Recently I had the pleasure of working with an incredible young woman. For the purposes of anonymity, lets just call her Amanda. Amanda – like many women of 27 – had a great job, and a solid future ahead of her. She was a lawyer, and was working her way towards fulfilling the dreams she had left University to achieve. Except something wasn’t working for her anymore.
She was in an organisation that she had no connection with. The cause – or the purpose – of the organisation (as we hear so much about these days) just didn’t fit with her personal sense of contribution. But more importantly, neither did the people. She was in an environment that wasn’t rewarding her values. What she valued – things like collaboration, creativity, low hierarchy and the ability to challenge the status quo – were not encouraged. In fact, they were being stifled. She had so much to give – such talent, and a vision for how she could use her skills not only to grow the business she was in, but also to go above and beyond and build new businesses and generate value that the organisation wasn’t realising. As she reflected on the pain this was causing her, she came to the conclusion that a career solely focussed on law, was not going to fulfil her.
Her real passion was building a business that made a contribution to the world. She was in love with social enterprise and she wanted to find a way to get STARTED.
Yet like many people, giving up the security of full time work, walking away from the solid career path of etching her way up the corporate ladder, was hard. How might she have both?
We designed the way. Amanda, working with her stakeholders through the START process, realised that she could have it all. She could still use her legal skills and in fact – they could act as an enabler for her to design and create the social enterprise she so envisioned as her future. All she needed to do was pivot – and make a few compromises and creative choices to get what she wanted to be happy. So she left her job, and found a person and organisation to work for who valued her ideas and working style. She negotiated to work 3 days with them instead of 5 days, committing the other 2 days to prototyping a new social enterprise with some friends who shared her vision, and building a research base on social enterprise. 3 days in law, 2 days on her passion.
Amanda admits, it hasn’t been easy. And the reduced income has been a challenge at times. But the compromise she has made is worth it to know that she is finally starting down the path to the future that will make her happy.
“Thanks so much for helping me with my new direction and my START NOW plan – I come back to it often and it inspires me daily and keeps me on track”, Amanda said recently in an email to me.
I admire her for her courage and the choices she has made. And her stakeholders – the people in her life that helped her design her new direction – for being generous with their time and ideas to help her on her way.
If you think there is more to your work life, and that you can make a greater contribution through a new START NOW, start by contacting us. We love helping people pursue their passions and design the life they want to be happy.