There is no change without challenge

by | Mar 27, 2018

The Importance of Embracing Change and Challenges

So why would I choose to give up a perfectly good secure job after 15 years without having the next one all lined up? And when I say good I mean very good. A reputable company, highly regarded in the industry, an awesome Boss, working with a fabulous team of people in a challenging leadership role that gave me flexibility and autonomy, and also paid me well. I’ll tell you why.

Despite ticking all these boxes, there was something missing; a bit of me that was unfulfilled. And that bit resides in my heart. This feeling kept recurring over the years, and I would always suppress it by finding a new project to invest my energies into. About 6 months ago I realised it was time to start to listen to myself, to what I wanted, and not what everyone else wanted for me. Phrases like “You must have rocks in your head” were fairly frequent. But more encouragingly “That’s a bold move”, “I am so proud of you”, “Good on you, for being brave enough to do it”.

And that was the hardest leadership decision that I have ever made. To say “No” to my wonderful Boss who tried everything to persuade me to stay. To have the confidence to back myself. To know that I have another career (s) in me yet; that my best work is yet to come; that I can lead a more fulfilled life. And it’s not that I don’t need to work; I do very much so, both financially and intellectually.

My motivation for doing this

1: To apply myself to a purpose that resonates with me more strongly. A purpose that pulls on my heartstrings as much as it makes my head hurt.

2: To live my life a little differently; a life that I am more at the centre of, and in control of. And for me this ideally looks like a portfolio of income generating activities, that gives me the flexibility to do the other things in life that nourish me. Time and more critically energy to invest in my voluntary community commitments, my own health and well being and my artwork.

Whilst energised, liberated and excited, I would be lying if I didn’t say also a bit scared and out of my comfort zone. I am a Chartered Accountant after all, known for being highly organised, everything planned out, highly compliant and risk averse, so stepping out like this is not my normal MO. To steal a phrase from Mal Cooke, who has recently made a similar bold move – “Expect it to be uncomfortable.” It’s a journey of reinvention; time for reflection and an amazing opportunity for huge personal growth. And we can’t grow without challenging ourselves.

I have had to ask for help along this journey. I have been overwhelmed by the support I have enjoyed; those that have been so generous of themselves with their time and their advice. To name a few: Sue van Leuwen, Viti Simmons, Melissa Stanton, Brian Briscoe, Angie Paskevicius, Justine Colyer, Andrew Hall, Dom Mecoy, Nicky Howe, Jeff Simper, Salem Domiati, Sabrina David. And none of this would be possible without the support of my husband Pete. Thank you all.

Debbie Millard is an experienced CFO and Corporate Services and Executive Manager, Non-Executive Director, Chartered Accountant, GAICD and Telstra Business Women’s Awards Finalist. Her 25 year career spans professional services, private business and the not-for-profit sector.

Written By Debbie Millard

Master your business through strong leadership, knowing your numbers and empowering your people

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