For the first part of my working life, I found myself entrenched in an intellectually stimulating and financially comfortable job as a Lawyer, specializing in Real Estate and Criminal Law, with a high profile, medium sized firm in the Netherlands.
I had a major problem: after 6 years, I realized I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing anymore.
Even though I was great at my job, the money was good and the work was intellectually challenging, on Monday morning I looked forward to Friday evening and on Sunday evening I dreaded Monday morning. I thought I got it ‘right’ – I was working hard, striving, achieving, sacrificing, over-committing, specializing, battling and surviving.
It just did not feel right anymore.
One day, after returning from holiday to 2 huge piles of “backlogged” files on my desk, a massive wave of anxiety hit me and I felt physically ill. The realisation hit me – I have to change.
The big issue was: I didn’t know what to do. I did not have an alternative strategy; I’d never learned one, or needed it, for that matter. For the next 3 months I went into deep downward spiral that completely threw me. I knew I was going to quit and had no clue what I was going to do with my life from that point. I couldn’t see any future. The only thing I felt: What I am doing now isn’t it!
So I gave notice and resigned in August 1999, with a 4 month notice period to hand over my practice.
This decision felt good and I knew right away I had made the right choice, even though “what’s next” was totally out of my sight and scared the living daylights out of me.
From there, a synchronistic series of events happened that put me on the path I’m on now. I worked out that I had a number of key values, things that were really important to me in life: travelling, preferably around the world, acquiring new knowledge and skills, work that I can do anywhere, helping people and having fun. And I decided to have these values guide my decisions from then on.
I was offered some part time work, lived in South Africa for 6 months to study Body Stress Release (www.bodystressrelease.com.au) and steadily built my own practice.
In 2001 my partner, our 1.5 year-old daughter and I came to Sunshine Coast for holiday to visit a friend and it immediately felt like home. Within 18 months we moved to Australia. I set up my Body Stress Release practice and one day spotted an ad in the paper to study coaching.
The rest is history. I’ve met some amazing people such as Glenn Dietzel, for whose company Awakened LLC I became lead-coach, working with clients all around the world. I conducted workshops in Sweden, Holland and Australia. I then started working as a coach and facilitator conducting employability skills training, qualified as a Counsellor and started working with Campbell Page Employment Services as a counsellor. I now work in my private practice and work as a contract-counsellor for Employee Assistance Programs providers Converge International (https://www.convergeinternational.com.au/), Acacia Connection (http://www.eapcounselling.com.au/) and Eudoxia (http://www.eudoxia.com.au/). I have also taught Diploma level Counselling for a private Registered Training Organisation. My top career values still stand, and I still live by them.
Change for the better IS possible I know from experience how daunting taking that first step in a new direction can seem to be. I also know how fulfilling and profitable taking that step can be! If you are ready for you, I am ready for you.