Tuesday, March 3, 2009

TRANSITION: Honoring Myself & What I Really Want

On January 9th I was laid off from a job that I had been in for less than 3 months. A job I had accepted after numerous interviews with different companies and nine months of searching. I can’t say that I was upset that the job hadn’t worked out – the experience had been demeaning and demoralizing. It was the timing I was mostly confused about – why now?

For the first time in twenty years I was out of a job. In the midst of an economic crisis, labeled as the “worst the US has seen since the Great Depression” I found myself without a source of income. I contacted staffing agencies and started the process of looking for a new job, and registered to do temp work.

There was only one problem…I no longer had any real interest in continuing a career as an Executive Assistant in a corporate 9 to 5 world.

Truth be told, I had never planned a career in the corporate world, certainly not one as an Executive Assistant, and definitely not one that would last for almost ten years. I had moved from Australia in 1998 to do something completely different with my life but had returned to corporate work when planning to move to New York in 2000. It was good money, reasonably easy to get, and would guarantee me security while I found my feet in a new city. I hadn’t planned on staying with it, but in 2001 I was fortunate to find a boss who was a joy to work for, and so I fell into a comfortable routine, which would last until he retired in mid-2007.

I ask myself now – should I have left corporate employment in July 2007 when he retired? Is that when I had a window to transition out of the corporate grind? It certainly didn’t seem like the right time, but my memory and objectivity isn’t clear enough for me to say either way. I found a job within the same organization in a position, which unfortunately (or fortunately) became increasingly more intolerable. By January 2008 I had already started the job search process – still looking within the corporate world.

I had become accustomed to the lifestyle it afforded me and also dependent on the income. I had accumulated substantial credit card debt, had rent and monthly expenses, and barely any savings. I had also become complacent and knew (intuitively) on some level that I was “playing it safe”.

So here I was, January 2009 still in a similar financial situation and yet I was not concerned. To be fair, I was given 3 weeks severance pay, so I knew my bills would be covered through the end of the month. Also, due to the cancellation of a couple of events, I received some money back in refunds that would help cover the bills for February and some of March.

With each day that I spent at home, the more I realized I wanted to effect change in the life I was living, or really, in the life I was not living. I had a couple of short temp assignments, which helped with income, but just confirmed that I didn’t want to be doing this kind of work anymore. Then came the opportunity to interview with the firm where I had spent eight years. It seemed so easy, and safe – especially in this current economic climate – but the thought of going back into a corporate environment started making me physically ill.

I knew on a very deep, intuitive level that this was not what I really wanted, and yet I had clearly set out the intention to The Universe that I wanted a weekly base salary to cover all my living expenses. The problem was that I was stuck thinking the only way to achieve this was working in a corporate job again, but my subconscious was clearly putting out the strong message “No more corporate work”. It was time for me to become clear about what I wanted…both consciously and subconsciously.

It was time to start listening honestly to my intuition and honoring my true feelings and desires. I want to return to my metaphysical roots and the joy of fully expressing who I am. I want to experience the freedom of self-employment as an Intuitive Counselor and eventually open my own metaphysical store/cafe. At the same time, I still want a weekly base salary that affords me the time to establish my business, covers all the monthly expenses, but it cannot be through the corporate life that has become my safety net, a cushion that lulls me into apathy.

So now I have clearly stated to The Universe what I am after…I just don’t have a clue what it looks like, which means I have to listen to my intuition and act on what is before me, with honesty and without hesitation. I have started working on my own business, one step at a time, and with each action I become more confident with the direction my life is headed and less concerned with how it will all work out.

I still have unanswered questions. The experiences of these two less-than-desirable jobs have been the catalyst for life-changing decisions, but did my intuition at any point indicate that these were the wrong jobs? Would I have ended up on this same path if I had walked away from the security of my corporate life in July 2007? Or did my intuition knowingly guide me into these jobs for the purpose of showing me, finally, the life I was not living, the authentic self I was not honoring.

So rather than asking “Why now?” it seems more inspiring to ask “What’s next?”


  1. Yes, and yes! Am in a similar spot...have chosen to become self-employed, and am now facing a new marketplace where I am finding I need to reaffirm my decision and desires to be here and embrace the changes in a positive way. It is hard to not question yourself along the way, particularly as the bills come due...

    Thank you for posting. I have been wondering and thinking of you. :-) Chris

  2. Nadine, you look wonderful! Best of luck to you in wherever life's path leads you.