Have you ever found something that you weren’t looking for, and it was amazing, life-changing even?
“The unexpected is usually what brings the unbelievable”
This has happened to me a couple of times to me, firstly when I went travelling after Uni, then walked into a 3-month mat cover role which ended up igniting my passion for people development and encouraging a complete re-train and new focus.
Secondly, being made redundant whilst on maternity leave in 2019 and looking for something to do that I
2- Was good at
3- Was on my terms!
I stared a VA business as I was already doing this role for my husbands business and since being on mat leave and giving it more focus, the business grew, the workload lessened and we had more time for fun!
All of that combined with about 20 other rubbish things, a house refurb and now a house move also, I would say the last 2 years have been shocking. But with the shockingly bad comes the shockingly awesome!
Serendipity- the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
I think what people fear about change is the complete unknown but, when you think about Serendipity and just the pure wonderful-ness it could bring, then I implore you to not only embrace change but seek it out! You are not a tree! You are not rooted, and to quote a great film (to me) “You can have roots and wings you know”.
So, it may be scary, it may be the unknown, but it may also be wonderful, life-changing and bloody brilliant! So, if you are dealt an unexpected hand in your job, business, or personal life here are my recommendations.
1- Do 1 small positive thing.
Now I hate it when people say such generic things like this BUT…I don’t mean be happy dancing, fake smiling, and positive journaling every day (although I do recommend writing). I mean even when you feel like giving in and you have been on the couch eating wotsits and primula and downing diet coke for 3 days straight, do 1 small positive thing. Take a shower, write a list (not goals here just a list), start a Pinterest board, walk to the shop for an apple, have a cold glass of water, plan a catch up with a friend, straighten your hair, paint your toenails. All of these things have worked for me and if you start small you find yourself doing 2 or maybe 3 things and you are off that couch! If you don’t want to do something, think something! Have one positive thought, a memory, or a future plan maybe. OR search Pinterest for positive quotes!
2- Go with the flow.
Honestly, soo many things I read at the time of redundancy while looking after a 3-month-old were, plan, strategize etc etc. That’s all well and good if you know what the hell you are going to do! I had no clue! I even had some discovery calls with a pretty expensive careers coach who actually did the VERY decent thing and turned me down She asked me why I was focussing on a massive change with no plan and a 3-week old baby (physically crying) in the background of our calls. So it was then I went with the flow, I did a list (in the form of a spider diagram as to not accidentally prioritise anything) of what I liked to do, EVERYTHING I liked to do not just ‘worky’ things.
Then I knew I wanted to start my own business and I knew I wanted it to be varied and support small businesses too! HELLO Ministry VA!
3- Then plan (but continue to explore)
Once you have a vague idea you are allowed to plan, this said, keep the plan broad, flexible and allow for change. Do NOT try and change your life or deal with adversity by micro-managing every little bit. The universe has an element of control over your life, it presents opportunities, people, projects, adventures even, in a very ‘weird’ way sometimes. But going with the flow and being open to things means you explore more and get the best outcome. I am a year into the business in October 2020 and I am still exploring as I did at the start. Now my exploration is a little more planned and a little more honed in on things like upskilling, niching down in my business and looking in the industries I love for an opportunity, BUT I explore nonetheless.
So for the plan, I would always usually start with the end goal, but we may not know what it is yet! I didn’t! So work forwards instead. Work to a small goal. So I knew I wanted to ‘power-up’ my maternity leave and learn SOMETHING. So that became my goal, I got made redundant and that goal remained the same but became an opportunity to upskill in something that I could take into a new career or business. So don’t worry about specifics here, just plan the next 1 or 2 steps and then once you’ve done one step, plan another! But remember, to stay open to the opportunities.
4- Have fun with it
As you have this chance to explore new things, take it! Could you be making your plan on a hammock on a white-sand coast, maybe a Parisian balcony overlooking the city, or an Italian café in perched on the side of the ski run. Take some time, sit back review and have fun! Do not let the search for the NEXT GREAT THING become something that means you miss out on the current great things!
Take time to volunteer, catch up with friends or family, see what they do, speak to careers coaches, people in the industries you’re interested in. Meet people for coffee or wine. Just have some fun!
5- Tell people about
One thing I wished I had done was to blog/video my experience. Keep a journal of what I did each day, people I met, places I went to, high days like graduating from my VA Mastery course, low days like the 2nd week of operation recovery and the diet of wotsits and diet coke! It has all gone by in such a blur that the pain I felt when I got the redundancy call, the shock, the “how could they”, the “sh*t-what now” thoughts they all feel like a distant memory and I would’ve loved to have read back on that journey and spotted those turning points!
Then as a bonus step- tell me about it! I am always looking for people who have had crazy situations and fantastic things have come of it! So share share share! Or you may just want someone who has been there- so reach out for that too!
I hope this helps just one person that is feeling lost, overwhelmed and scared of change. Don’t focus on the negatives, focus on the possibility of finding something, that serendipity.