I left my former role in June with the intention of taking extended time off. I was at a crossroads without any direction on how to solve some key issues both professionally and personally. There were three key priorities I needed to address:

  1. I needed to refresh myself after a difficult first half of the year and reignite my career focus
  2. There were some logistical issues my family were encountering by commuting from Geelong that needed to change
  3. I wanted to prioritise my family before deciding what my next career move would be and work out a genuine balance* between my wife and I.

*By balance, I mean even…50:50…split…equality. I work three days, Kathleen works 3 days.

Initially, I thought this would take some amount of time, possibly months to figure out.

I had visions of sitting down with notebooks and planning my life, working out goals, and designing a personal purpose.

As job opportunities presented themselves almost as soon as I’d commenced my intended sabbatical I found myself wanting to park them until I had “taken time off” but who was I kidding? Career opportunities were not going to wait for me; and who’s to say they will be available again at a time of my choosing?

In reality, I thought I needed a month to work out my clear objectives but I really only needed a few days of clean air. It’s amazing what you can do when you remove yourself totally from all activity and make sure you

have a clear runway of thoughts to plan your next takeoff.

I put together a business plan to run my own talent consultancy practice and then sat on it for a while, not knowing what to do next…then an opportunity with Amadeus Group came along.

Cutting to the chase, it didn’t take long to figure out that this was a great opportunity for the simple reason that it was going to provide solutions to address my top 3 priorities.

Hang on a minute! What about my intended time off? What about spending long days on the golf course and working through things slowly? Should I park this one too and see if there is something better that pops up?

Quite simply, when opportunity knocks, measure it against what you are looking for. If it fits, disregard timing. If that means swinging into action sooner than expected; so be it. The alternative is to never find the starting point in the first place (or in my case, continued unemployment).

When I look back at the 3 priorities I had, I achieved all of them. Yes, I had to take a risk in that an undefined amount of time was needed to work it all out but it didn’t take as long as expected.

Something my secondary school principal often said which I will alway remember is

“there are three things you can’t ever get back. A spent arrow, a spoken word, and a lost opportunity.

If the right opportunity is presented to you but the timing isn’t right, what will you do?