Thursday, 15 January 2015

Pick up a Pen. Pick up a Penguin.

Before Christmas I realised that my time was up in Dumfries and Galloway NHS. I have worked there for over 12 years, led an interesting journey through and up the system. I have built a name for myself as an accomplished project manager and in less friendly circles, as a bit of a ball breaker.

I have always enjoyed my day job. But as I climbed the natural promotional ladder, I missed working at operational level, I missed the people and I missed the community.
Couple this with my ever increasing frustration at the slow pace of progress there, I feel held back. Especially in my current role which, believe it or not, is working with technology to help run services more efficiently and effectively for the demand we will certainly face in the future.
I am passionate about this role. And I have a good reputation at a UK level for the innovative work I have already led on. I have presented it locally nationally and internationally.

However I have come to realise, that no matter where I move to, what sideways, upwards, passionate step you take, unless you leave the region, it is still the same hospital, the same HR department, the same barriers, the same awkward consultants, the same antiquated GPs, the same old people and the same unresolved inherent problems. I am going nowhere fast apart from up my own level of stress. Being at the front of progress can feel lonely and frustrating. I am constantly delivering on change management. Trying to inspire and enthuse others. Waiting for them to catch up. It doesn’t feel about succeeding anymore but about  backing off to go at the pace of the majority. And that just doesn’t suit me any more.

Since I was 18 I have always dabbled with arts and crafts business ventures. I had my own arts, crafts and imports shop before I was 20, I have often produced random pieces that people have asked to buy off me and I have worked creatively at Glastonbury festival for twenty years.
In the past few years I have increased my artistic endeavours and adventures into a business venture. Dipping my toes into more and  more opportunities until last year when I decided to give it a go and see if it would become a viable and earnable business model. The short swift answer was no. As I previously explained  in my Making History Blog, I did a LOT last year. But sadly, so very regrettably, it did not pay well enough for me to leave the day job. Or even reduce the day job.

So. That outcome duly noted. I critically appraised the job I was in. And I’m not in it for love. Not satisfaction.  Just the money. So I began searching around for a new job.

I carried out a Future Basing session on myself and BF and we decided to focus our ten year plan on a business idea of his. Property Automation. For those of you with no idea what that is, in brief, it is a tailored to you service, enabling everything in your home to be controlled by a hand held device. So you can close curtains, turn up/down heating, see who is at your front door, locate a film/song/recipe/photograph, listen to music, adjust the lighting, all from your phone /tablet / pc. Its kinda cool. 

Built into this empire building was the need for us to develop properties to generate capital to invest with and to use as ever increasingly more impressive show homes. I swore to keep up my creative work for my own sanity, identity and satisfaction. Mostly in the form of writing (I am writing a book this year you know!) blogging and artistic commissions. 
It  was a very exciting plan to brew up. All from our own minds, to paper with our own hands. Using nothing but passion and a pen. 

I also made a request. When we get to the end of this marvellous and ambitious ten year plan and we are doing this Future Basing process again for the following years, can we travel? Can we see the world? I miss it so much. Not just breaks and holidays. But back packing, leaving home, travelling. 
I would love to give something back to the world too. Help in third world countries with teaching children, or vaccinations. Although you can keep. Me.the.hell.away.from.war.

But mostly I would love to volunteer in an animal sanctuary. Or on a nature reserve. Reintroduce rescued animals back into the wild. I simply HAVE to do those things. It’s in my heart. Always has. It is my life’s mission. Can you imagine what it would do for my animal impressions? In fact maybe some of the ones I currently can do would help me to blend in?

And then a random job alert popped into my inbox one day. Under a search I had done with a Charity Jobs Online agency for anything with manager, director or lead in the title.

It is working for the Heritage Trust. It is in conservation. It is working from home. And before I know it, my heart rate was up, my feet untucked from beneath me and firmly planted on the floor, my face inches from the screen, my finger clicking away at links through to the person spec, through to the website, through to further linked associations and information sources. I was hooked. Researching researching researching. A weird and wonderful opportunity. Something totally out of the park and unexpected. But boy did it peak my interest. Peaked and perky!
And I realised two things.
1) I remember this feeling! This is interest. This is excitement. Trepidation. Passion
2) Why wait until I can travel? Why not work giving back now?

So I am applying. I am dreaming, hoping, researching. I want to work in conservation. I want to protect  the Island of South Georgia, where nobody lives but Penguins and birds. Where the Intrepid Antarctic explorer Shakleton had a base before losing his ship to pack Ice heading for the south pole. 
It’s a beautiful place. Somewhere I can love, protect and believe in.

Its work from home. Obviously. But with expected field trips. And an incredible two year plan that I just know I can see to fruition and beyond. I have already devised plans and actions which I think are quite revolutionary!
I am very excited.

So all this Future Basing and thinking positively is already bringing in results.

I have some article and blogging writing opportunities. I have started a book. I have an exciting job application.

All I needed to do was Pick up a Pen. Pick up a Penguin?

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