Time flies when you are having fun…or so I thought about my time after leaving corporate. Fun, freedom, flexibility (the ‘3Fs’) were the buzzwords on my vision board. After all, I stayed with one company for 18 years of my still young and promising life. There is no denying it, I was a disgrace to my generation for not changing companies every 5 years to explore my full potential and widen my horizon. Why? Well, I found everything I wanted and needed right where I was…or did I? To best describe the past 12 months of this new 3Fs chapter in my life there are only 2 words…Growing Pains.
According to Merriam Webster the definition of growing pains is as follows:
1: pains in the legs of growing children having no demonstrable relation to growth
2: the stresses and strains attending a new project or development
And yes, I claim both, 1 and 2, for me, myself and I. During my last month in corporate I felt was ready for the big world out there, ready to start my very own business and ready to be myself. Overall this was and is all true and actually happening but oh boy did I underestimate what it meant to leave a company that was my home for almost 2 decades. Just like many 18-year olds are leaving home for college or university, I felt I was leaving my home to go into this big ole world. Why do I keep calling my former company home? Because it was…just not like the Brady Bunch, not like Mary Poppins and definitely not like the Waltons. It was home because I spent most of my life at and for this company, grew my career, learned what it felt like when you don’t always get what you want, defined my own core values, lead and worked with brilliant people, traveled to marvelous locations and supported challenging yet fascinating customers around the globe. Definitely more Gilmore Girls meet The Simpsons and a part of my life I would not want to miss. Leaving all this behind only hit me a good 3 months after my exit. Clearly, I was busy with my 3Fs and my mind, body, and limbs where everywhere but in the cold and harsh reality. I should mention that I left in November, so it was literally cold and harsh. So how do you overcome growing pains? One of the recommendations is stretching exercises. And yes, did I stretch indeed. Six months later, I launched my own business based on my values, my ideas…my why! Sure, I dove right into definition 2 and yet, I live and experience the 3Fs more than ever before. Six months into starting my own business consulting group and bringing the playbook of all the good, bad and ugly, the do’s and don’ts, the success and failures to my clients, I am grateful for everything I learned, experienced and hopefully also left behind during my 18 years with one single company. While painful I am thankful for these growing pains because ultimately, they are a sign of growth…and very often growth comes with its challenges and yes, also with agony and discomfort. I found the perfect exercise for myself and know that now is my time to use my full potential and share my horizon to support other companies.
Growth is not only good, but it is also essential for everyone and everything…and with the right exercises and support it is greatly rewarding.