In late summer 2013 I decided to take an opportunity to leave the Corporate IT Industry and take a “gap year” (for those of you that are quick on maths, yes I’m in my 3rd gap year). Why not, both my children have had the university experience with gap years, intern-ships and careers counselling, so why not me?
I went to the “university of life” straight from school into the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF). My first posting was to RAF Lyneham, home of the Hercules transport aircraft , where my first job was driving a fork lift truck in a bulk storage hanger! At the tender age of 21, I left the WRAF and began my career in the IT Industry, selling and marketing bureau services in Nairobi, Kenya. Since then I have climbed that corporate ladder, whilst being the “bread winner”, my better half did an outstanding job of raising our children and yes is one of those original 90’s house-husbands. So now we are empty nester’s (well nearly our youngest is doing a placement year) and I’ve taken the gap leap into the unknown. For the first time in my career in the IT industry, I can actually say ” I love technology” ! I am having experiences that “university of lifers” like me could never have had before. Now anyone can, well anyone with a smart phone and internet connection:
- socially connect with anyone in the world
- access and learn literally anything
- start up a business
Chapter 3 in a business context, is about sharing what I have been lucky enough to experience in my gap years and beyond. It has been a roller coaster of emotions, there have been times I’ve been so excited that I thought my synapses where going to explode, other times I have sunk into panic attacks; what had I done, have I completely fallen off the corporate Richter scale? Each time I sink to a low I am able to see more clearly new perspectives and realise how lucky I am to have my chapter 3.
I have balanced this with being more mindful in all aspects of my life; from “clearing my cache”, to paying attention to my natural talents and intuition, to being more open, curious and just noticing more.Its amazing how much we miss when we sleep walk through life, busying ourselves with things that are urgent but not necessarily important. I’ve reflected on this in my post “Can’t stop, got to pop” the what I call the 21st Century disease Busy-i-tus.