Training and Enterprise Council (Now called Learning and Skills council). First thought…. I am a Canadian what do I know about local government, but I threw caution to the wind and applied anyway. To my surprise I was hired because of my sales and marketing skills, industry experience was no big deal.
I found myself in great company with 6 or 7 others. We were tasked with turning around a business that was basically not for profit government in career transition. The mission turn it into a revenue making enterprise which was one of the biggest challenges of my career and way out of my comfort zone, but thanks to our incredible boss and team I learned something new daily. A
All the problems of setting up a business from sourcing, writing the spec and flow of putting a CRM system to all the process, setting up a sales marketing function, recruiting and hiring 9 individuals and then trying to find a way to the maze of government, because what we were setting up had to include their streams (training for work, modern apprenticeship, new Deal and other as an outplacement, career transition and recruitment company with a difference!
That contract became permanent and just before we were about to make it profitable we lost our funding. I then had the horrible task of making my team redundant and then myself. What an adventure and a roller-coaster all in one!
Thinking outside the box saved me numerous time
I am sharing my story with you because many people find themselves at a crossroads just like did. Do not to give up on what you really think is important to you and what you would like to do going forward. Take a step back and think about what you learnt from each experience and what is next in your career journey. Throw your hat in the ring – you might get a pleasant surprise.
The road to finding our purpose is not always a straight line so be kind to yourself and remember with each role think about what you have learnt to prepare you for your next adventure.
So if you want help check out my book called, ‘Cooking up Success‘ or get in touch with me and a set up a free 20 minute chemistry call. I also run career evenings, so grab a few friends and we can design your bespoke evening for you virtually, or in person, if you are in London.
I hope this motivates you. Like others at a career crossroads I was afraid, determined and no idea of what would happen next. I’m here to tell you with every change I learnt I grew, wondered why I was doing this, worried about money, paying bills when I didn’t have a contract and sometimes did freelance to cover the bills. Thinking outside the box saved me numerous time.