10 years on

Valentine's Day has a different significance to me than the usual one - it's the day in 2006 that my business PurpleLine Consulting was incorporated as a limited company. So now we're 10!

And what a lot I’ve learned in that time. 

Initially, I envisaged I would be doing a variety of different things building on my background as a leader in Human Resources - interim HR work, HR consultancy, coaching, and facilitation. 

A former colleague said to me “why do you want to do the same thing you’ve been doing for years? Do something different!” At the time I thought that I would only be able to earn money doing what I had done, but now I see that what he told me makes a lot of sense.

After experimenting with nearly all of them , I discovered what I did and did not enjoy doing and more importantly, what I absolutely loved to do. 

Doing interim work I didn’t feel part of the organisation in the same way as when I was in a permanent role. I noticed that I became cynical and subversive about some of the organisation’s politics. But I did enjoy coaching the team I was working with and they said that they valued that and my leadership most.

I didn’t enjoy HR consultancy work. Maybe it was the type of work that came my way, but I felt that I was taking responsibility for what the person who commissioned the work often did not want to confront or deal with. But I did love helping people to find their own solutions.

Coaching and facilitation stood out as my real strengths. 

Throughout my working life colleagues sought me out to talk through issues and problems - that’s true for friends too. I had so much energy for it and also loved the unknown - the fact that I never knew what would come through the door or come up in the conversation, which made it rather edgy work. It was also very rewarding to feel that in some way I had contributed to moving their thinking on or seeing things from a new & different perspective. 
So I invested in learning how to coach, being coached myself, becoming accredited with a professional body and the business has grown from there.

That’s a lot about me. But what can YOU learn from this?

ONE | You find what you love to do through trial and error - by taking action, trying things out, reflecting on what you’ve learned.

TWO | Often what you think you like doing is one specific activity within a whole range, which you can build on and seek out opportunities to do more of. What makes that one stand out? Why is that important to you?

THREE | Notice when you are in ‘flow’ - when you are so involved in what you are doing that you don’t notice time passing and it feels more like fun than work. That’s the work to focus on and do more of.

Steve Jobs said "you can’t connect the dots looking forwards; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future”. As you can see, I found this to be true.

Taking time out for reflection from time to time, to think about what energises you in your work and help steer your career more in that direction will help you create your own path. Working with a coach is a great way to do this.

Here’s to the next 10 years!

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