If anyone had told me that, when I got divorced in 1976, I’d be doing what I am now, I wouldn’t have believed them. Those sorts of things, I thought, weren’t for people like me. And, to ascertain the reasons for that perspective, you’d have to go back to 1947 when I was 5 and my mother died, my father left and I was fostered. Unfortunately, those dysfunctional childhood years created a template which caused me to live a somewhat transient life. So much so that, by the time I was 19, I’d moved six times with all my worldly possessions in a suitcase. Now, in case you’re thinking that this is just another hard luck story, I’d like to disabuse you of that notion. Rather it’s a story of what you can achieve, if you determine that you want, or need, to do something about your situation. To not, in fact, let your past be such a determinant of your future. Something I did in my 40’s.
Since those early years, I’ve been fostered (twice), signed into the army at 15 for 12 years, married, raised two children, left the forces to pursue a civilian career, worked in architectural practice, been divorced, a single parent, student, community activist, barman, cleaner, pizza chef, sacked and unemployed before joining the voluntary sector on a job creation scheme. I went on to rescue three charities from closure and turn them into successful organisations, for which I received national commendations.
To add to the picture, in my 50’s I ran the London marathon twice, have renovated five properties, had bouts of depression, a breakdown and many years of therapy. At the turn of the millennium, I again found myself unemployed and set up my own business. In my 60’s I started writing and five years ago became a motivational speaker. I now have four books published, another half way through and two more planned. As a result of therapy, I’m now happily married with a young daughter and, at an age when most of my peers have opted for cardigan and slippers, I’m on my sixth career and now live a life very different from the one I used to have. So there you have it, a life in 200 words.
So I think I can reasonably say that, whatever experience there is of life and work, I’ve probably had it. More importantly, I’m still around and planning to be active for some time yet. Perhaps that’s why one of my speaking colleagues dubbed me, “The Accidental Role Model”.
Which brings me to my point which is that I’m planning to run a number of courses on life and career change. If you’re interested, please just message me your mail address. You will then have taken that first step.