This was my first week officially between roles. I could say unemployed I guess, but I am not sure I like that terminology and anyway ‘between roles’ seems more accurate. I was in a role I really enjoyed and I will be in a role I am really excited about in a few weeks. Between roles.
All of which is good, but what should I do with my time? Well whatever else, I spent most of the first part of this week updating as many colleagues, friends and family as I could about my status change. This was a wonderfully uplifting experience. I spent most of the second part of this week in more detailed interactions with many of those same colleagues, friends and family who asked great questions…more uplift.
I also went to Scotland – Edinburgh to be precise. My daughter had been invited to an open day at Edinburgh University – her top choice for further education once she leaves school this summer. We decide we would all go and spend a couple of days there looking around and taking in the atmosphere as well as attending the open day.
This turned out to be a great idea and a tremendous trip for more reasons that I had imagined. My daughter had a wonderful day. The presentations and discussions were excellent; the University was full of happy and relaxed students and the City itself was just breath-taking. But it was also a very different way to spend the first few days of my time ‘between roles’. It was – in every sense – a change of scenery. Edinburgh with my family gave me chance to pause for breath and reflect.
The would-be students were so excited and so nervous. The parents were so nervous and so proud. Everything we were told was positive and future focussed. Everyone knows only too well what will change and what won’t be the same come October. The purpose of the day was to engage, inform and inspire us about the unknown…about what is ahead.
We heard many facts and lots of figures – on facilities and faculties; on percentages and on performance. But what struck me most was the philosophy…the approach…the ethos that we saw and heard and – just as importantly – felt. As we left Edinburgh, my daughter told us she felt that this was where she was meant to be. My wife, my son and I left feeling that she would be happy and successful there.
On the flight home I reflected on how I felt about my imminent move. Excited and nervous summed it up pretty well. But I was good with that. I had commented before we left for Scotland that any event of high significance or great satisfaction tends to induce those feelings. Indeed I would go so far as to suggest that presence or absence of excitement and nervousness before an event is a pretty good leading indicator.
I am engaged and I have much information already – but I don’t have a full picture…yet. I know many (soon to be) colleagues and feel motivated and enthused by them and about them. Inspiration is a personal response to personal interaction and experience. The new colleagues I have met over these past few months were inspiring, and as my interactions and experience increase I know I will be inspired even more.
I admire my daughter and I aspire to that feeling she described. I know what will change for me and for my family. And I know what won’t be the same. But my internal leading indicator suggests moments of great satisfaction and high significance ahead…