The Power to Change
As I get older, the more I stay focused on the acceptance of myself and others, and choose compassion over judgment and curiosity over fear. Tracee Ellis Ross
I had 30 years experience within the Digital World, in computer programming, analysis and then in IT Management. My expertise; my niche was RPG and CL programming and my beloved iSeries. As I write I can still recall being told how these languages were dying when I began coding; it hasn't yet.
I can recall the two contractors, Brendan and Phil, who helped me move from Operations in to Programming. I can even see the frustration upon their faces as I wrote in another bug or stumbled over another statement or subroutine.
I equally remember that feeling I had when 0's and 1's were combined to create options and reports that added value to the business and I could put my name to that creation.
Over the years, I have done what many women do, I juggled career and children losing count of the amount of adjustments I made trying to fit my hours in with nursery and school.
I listened to a good podcast from BBC Radio 4 - A Job for the Boys earlier today which puts that whole argument in to perspective and reflects also the once upon a time and the struggles of today at recruiting girls in to #STEM.
What I take mostly from what I hear and read is that the work environment is not inviting for women. Certainly the offices I've worked in were far from relaxing. Not only were the buildings grey on the outside but, they were simply functional rather than places to invigorate, stimulate inside.
As an introvert and task driven person, I enjoyed the solitude of coding and there are many other Women like me and I'm proud to be in the company of Ada Lovelace, Jean Bartik and Admiral Grace Hopper to name a few.
While the word Women describes us collectively we do have individual personality traits and a one hat one solution doesn't fit all. We have our own creativity and our own drives. The only truth is is that we look to be accepted for being ourselves and the value and strengths we bring to the table; that's where we become one in our cause.
There are so many aspects to Computing but, schools are introducing our younger generation to the world of IT by teaching them to write scratch game coding, creating a website, Python, Boolean, binary and a lot of excel spreadsheets. This for me barely scratches the surface and gives a false impression on what in out there in the eclectic Digital playing field. What about infrastructure for example?
I suppose it is true that computing is also synonymous with being a little geeky and I am happy to be such. I actually didn't know how befitting this career was for me until I reflected on life in general, when I left.
The obvious reason for leaving the Digital World was Redundancy but, I do have the option of pursuing that career if I wish. However, I chose to take a calculated risk and explore a different path.
I stood on unstable ground for 5 years and so given that rocky foundation I decided the Universe was offering me opportunity for change; maybe pushing me in that direction with two back to back redundancies through manufacturing relocation.
How many of you when asked who you are respond with your career title? Yep, I did that to myself. I was an IT Manager; my identity was so wrapped up in what I did I wasn't sure who I was but, I had dreams, I had aspirations they were sat in the space which I would get to one day gathering dust.
With the playing field changed I had time to retrieve them and dust them off; so I did.
In 2017, I set myself 3 focuses that would push me beyond my comfort zone and if I was able to achieve them I believed I could do whatever I set my mind to.
My three aspirations were to become a Personal Development Coach, to become a Published Writer and to speak at a TEDx talk.
I did receive polite rejection of one and I will not be holding a TEDx talk anytime soon. I'm ok with that, because I know it just isn't my time. My journey on this new road has only just begun.
I grappled with 'I'm not enough' especially where the book was concerned but, I had 5 people who I have great respect for read extracts. I got to hear their feedback and that support gave me the courage to submit.
Support on the journey to change should never be underestimated.
Just like every rule based CS personality, who is in fairness a little time obsessed, I was told I would hear back in 6 weeks so in my calendar I marked 6 weeks exactly from my submission date and I waited.
Four days before I received my Personal Development Coach qualification I received a publishing contract from my very first manuscript submission. It was 4 weeks from my submission date; bonus.
Even as I read the letter, I was still waiting for the punch line that told me no. But, it was my time and my hard work, my written words that caused them to say yes. All of the emotions injected in my story; sadness and joy repurposed, spilled on to the pages and brought it life. I gave birth to my first book which I will hold in my hand in 2020.
I took a leap of faith running a marathon towards my Dreams and it worked. My coach held the ladder so I could step to the next rung, slowly and surely I climbed in my specified time with me being accountable and putting the effort in.
In my coaching training, I met some amazing likeminded people and I used the tools and grew with them.
The biggest inspiration and motivation however, comes from my clients. I watch how they overcome fear of failure or fear of success and achieve their desire as I walk beside them on their journey and that is just a huge privilege.
Fear will trick you. If you really want it, if it's really your will you can find a way to be fulfilled. The beauty of coaching is that it is non-judgemental and supporting and if you've been unfulfilled for too long still on the floor unable to reach that rung. Take back the Power and make a change.