Dezvoltare personală și profesională, cu cap și cu drag 'Smart with Heart' personal&professional development
As a teenager with a talent for languages and communications, I shocked everybody when, just a few months before choosing my preferred area for higher studies, I announced I wanted Philosophy. No one understood why, and neither did I, “Philosophy? What are you going to do with it?” All I knew was that I felt a powerful attraction to enter the universe of the most brilliant minds. Happily for me, my parents were supportive, as always.
There wasn’t much I could do with my Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy job wise, I thought. So, after graduation, I pursued a career in Public Relations. I loved to write and connect people, and to gather them around big ideas, but I wasn’t so happy with what was happening behind the curtains (after all, I was working for a political party!). So I got off that train and after a while, accidentally, I got introduced to the world of HR. It wasn’t a “vocational calling” or something I had dreamed one miraculous night. It was just an answer to a need. I had a job in telemarketing where I needed to hire and train the people in my team. It was simple: my salary was directly related to how much they sold, so I started to figure out ways to attract, hire and train the best. And again, I loved it! There it was, the same attraction, fortunately followed by excellent results. As it turned out, I was good at spotting potential and at creating training programs to develop it.
Who would have said that a Philosophy graduate would be so good at teaching people how to sell mortgages or cell phone plans?
Anyway, I took the road of HR for the following 10 years (by now) and loved everything about it, weeeeell, almost everything. And all this time I realized the blessing for having followed my gut instinct back then, when I was just 18. Although unjustly considered by many a formation with no practical use, Philosophy has actually given me many gifts for developing a meaningful career: logical thinking, the ability to grasp concepts and mentally picture the impact of leadership visions, critical thinking that prevented me from being fooled by empty big words or non-sense “strategies”, an understanding of the human nature and its multiple expressions, the sense of togetherness and the beauty of diversity, as well as the choice to stay open to new possibilities.
I’ve learned a lot. I still am and always will be. To me, learning is a fun adventure and I love to explore.
I’ve also learned my lessons, of which I am sharing two with you:
Sometimes, “things” happen that interrupt what we think is “our path”.
In 2012, my mother was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. “You only have a couple of months, no more”, they said. So you might say that life forced me to step out of my “corporation career”. My need to be near her was greater than anything else so, instead of focusing on my career, I paused the professional Rosana and fully embraced the role of the daughter. It wasn’t easy at all. Actually, it was difficult, it was very very difficult, especially since I knew how things work in recruitment and that I would never be able to get a job again after a long pause. (And I was right. I tried afterwards, but nobody wanted to look at me.) You know what I had to fight with mostly, professionally speaking? The feeling of losing everything I had built.
In 2014, my mother passed away. I cannot convey into words the peace I now feel, knowing that on her last time here on Earth, I was there with her, near her, and not somewhere in an office. And I remember her words, just before she died: “I know this has been a difficult time for you, personally and professionally, but I am thankful that you have been here with me. I don’t know what I would have done without you.”
You know, it’s simple. Some people read books about enlightenment, love and soulful connections and reproduce spiritual quotations, and other people experience them, live the life that leads to them. They don’t usually know famous quotes, but there is a certain warmth about them, a certain humbleness that nourishes you.
When time came for me to look back and see what to do next, I found something amazing. This new, apparently directionless, state of mine, in fact proved to have given me two gifts. The time and energy to repay my mother with love and care, as she had done for me, and the emotional maturity to be there for people. So stepping out from what seemed to be “my path”, actually led to my development. I can now not only understand, but also feel a connection with my clients and their struggles and possible paths, and this proves to be of tremendous help; I’ve also put to good use my knowledge and my communication skills by writing. I have never felt so grateful as I do when readers tell me that my book has helped them, when I get messages on LinkedIn that say “please continue writing, you brighten our day. ”, or I end a coaching session seeing my client excited about what comes next. Not only that I haven’t lost anything, but I have truly found myself.
Our choices may ruin a certain career. and while that is painful, we need to remember that our choices never ruin our path. We can always start again. We just need to stay open and be ready to find new meanings.
I have clients in their forties who feel the need to make a drastic change with big career implications. What I often hear is: “I can’t change my career now, after having invested years and money into it. It makes me feel guilty.”
If you feel the same, it’s natural to be afraid to step into new territory, but you still have to do it. Remember this: not one investment you have made in yourself is useless; on the contrary. There will soon come a time when the experience you have acquired will prove to be an excellent ally in making your dream come true, and you will realize that, without it, you wouldn’t have had all the pieces together to reach that dream. Every investment you make in yourself will, at the right time, contribute to your fulfillment. Every investment you make in yourself is, in fact, a brick in building your path. And that’s more important than your career, simply because your career is not what defines you, but your choices are. Your path is.
(foto: Lila în galben, Francisc Șirato)