I know I have written quite a number of posts in the last couple of months however very few of them have actually touched on how I have been personally given the number of changes that have taken place over the last half the year. From hanging up my consulting boots to pursuing a pure HR career, I have undergone so much of life changing experience in a relatively short period of time – 6 months is considered quite short in the scheme of things.
A good starting point would be to reflect on the need for change. Why did I want this change to begin with? I know I have written a lot in the past in one of my posts about how this move was akin to a “dream come true” – leaving behind consulting work to pursue the “holy grail” of talent and organization work is every consultant’s dream – or so I would have thought. It was an exciting and a period of anticipation – doing work which I had come to know only through published case studies (when I used to host the monthly APAC capability development sessions) or sexy stuff of some exotic project some lucky consultant had embarked on.
And so I got my chance. I still have those chances. But somehow, strangely enough things changed. The piece of the pie you so craved for and yearned for so long no longer could satisfy your appetite. At first I thought perhaps something was wrong with me. I mean, why wasn’t I appreciating this chance of a lifetime – why was”t I relishing the fact that I had found the holy grail? Something was amiss here and for months I searched my heart, trying to find my answers.
In many native societies, there is often an initiation process – a rite of passage you may. This was when a boy would transition into a man and for him to make this transition – this life changing event – he would need to be initiated and this required for him to undergo a series of tests to prove his character, courage and mantle. Would he come back courageously as a man or corwardly as a boy? As the months unfolded and as I crossed towards december, I couldn’t help but wonder if joining this new organization was my Walkabout – what was I supposed to learn here? I was tested in many ways – my endurance, my ability to keep up with the demanding work, my intelligence and creativity as well as grit and tenacity was put to the test. All throughout my years, I have often been known for being a tenacious person – one who will grind out to produce and get the job done. And here again, at 32 I would be tested for my tenacity.
I really don’t know if I passed or fail. Life is easier when you have a score to measure whether you did well. But as a close friend of mine used to always say “in life, there is no right or wrong, it’s what you do and what you don’t do that matters”. Looking back, while I would love to think I somehow “survived” my walkabout, I am not really sure. To be honest, I am not even sure if I am still out of my walkabout or I’m still in my quest. Life can be vague like that.
But it doesn’t matter anymore. As I said, I believe not caring so much whether I passed or fail is in itself a sign of maturity that I have come to accept. I have reached that point that my career doesn’t matter as much as it once did. Of course I still have aspirations to do well, to work hard and to be successful – but somehow that drive has been superseded by a sense of learning how to be. Learning to care what matters most in life. Once upon a time, I was ingrained to always make sure we put our stakeholders first, that we attend to their needs. I believe these virtues have been instrumental in shaping me up as a young employee. That is why I have achieved what I have achieved and I believe this why I have gotten this far in life.
The next chapter of life is no longer about winning or being successful. In fact, one may argue to be successful in marriage means you have to lose – to lovingly give up yourself for your spouse so that she may live and through her and the grace of God, you will embark and take on a new meaning on life. Perhaps this is what God has been preparing me for. A life as a future husband. Perhaps thats why I had to leave consulting and join the bank. So that I may undergo these painful but valuable lessons about life, humility,perseverance and most importantly – to reconnect myself back with Him as I start preparing my life as a married man.