Looking back over my life and career so far, I have come to realise that I am quite driven and that changes in my ‘drivers’ have coincided with key points in my life.
My ‘drivers’ haven’t felt quite like motivation in the normal sense to me. I’ve experienced them as more visceral, in the gut, ‘fire in my belly’ sensations to quote the ubiquitous Lord Sugar 😉. Internal forces that have propelled me in different directions at different points in my life.
In my twenties at the start of my career it was all about the money and attaining some financial security. I left my Polytechnic as it was then with a job to go to in East London as a graduate engineer. Then spent about six years bouncing around London, living in shared accommodation until I was able to buy my own place for the incredible sum of £25,000. You would just about get one beach hut in Brighton for this now. Glad I bothered to fact check this as my original guess was two ;).
In my thirties, it was all about time and flexibility. Finding ways to save it and then moving across to self-employment. A period of juggling between further study, starting my own business and towards the end of my thirties becoming a mother for the first time.
In my forties, it was all about my energy and making the most of it. Perhaps not entirely surprising given I’d become a mother at age thirty-eight. My attention was very much on conserving it, trying to be more in flow. Finding balance, whilst continuing with my business and our move as a family to Brighton.
Today as I approach my mid-fifties, I am aware that I’m being driven by thoughts of legacy. What will I leave behind that is of use? What difference can I make with whatever time I have left? This ‘driver’ has a sense of urgency about it. And it’s not my intention to be overly morbid about this but I am aware that in all likelihood I have more time behind than in front of me and that life is simply too short to be buggering around with nonsense.
What I’m noticing with my current ‘driver’ is that it is consuming, directing my attention and attracting resources, articles, videos and people related to it. I experience a surge of energy each time I read, see or think about it and find myself drawn to articles, talks, tweets, news items and books that are in any way related to it.
So, what’s firing me up now?
The decline in social mobility as I see it and how a Universal Basic Income might, and I say might be able to reverse this. The opportunities to work your way out of poverty are in my opinion seriously depleted. I don’t think I could do today what I did in the late eighties/early nineties as a single working-class woman.
It’s been my belief for a few years now that our current paradigm, approach to paid work is not sustainable going forward. It’s going to break, if it’s not breaking already. A discomforting realisation, given that I work as a career coach and one where I could see the problem but not too many viable solutions.
That is until I heard Guy Standing’s Keynote speech at last year’s Brighton Summit, and he introduced to me at least the idea of Universal Basic Income. I was, to be honest surprised by his compassion and then impressed by his erudition in describing his experiences and research around Basic Income.
To hear his speech for yourself please Click here
So, based on my current ‘driver’ and my values around freedom and choice for all, I want my business to support this issue and see if there is a way to help move it forward. It’s time I think to stand for something. That I think will be my legacy.
And, there you have it until next time
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Originally published at careerresilience.wordpress.com on October 4, 2018.