“At the point where I first spoke to Robyn I’d had some experience of coaching, but it had been in a context that hadn’t really worked for me, and I was rather sceptical about what value it might offer me now.”
Nevertheless, Robyn and I spoke for about 45 minutes, and she asked me some of the ‘difficult questions’ that I’d been ignoring for a long time. She made me confront those questions and answer them, made me examine why I was doing what I was doing when – as I was now beginning to understand – I wasn’t truly fulfilled by it.
The result was that we arranged a breakthrough session, and after some pretty intensive work, I came away having made some important realisations about what I’ve been doing for years. I’d gone from one role to another, believing they were what I was interested in and wanted to do, yet suddenly things started coming out that suggested otherwise: I realised I’d been doing things I was good at, but I wasn’t fundamentally passionate about them.
I wouldn’t say I came out of the breakthrough session knowing exactly where I was going, but it allowed me to make some ground rules for myself, like: if you’re going to work for someone, at least make sure you share their values. With the benefit of hindsight, I can now say that I was questioning whether I actually wanted to work for someone else at all.
Robyn helped me to see clearly what I’d been doing that I shouldn’t really have been doing. She got me thinking about fundamental things that I really enjoyed, that I had to look back to my childhood and teenage years to find – things that had inspired me. I’d made a radical change of direction to study languages at University, so surely there must have been a powerful reason for that. I realised that it was because I had a deep, genuine and enduring fascination for the subject, and that this presented an opportunity to now use something that is really a part of me. Here was an opportunity to carry my life forward in a fulfilling way rather than just going through the motions of taking a job for wages.
I still feel very inspired by what happened in that breakthrough session, and I’m excited about what the future holds. I still look occasionally at job adverts, but now I think, “So, why would I apply for this job?” I can see there is usually no match between what they want and what I am, so I don’t actually apply. My focus now is on building my own business, where I’m in charge of what’s going to happen, where I’m deciding what’s going to work and what isn’t going to work for me. So, thank you Robyn.
Alan Jones, Writer & Editor