Maybe I found my tribe

Attended the award presentations for the hackathon tonight. Afterwards, there was a networking event for what appears to be the entrepreneurs and start-ups of this city. I ran into a few old contacts and had some really interesting conversations with others. This group of people – they might be my tribe. It felt – well, comfortable and exciting to be around them – positive, motivated, go-getters wanting to change the world with their ideas!

Volunteering to find my tribe

I was a mentor for the environmental hackathon today. There was one group that was looking at waste. The other ones seemed to be more interested in green energy. Hopefully, the groups felt that my business advice was useful. I don’t feel any closer to finding my tribe though.

Finding my Tribe

Met with a friend who works with social enterprises today. I told her what I wanted to do (stake in the ground), but I wasn’t sure where to start. She suggested that I needed to find my “tribe.” It so happens that there is an environmentally focussed hackathon coming up, and they are looking for mentors. She suggested that I apply to help out.

I applied for the hackathon mentor role tonight. I also started doing some research on the ACT Goverment’s Waste Management Strategy. Seems like I should first understand what’s going into the local landfill right now and expand my knowledge from there

Putting a stake in the ground

I met with my executive recruiter contact today, and he advice was really useful. He asked me what I wanted to do, and I gave him a few ideas about the areas I was most interested in, but told him that I was afraid to close off job options. He said that I needed to put a stake in the ground, and that once I declared my direction it was more likely that these types of opportunities would come to me.

For months, I have been posting articles on LinkedIn that have to do with the circular economy and environment concerns with waste. In fact, in December I even organised the clean-up of our local lake. At Christmas time, I was chatting with my brothers about business ideas for plastic alternatives. Yet, I had not decided to work in this space.

I admit that I also feel like no one will hire me because of my lack of industry experience. Regardless – if this is where I want to be, I should just go for it rather than waiting for some other miracle opportunity to come to me. So… here I go. Stake in the ground.

Purposeless

I’ve considered new job opportunities for about 8 months now. Before Christmas, I still felt really burned out from my last job, but now I feel ready to start something hard again.

The problem is that I have been watching the job boards and occasionally applying for roles throughout this entire timeframe without finding what I want.

What do I want? Nothing I’ve done before – because I want another big challenge, but with purpose. However, it appears that recruiters only think I’m capable of doing the things I’ve done before in the industries I’ve worked in before. So, I’m stuck in a hard place of wanting to do something meaningful, challenging and different when the “choosers” want me to do the same old thing.

I’ve just asked for a meeting with an old contact, an executive recruiter. I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t have the right role for me, but I feel like he can perhaps help me figure out my next step.

To be or not to be an entrepreneur (again)

I’m thinking about starting another business. After being unemployed for six months and travelling the world, my savings account is dwindling.  Still, I haven’t found the kind of work that I’m looking for next – something challenging, creative, purposeful and where I have a great deal of control.  It doesn’t seem to exist. Or if it does, recruiters don’t think I’m qualified.

At forty-six, I’m taking bigger risks if I do start another business now. My retirement savings isn’t that big after following my ex-husband’s career around the world for nearly fifteen years.  While I have saved a bit during my last few jobs, it’s funny how fast you can go through it when you’re not bringing in any income.

And what if I get injured or seriously ill during this business start-up phase?  I don’t have a safety net to bail me out.  Is it really worth taking this kind of risk now – at a time that everyone says is the prime of my career if I keep moving up the same path?

At least I don’t have kids to consider. Otherwise my risk appetite may be different.

Fear of starting another business has its place especially with my entrepreneurial track record – this will be business #4 if I go for it. Still, I keep telling myself that if I only put in the kind of consistent hard work into my own business that I have put into others in the past I should have a decent chance of success. 

While I could spend a lot of time thinking about the ramifications if I fail – loss of my entire savings, loss of my home, loss of my reputation. What if I never find a job again afterwards and become homeless? Ugh!

It’s scary and some days that is all I can’t think about.  But other days, I asked myself – what if I did succeed?  I could do a lot of good for the environment and community if I choose the right business.

Furthermore, wouldn’t it be amazing to have work where I am enjoying the process, not just an end goal? That is…

Work filled with growth, of purpose, of a diverse range of activities and opportunities for creativity.

Work where I see no need to make such dramatic career changes in the future because I never quit learning and enjoying the ride.

Work were I can set the purpose and values of the organisation and share that journey with others that align with them.

Because in five years’ time, I could be either doing the exact same work that recruiters expect of me.  Or I could finally be making a living with an entity that I literally took from an idea to a life of it’s own.

My decision point is coming very soon.  I admit that I’m scared.