After the year we have just been through, sitting down to write the usual New Year’s resolutions may be daunting. One of the quotes that have stayed with me since 1998 is by Matthew Ashimolowo – he may be the originator ‘Unless you leave this shore, you will not find another harbour’. The key issue for me is that I am not a quitter, I don’t like to admit defeat, I stick at things until I get to the prize, doggedly determined. Then the time came when I felt pressed enough to leave my job….
I had heard it said and read in the papers that having a baby negatively impacts on a woman’s career hence, some bosses would rather not employ you etc… Then I got pregnant and had to face the reality of going on statutory pay, asking myself how much time I wanted to spend at home with baby – how do I balance being a career woman, good mother and a good wife etc
While in hospital, I got a call from my manager, ‘…there is going to be a departmental restructure, we will let you decide how you fit into the new arrangement when back….’ I thought it was great they were keeping informed even though I was on maternity leave etc… the things that happen while you are away.
Anyway (not in the right order), I decided to go back to full time work… but it was not the same. I was faced with a meeting then phone calls deciding about my new role. In a nut shell, I felt I had no alternatives and I had to take a job description with all the fun taken out of it. I accepted it thinking, a) I have no choice, b) now that I have a baby, I have to try to focus on family more and be less ambitious… So, following the birth of my precious little son, began my “keep in touch “dates popping into work 2 days a week for 5 weeks before resuming full time.
Soooooo, I started working with a new team and I did not like it one bit. It was very convenient travel wise etc but there was a stirring in me to move on which continued until I sat down and evaluated my position. I felt, I had regressed and did not see any prospects so I made up my mind to start applying for other jobs.
Cut a long story short, finding another job was very easy!! Yes, I was surprised. I got the second job I applied for, great prospects, more money but with a 2 hour daily commute. I was torn with my little one in the nursery and with a husband who had a 3 hour commute daily coming up. My mother in law was visiting at the time so I had input from both her and my husband regarding the move. They both felt my then job was great for convenience but my MIL was a career woman who did very well and is an independent lady so she felt I should consider all aspects and just arrive at my own decision PHEW!!!!. My hubby said, I will support you whatever you decide and we discussed child care, logistics etc. Having a successful career mom, He believes in encouraging me to aspire job wise – story for another day J. He was excited about the improved conditions but to him it was no big deal, either way was fine. I would have been happy for anyone to tell me what to do as I was really torn about leaving my then job but in this case it was as if God did it in such a way that I had to decide for myself.
I went through a period of seeking God. When the contract was sent to me, I did not sign and return immediately. I took my time (nearly a month). You see, I was afraid of making a mistake and walking away from 4 years of the certainty of the same company, familiar colleagues etc for a stressful life. Then God spoke, I remember attending a Christian conference – OFNC (Overseas Fellowship of Nigerian Christian) Women in Business and Leadership conference in Doncaster that year with this heavy burden on my heart. During a group session while listening to successful mothers talk about how they negotiated work life with family life and about how they enjoyed Gods favour, I heard a still small voice, …Take It!!, I will be with you…. That was all I needed, I went ahead confidently!
I took the job and in just one year, God has given me so much more than I thought I would ever enjoy in work. I am doing better. I work with a team of people who have great confidence in me, they have allowed me travel within the UK and internationally on their behalf, I take decisions on their behalf and I am earning more, they let me go on a flexi-contract when I felt I needed more time at home, I work from home where convenient, I had a pay increase after 4 months. I could go on and on….
At the point of being interviewed, I did not see any of it coming and I must say I went into the new job fully resting on Gods promise to go before me. I have no regrets! Having a baby led to promotion – my case was different!
If you have to start over this year, I pray you do it on the back of Gods leading, cruising into a place of promise, increase and fulfillment.
Now where are those New Year’s resolutions, I know I really need to table these before the King of Kings…