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A World in Transition: Insights from Transition Hub - Image, Attitude & Meaning

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

A quote often attributed to Albert Einstein, but apparently, he never said it. Nonetheless a quote that makes complete sense to me.

Throughout my 40-year career, I have come across moments of crisis. When I look back through the decades, I can see 3 moments when I knew I had hit a dead end. The first time was devastating, as I didn’t have the tools to deal with the apparent “catastrophe” I was facing.

More recently, of course, I turn to the personal development and business sections in the local bookshop for guidance and inspiration. I have also looked to Executive Coaches to spark the insights I needed to experience in order to move beyond my existential career crisis.

It was Marshall Goldsmith’s book that I remember most. Well, the title itself gave me the kick I needed. “Whatever got you here, won’t get you there” was a stark reminder that I couldn’t just keep running the same old daily script and expect to be catapulted into the job of my dreams.

So, like many before me, I learned how to turn a dead end into a crossroad of possibilities. And I quickly learned that the answer was not out there in the world, the answer lay within me.

Behaviouralists have been telling us for years that in order to change the outcome, we need to understand how we operate. And to change the way we operate in the world, we need to change the underlying driver of behaviours, our values.

How many of us understand our values? Sure, we can say we value integrity, authenticity and honesty, but how do we really know that deep down we are really guided by these aspirations? I am guessing from a sample of one that these stated values are not always driving our actions.

About 18 months ago, I found myself out of work following a redundancy. At the age of 57, I was beginning to think my career was at an end, the scrap heap was all I had to look forward to. I was applying for roles but was struggling to get a foothold in the job market. I told myself it was my age and the market were biased against age. But blaming the system was doing me no good.

So, I went within, reflected on my values, reflected on who I wanted to be and decided I needed a pitstop. Somewhere where I could immerse myself and learn from a range of coaches to tighten my wheel nuts, fill my tank and remind me I am of value.

A week immersed within Transition Hub got me up and running.

I learned that how I valued myself would change the way I projected my image and how I presented myself. Becoming mindful of the image I wanted to project to the world completely changed my attitude which in turn created a shift in how I engaged with the world. I found new ways to find meaning personally and professionally.

I practiced being mindful of my values, my qualities and behaviours before meeting up with people in my network for coffee. Regular catch ups are the way I keep connected with my business network, but mostly all I had achieved was a caffeine habit.

Within 4 weeks of the new paradigm I had received 2 job offers. These were offers made without me even knowing there was a possibility of work in their organisations. I was blown away.

Today, I am in my dream job. And I know this would not have been possible without a complete shift in my personal paradigm. 

Coach & author bio: Eugene McGarrell is a Transition Hub Career coach, an experienced health and social sector executive, working with local businesses, community groups and government to create opportunities for people to thrive.


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