Wednesday 20 December, 10.15am … a phone call that completely CHANGED my 2018 plans.
You know how I often talk about about focusing on one step at a time even if you didn’t know what the next step was going to be? The most important thing is to just get started and take that first step? Feel fear and do it anyway, and all that jazz.
I did exactly that 4 weeks ago and now I am doing something I NEVER could have predicted at the start of December.
I am taking a 12 month sabbatical from The Confident Mother. WHAT????
I know what you’re thinking. And yes I’m thinking it too. Am I crazy? Is she stupid? Is she broke?
Is this the craziest timing ever to take a sabbatical?
My business is successful. I get regular invites from Sky News and the BBC. I host two successful podcasts. I’ve published a book. Finalist in the International Coach of the Year Awards. I’ve launched a mastermind. Regular Career Confidence events. A successful networking club. I run a popular LinkedIn Challenge (about to start again). And now I’m taking a 12 month sabbatical??
I can hear you.
“Are you serious?”
“Isn’t that bad timing?”
The honest answers are “Yes I’m serious” and “No it’s the BEST possible timing“.
It happened like this …
On Friday 8 December I just happened to spot a 12 month contract at NCT. I wasn’t looking for a full-time role. I have been running my own business since 2012 so why would I want a full-time job.
However …. this job had my name written all over it. You may already know how passionate I am about NCT. NCT is the UK’s leading parenting charity and is at the start of a critical change project – the transformation of the IT and technology which underpins everything the charity does.
Given my technology background (25+ years in professional services), it’s driven me nuts with frustration ever since I first got involved with the charity nearly 16 years ago.
NCT was recruiting for a User Engagement Lead. My role will be the cheerleading, pompom waving, training, presenting, persuading, influencing and generally getting staff, practitioners, volunteers and clients on board and enthusiastic about the changes. All my very favourite things about working in technology.
I always loved the way a business used and engaged with technology WAY more than the geeky technology stuff. And you know how much I love training & presenting!
I have been an NCT volunteer for 15+ years; a practitioner for 7+ years; a former Presidential candidate; a member of staff (just 3 days a month) for 2 years. There’s no way NCT could find anybody else with my unique combination of technology background and NCT experience.
Don’t worry about the next step
Without worrying about the next step, I submitted my application in a rush, bouncing all over it with enthusiasm. First, I gave my CV a little polish sprinkling in a few of the job description keywords. Then I did the same to my LinkedIn profile. I reached out and connected with NCT’s CIO on LinkedIn and told him I’d applied for the role. That influenced him to check out my profile. (One of the strategic techniques I teach you in the 10 Day LinkedIn Challenge).
I was interviewed the following week and offered the role in that phone call just before Christmas. And I was SO excited. Though at the time I couldn’t ‘share’ the full detail because I didn’t ‘yet’ know when I was going to start (tomorrow) and I hadn’t yet told my clients (or family).
Why now is the best possible time for a sabbatical
Riding on a wave with my business, now is the best possible time to take a sabbatical, compared to 3 years ago when my business was not so high profile.
I will do enough to keep The Confident Mother ticking over (blog, podcast) and just enough clients to cover my operating costs; after all it’s a sabbatical, not a resignation.
This is forcing me to evaluate what I do and focus on what I really love. For me that’s working with groups: City Conversations networking club will continue as well as the Tipping Point Mastermind. The 10 Day LinkedIn Challenge starts on 15 January; after that I don’t know. That is likely to be the one and only time in 2018. And the Career Confidence one day masterclass in central London will still take place in April (I cancelled the February date).
As for one-to-one clients, I will only take on an absolute maximum of 3 clients at a time offering you a combination of coaching, mentoring, support and accountability in a slightly different format from what I’ve been doing i.e. no more VIP days until next year.
That’s my big news! The biggest news and it’s only 4 January!
p.s. of course since announcing my sabbatical in The Confidence Guide earlier in the week, I’ve had a flurry of emails and enquiries from women who’d planned to start working with me in the New Year.