I still remember the day, place and time I got told my services were no longer required. I remember the shock, the anger, the feeling of loss – after forty years in the corporate world (thirty-five years with one organisation and nearly five with another) I was being cast aside. On reflection I know this wasn’t the case, but I am only human, and I can still recall the irrational range of thoughts and emotions running through my head.
As it turned out, it was one of the best things that has happened to me.
Let me explain. I’m in my late 50’s, been successful in my various corporate roles and for as long as I could remember wanted to help people to be better at what they did and be successful. For the past five years my daily routine had become ‘up at the the crack of dawn’, on the high speed train into London at 6-13am, in the office by 7-30am, and then home between 6 and 8pm. Eat, sleep, repeat.’ I was loving my role and the team, and without being made redundant I would have just carried on, running myself into the ground. This unwanted gift gave me the space to step back and think what I wanted to do with the rest of my working life.
The thought of going back into a corporate role did not excite me, and I realised this was the opportunity to use the skills I’d developed over the years and my passion for helping people succeed to to make a difference. I was aware of business mentoring and considered setting up independently but came across UK Business mentoring and quickly felt their training and support, along with their values matching mine was the best option for me to be successful.
Joe (the founder) and the other mentors were incredibly supportive and happy to share their experiences of starting out and the range of emotions you’ll go through in the first 12/24 months. The word that kept coming up was ‘resilience’ and it’s fair to say this has been more and more important (particularly with Covid) but I believe that by following the advice of my peers and doing the right activities I am in a good position to be successful. Amongst the other benefits of franchising rather that starting out from scratch is there is a proven model, along with excellent material and a fantastic support network which I would not have had otherwise.
I’m one year in and I look back with pride to the progress I have made – it has not been without it’s challenges and highs and lows but I would not change 1 thing (well, probably Covid but the lockdown has helped me build business connections I would not have otherwise made).
To close, redundancy can make you feel your career is over, particular for people of a certain age. For me, it gave me a fresh start for which I will always be grateful.
UK Business Mentoring Kent