The where its personal not business

So it’s fairly late on Thursday night and following some great conversations this week I have decided to write a post that will probably feel very different to most that precede it.

Tomorrow I am speaking at a conference. It’s the Marcus Evans Strategic Learning & Development conference and I my presentation is entitled “The Paradox of Global Leadership Development” if you are reading this in response to seeing me present I hope you enjoyed it. If you are reading this and not attending the conference I will mostly be telling the grumpy guy with iPad story which you can find here….

I have spoken at a few conferences over the past few years and always feel sick for the first few slides, then the nausea passes and by the time its ending I start to enjoy myself and don’t want to sit down. The significant thing about tomorrow is my billing is “Former Head of Learning & Development”. I am no longer in my role, having handed over to one of my former team who I am sure will take the function on to fabulous things and I am genuinely delighted for her.

My exit was voluntary following a nerve wracking but awesome conversation with my boss some months ago about my ongoing development and challenge for me in my role. We mutually decided that to get the challenge that would develop me moving out of the business was the best move and I have to say it’s all gone swimmingly with one exception…

The term to describe my current state if I were an actor would be resting, on sabbatical if I was an academic and unemployed to most everyone else. My awesome plan was to go leave current role, swan off somewhere warm with ‘herself’ (Barbados was top of the list) return for a few weeks mooching and then get stuck into a new gig – physically and mentally refreshed.

The difficulty I have is threefold. Firstly, whilst I want the challenge of a new role it has to give me more than my previous role and those jobs don’t grow on trees. Secondly, I am not good at not doing anything so want to keep busy and not resort to watching back to back films. The final difficulty is probably the biggest one – the challenge to my identity.

This may sound very odd to some people but my job is a huge part of what drives me generally. One of my tutors at college likened work for adults to play for children in that it gives us intellectual nourishment, structure, purpose and the adult bit – a means to pay the mortgage. For me not having a business card in my wallet is a very strange phenomenon but like most things in life – I’ll cope.

So why write this post?

  1. Because this blog has always been about getting the stuff that’s bouncing around my head into coherent form and this is definitely bouncing around my head.
  2. More and more people know that I am “resting” (why not be an actor, at least for 1 blog post)
  3. Being open about this will help with the ‘no business card in wallet’ thing
  4. Someone I respect told me I was not doing enough to promote the fact that I am on the market
  5. “If you know anyone who’s looking for someone…”

To that 5th point, I am working with some great recruiters and talking to lots of people in my network but a little PR never hurts so should you hear of anyone looking for someone to fill a chunky role in Talent, Learning & Development or Leadership development please point them my way….but maybe point them at my Linkedin rather than my twitter feed 😉

Thank you very much and goodnight

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “The where its personal not business

  1. An honest, entertaining and open piece of writing – so few people comment on the loss of identity that some professionals feel when not employed. You have an excellent reputation anda great outlook. I doubt that you will be resting for long – so take advantage of the lull to focus on what you need to have in your next role, as well as articulating what you have to offer. Happy to help in any way I can. I hope the conference goes well.

  2. Martin Couzins

    Thanks for sharing, Rob, and good luck with whatever happens next.I’m currently grappling with my professional identity now that I am a few months out of the corporate and career fold. It is a good discusssion to have with yourself and others though!

  3. Sounds like it’s the right decision for you – definitely scary to take the leap but ultimately you’re still Rob Motherflipping Jones, Lord of Talent and Development, even if you’re between business cards. Hope something perfect pops up for you soon, and will keep an eye out for you.

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