About 9 years I was between jobs, biding my time doing a contract role until I ‘figured out’ what I was going to do next. I was travelling between cities on my way to an event that my sister was running, as I was volunteering to help out for the weekend. It was Friday night that I traveled to the event by plane, and as the plane landed at our destination, passengers started to get up out of their seats to get their bags from the overhead lockers. I looked up and two rows in front of me I saw a familiar figure.
It was my old boss from 6 years earlier who I hadn’t seen in what seemed like forever. I called out to her and she said she would wait for me inside the airport. She then offered to give me a ride from the airport into the city. As we chatted on the trip in the car, through rush hour traffic, she asked if I wanted to go to her house for a glass of wine and then she could drop me off to the event venue afterwards.
At her house, she asked what I was doing for work. I explained I was between jobs and wasn’t sure what I was going to do next. She asked me to go and work for her. It sounded intriguing but I wasn’t sure the timing was right, as my husband (then partner) had some changes going on, which subsequently ended up taking us overseas for 7 months temporarily. Just before returning home from overseas, I remembered my old bosses offer to go and work for her, and thought I would get back in touch. I had nothing lined up for work on my return and didn’t want to do more contract work. I was ready for a change and step up in my career. What was on offer was a job that was a bit daunting to me, as I hadn’t done anything like it before and I was worried I would be out of my depth.
I took the job and ended up staying 6 years. As it turned out, I did feel completely out of my depth for the first year, despite doing well in the job. I look back now, at the best job I’d ever had and realise that bumping into my old boss on that plane trip was one of those blessed moments of synchronicity. The discussion with her had planted the seed in my mind, which later ended up being a job for me to come home to, which ended up being my career for the coming 6 years. But that is not the end of it…
The real reason I know that ‘bumping into her’ moment was completely universally created for my benefit, was that the 6 years in that company, and new career field, actually set me up in many ways for my soul work. My soul work is the work that I believe I am here to do in this life and is the work I am now doing.
The job I took with my old boss pushed me so far outside of my comfort zone at the time and forced me to use skills I possessed but had previously not been using, as well as developing whole new skill sets! It honed my relationship, communication and leadership skills, my business development, financial and sales skills. It lifted my self-belief and confidence, polished my presentation skills and deepened my empathy for others. It gave me opportunity to practice my training and coaching skills, and last but not least, my writing skills.
So as I sit here looking back at that career I left about one year ago, now doing my own business and still learning/growing as I go, still not having all the answers and slowly but surely deepening what I am doing, I realise that everything that has come before this point has perfectly prepared me for this work I am doing now—my soul work. It prepared me mentally/psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, in every way it made me stronger, more prepared, more confident, more savvy, more aware, more forgiving (of myself and others) and more grateful (for everything).
I think that is reflective of how life flows in general—each part of our life prepares us for the next part, and on it goes. This is a message that was mirrored back to me in several ‘communications’ I had last year, which are written into my book Going Out On A Limb.
We often can’t see the importance of an experience or stage in our life until much later. There is no doubt that wherever you are right now, doing whatever you are doing, be it something you love, or something you do not, it is all for the purpose of building you and carrying you on the phases of your journey, and it will (be it ‘good’ or ‘bad’ right now) be a massive contribution to your life learning and to the next phase/stage of your journey (whatever that might be).
With love, Bernadette