Last year, after 20 years as a high flyer in the international consulting industry, I faced a situation I never had before. The company in which I was a 20% owner fell apart, my major client project got cancelled, my family had to move to the other side of the country and I had to start again without a network of connections.
This was a new and uncomfortable situation for me. Wholesale change in my business and in my life.
What was my value if I wasn’t working?
I believe many people derive their sense of value from what they achieve in their career. Fortunately, I am a wife and mother of two, but it has always been important to me to contribute to this world, be part of something bigger, have a place and make a difference. I want to do this for myself and I want to do this for my family – to show my sons how both partners within a couple can contribute financially to the family.
I have always been good at responding positively to change. Within a reasonably short time frame, I secured a partnership role with a boutique firm. However, instead of feeling elated, I felt flat. On the surface, everything was wonderful. It certainly did wonders for my ego, but rather than leaping in, I decided to follow my intuition and look deeper, to understand what was driving the feeling of something about the situation being not quite right.
I was passionate about leading change projects which created brilliant and inspiring workspace and in turn connecting with my colleagues and clients in the way you do when you achieve something amazing together. The flat feeling stayed because the role I was in took me further away from all I that. So, I took a leap, one that had me looking inward.
Feeling brave but lost, for five months I sat with the uncomfortable feeling. I slowed down drastically which was new to me. And I searched for my value and my purpose.
What I realised was this;
Achievement and success doesn’t define who we are. It is not our value. My real value comes from who I am, what is inside me and how I show up in the world.
As I became clearer about my sense of value, the pressure of thinking I was not as valuable without working started to lift and I become lighter.
As I came to know myself at a deeper level, I realised that it was okay to wait for the right opportunity to do the things I was passionate about. I wasn’t going to hide who I was behind my “professional mask.” My value was showing my passion for workspace change and my best self. Coming to this realisation helped me face my fear, put myself out there and establish my own business.
And Presynct was born!
I can now say I am proud that I was brave enough to sit with the uncomfortable feelings while I was grappling with these changes, changes that ultimately lead me to where I am able to be a better consultant and leader. It was a humbling experience and it has helped me better understand how others feel when change happens in their work place. I can now better connect and empathise with people who are not as adaptable and comfortable with accepting change.
And now I am privileged to work with other amazing people on workspace change projects that I am passionate about! Every time I talk to a client I bring my full self – my passion, my quirks, my playfulness, my terrible sense of humour – the real me, As a result, Presynct has become more than a company – it has become an extension of me, a place where I can express who I really am.