I think I should tell you from the start mine isn’t the typical success story. This isn’t a tale of how I over came all odds, survived the worst dilemmas and rose like the proverbial Phoenix from the ashes and ultimately blossomed into the woman I’ve always wanted to be. You see some times we must step backwards to “Spring” forward.
When I registered for Springboard, I was a newlywed of four months and had just moved to Saudi Arabia. Back home I was a successful junior executive at a huge multinational corporation. I did not come by my career easily. It took me a long time to know what I wanted in life. This was actually my second career. I started professional life in Sales. I was good at what I did, earning bonuses, but never feeling fulfilled. After four years in the business, I decided to make a change. I wanted a rewarding career in Training and Development; I wanted to help people grow. My hard earned university degree was abruptly irrelevant. I took an entry level position at a corporate giant, and was promoted in 6 months to supervisory level. The following year after various training courses and certificates, I had achieved my ultimate goal and became a trainer. I had arrived!
I was travelling frequently, meeting lots of people, designing training courses; I had found my true calling. Back then I wouldn’t have even contemplated taking part in a Women’s Development Program. I was well adjusted, comfortable with myself both personally and professionally: I was living the dream.
Suddenly I was uprooted, and came to live here with my husband. I was no longer the successful executive. I was demoted to a lowly wife. How frustrated I was! Don’t take me wrong, I am married to a wonderful man; but along with missing my family, friends, career; I missed ME! As I immersed myself in homemaking, I could not take joy in my new title and position. Nothing was clear to me. There was no induction process; no one had provided me with a job description. I found myself following more fascinating matters: the goings on at my old firm. Projects I had left unfinished, locations I hadn’t visited, employees I hadn’t met were issues that consumed my thoughts. I was dreading the day I learned who was to replace me. I constantly wondered if anyone was hired yet, scouring the internet for advertisements. I probably would have applied.
I found myself employed at a small private firm with a non descript job. I told myself precisely that, it was only a job not a continuation of my career. I came to learn of Springboard, maybe this is just what the doctor ordered. I needed a reminder of how to re-find myself, re-take control of my life, re-set goals and re-consider aspirations.
I naively wrote in my Workbook that I wanted to resume my career, work in a large firm, be accredited and rejoin the echelons of successful women other women admired and aspired to be. Looking back, it was unrealistic of me to have such aspirations. I had changed my life, marital status, surroundings, how could I be clinging to the same goals? Hadn’t I already achieved them? Maybe I needed to find new goals to go with my new life. I waited for change to find me; I had a new positive mindset.
Months later, I was still at my job, no training career in sight. Yet I was more comfortable in my new surroundings. I was accepting the change that occurred: I had learned to embrace my new life and found a new sense of purpose. I took pride in my home and new responsibilities. During a Springboard reunion when others chattered about how they started a degree program or got that promotion they always wanted, I was beaming with joy and pride at our individual successes. You see my priorities had changed with my new circumstances. All this time I was resisting change instead of embracing it. My new purpose in life as a spouse and my imminent motherhood fulfilled me. I had new objectives. However, I still desire a career and still harbour professional aspirations, but I‘ve made peace with myself.
Today I am a wife and mother. I am proud of my new title and take my responsibilities very seriously. It is a full time demanding position. I often work weekends and there are no set office hours. This position calls for leadership, independent thought, creativity and project management skills. The results are often long term but most fulfilling.
Important things that I learned through the programme:
- Success in life can have different faces
- Take the time to re-evaluate yourself and your aspirations
- Do not resist change directly
- Seek peace with yourself