I have learned over time that my own career and life is a unique work in progress. I did not anticipate that either would be as challenging to navigate as they have been, nor how interdependent they are to our happiness.
I’ve realised there is no one path, never a linear path, and never the path that is planned. What was important to me in my earlier professional “warrior” phase of career & life changed as time marched on, with life becoming way more complicated as I acquired greater responsibility, more obligations, faced tougher challenges and real pressures.
In my late 30’s and 40’s there were times when I found career and life tough - marriage, raising teenage children, navigating disastrous life events, paying down a mortgage, caring for ageing & ill/dying parents, rationalising concerns about achieving financial independence, facing business challenges, confronting perceived unfulfilled potential and a general absence of purpose and meaning.
As we do, I often compared my level of “success” to my peers and didn’t always like what I saw. I wasn't depressed, just not particularly happy or content. I frequently thought 'is there something wrong with me' and 'this is not what I envisaged my career and life to be at this age'. At times I dreamed of ditching my career, 'going nuclear' and blowing it up, doing something radical and vastly different, starting over again. Something more creative perhaps?
At the same time I started to become increasingly aware of a similar level of discontent amongst my friends & acquaintances in their late 30’s and 40’s. I began “digging deeper” in my conversations with Partners who I dealt with in my recruitment business - Partners who had either approached me to move firms or Partners of client firms.
I found that what I was experiencing in this phase of career and life was not unique, that there was not something wrong with me and that in fact the intertwined professional and personal challenges I was dealing with were very common though not often spoken about, let alone affirmed. With the help of my own coach and mentor I discovered that amidst the craziness of Iiving I had lost sight of what 'success' meant to me in my career and life and needed to hit 'pause', take stock and re-align with renewed clarity. No drastic career or life changes were needed.
This professional and personal experience made me realise there was a need to create a service specifically for senior lawyers, something that didn't exist in the market. To create a fee-for-service consulting environment that did not have a“transactional, meat market” recruitment methodology pervading it, rather one in which frank, objective and commercially strategic career conversations could be safely held. And so this is why the Business of You was created.
I now know that these one-to-one career conversations I have with senior lawyers are where I have found my own career niche. And I am also crystal clear about the other areas of life that matter most to me.
"What was important to me in my earlier professional 'warrior' phase of career & life changed as time marched on"