Coming up to my 60th Birthday, what have I learned?

A little bit of context.

I have had 3 different careers to date.

I started in banking at 17 after completing my secondary education as a boarder in St Munchin’s College in Limerick. Then at 21 decided banking was not for me and went back to full-time education and had 4 wonderful years studying commerce in UCC. I went on from there to train as an accountant with one of the large accounting firms. This was an excellent experience in terms of building key skills and working with very talented people. But it was not what I was good at and it took me a few extra attempts at the exams to qualify. Failing exams was very painful but it did help me build up resilience which has stood to me.

I became aware of recruitment through a friend of mine who was working with a company in London at the time. It caught my interest because it involved working with people, but it was in a competitive business context. This was the early 90’s and it was very tough at the start and I did question my decision at the time but stuck with it and am so glad that I did.

So, coming up to my 60th birthday I am celebrating 30 years of recruitment, 30 years of marriage

and 28 years of parenting (6 children)

So, what have I learned?

Decisions Decisions

Making good decisions is critical but to make good decisions you need to be true to yourself and to be true to yourself you need get to know yourself.

I know that I was very lucky to find a career that suited me (eventually!) so my advice would be to go with the grain in terms of your talents and work hard at finding a career that makes you happy.

I have learned a lot from the challenges that I had to overcome. Boarding school was formative and leaving the bank at that time to go to full time education was not easy, but it was my decision and I am so glad I did. Failing accounting exams was tough also. After circa 5 years in accounting the best I can say was that I was sure I didn’t want to be an accountant.

I was 30 when I got into recruitment the same year as I got married. Both decisions have worked out very well for me.

I have learned so much from challenges I faced and from my failures. I have learned so much from the people I have met along the way and probably the most impactful learnings have been from my efforts at being as good a parent as I can be.

So, to summarise

Just to be clear I have a lot of experience, but I am still just a student of life with so much to learn and that feels good.

There are no gurus, but you can learn a little bit from everybody.

The key relationship is with yourself. If you get to know yourself, you will make good decisions in all aspects of your life.

If it was down to 2 words, one Noun, and one Verb this would be my choice;

The noun would be Time because it is a precious gift we have, and it is limited but it is up to us how we use every minute of it.

The verb would be Loving. If we spend our time loving, everything else will fall into place and it starts with loving yourself.