Thursday, April 9, 2020

The next phase

Welcome to Phase 4 

Naval gazing while in iso
As I sit at home in iso (that's what the cool kids are calling COVID-19 isolation and we all know I'm a cool kid), I am having time to reflect.  I'm also having time to make some life choices regarding income generation.  Which has reminded me of the phases of my life so far.

Phase 1 - The Student

Of course the first 18 years of our lives are spent learning.

From the early stages of learning to walk, talk and eat, to the latter stages of high school graduation and taking flight from the security of home into this big wide world of ours.

For my student phase I continued from school to university at the age of 18, and given that meant travel, it was also the point where I left home.  A uni student and a student-in-life, all bundled up together ready for graduation at the ripe ol' age of 21.

Which meant I was now ready for phase 2.

Fresh faced and ready to take on the world

Phase 2 - The Public Servant

Phase 2 of my life was all about career growth in the Australian Public Service.

Entering as a base level Executive Assistant and rising through the ranks over 15 years to top my stream as the Executive Officer to the Australian Chief Veterinary Officer.  Adding roles such as project manager, program manager, international secretariat, mentor and senior executive assistant to my daily list of activities.

I loved my life in the APS.  Absolutely loved it.  I did not get Mondayitis, nor was there ever a time I doubted who I was and where I was headed. Largely because I made the decision to create my career and to choose my boss.  He will say he chose me. He watched my work from a distance and requested I apply for the role as his Senior EA.  But when it's all said and done, I still chose him.

He believed in me and in turn, I quickly began to believe in the possibilities.  He allowed me to spread my wings and to fly in whatever direction we both agreed on for the year ahead.  I grew and added new skills, titles, contacts and testimonials to my resume annually.

Yet, I "retired" at 36 because I had another world I had to explore.  With a husband who deserved the ability to focus on his career, I chose to go home and be a hands on mother to my two precious bundles and to be available to my step-daughter. Plus I had to work out who I was outside the APS.

Which meant I was now ready for phase 3.

A world in which I always pushed myself to go above and beyond

Phase 3 - The Writer, Consultant and all round gap filler

It's a strange world exiting full time employment where you put in 10 hour days and 150% effort to come home to the same four walls and same four people, day in and day out.

The Public Servant phase of my life had me believing my work was my worth.  But this all important Phase 3 allowed me to explore all the elements of who I was and who I was yet to be.

For the next 15 years I had the privilege of being able to create a legacy.  Something that not only explored my potential outside full time employment, but could role model to my kids that dreams really can come true when you action them.

Phase 3 allowed me to be actively involved with my family and embed us as a solid family unit.  To dedicate myself to them first with the rest of my sum total waiting in the wings to be explored at my leisure.

As Phase 3 comes to an end, it's time to recognise what this most recent phase has given me.  My Phase 3 highlights include:

  • Dipping my toe into the writing world via my blogging and my children's book series; 
  • Working with brands through "social influencing" before it had a name; 
  • Exploring the world of sport through founding Canberra's (and potentially Australia's) first ever primary school cheerleading team and then joining the Executive of the ACTs biggest community football club; 
  • Being able to coach and mentor people through life, career and business; 
  • Spending time on the speaker and author circuit; 
  • Founding a children's magazine and taking on the role of editor-in-chief
  • Being a mumager to my model daughter
  • Being a manager to my football son
  • Being a mentor to my gorgeous step-daughter
  • Finding myself as a model, commercial actor and TV extra; 
  • Owning a hobby based business.
  • Spending my time as a volunteer 
  • Learning to be the best life partner I can be  

Phase 3 has allowed me to appreciate who I am, what I am capable of and where I am headed.

Which means I am now ready for Phase 4.

The Phase 3 me - Author, Blogger, Consultant, Speaker ... and everything else in between.

Phase 4 - Whatever and whoever I want to be

Now that my role as a carer and mother isn't quite as necessary as it once was, I have found myself with plenty of time available to re-enter the full time paid workforce.

With my Phase 3 experiences tucked into the many pockets of my techni-coloured dream coat, I'm equipped to make choices about what I want to do and who I would like to be in this final pre-retirement career phase of my life.

After dipping my toe back into the corporate waters via contract work with a major R&D organisation, I know that I have a good 10 years that I'd like to give. Whether it be with them, or back in government, or with a major corporation; whether it be in a leadership role or as somebody's right hand; I'm ready to create a new career and to choose a new path.

Will it be created from the Phase 2 version of myself? Will it be created from the Phase 3 version of myself? Or will it be a combination of both, or neither?

Phase 4 is where I'm all grown up with a wealth of experience and can become whatever, and whoever, I want to be.

I am ready for Phase 4. It is not a a new chapter in the book of Leanne.  Nor is it a new episode in the Leanne show.  It is in fact an entirely new series.

What will the next phase be? Who is this new me?

As you can see, the Festival of Fifty is truly becoming the ultimate adventure and everything I've done to date has me ready for my best career yet.

What is it? Well, I don't know yet. But rest assured it'll be whatever I choose it to be.

What phases have you had in your life?

Any tips on moving into the next phase?

Ever completely recreated yourself? 

It's lovin life Thursday which is the day we remind ourselves, there is always something to love about life.

Don't forget to click through the linky link and check out the other bloggers who have some fabulous and fun reads.

Happy Thursday! 
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  1. LOVED reading this and getting to know more about you and your life. Looking forward to stage 4. When I look back at my life, I can see that I too had stages and in fact it took me 3 stages of retirement to finally...once and for all....stop paid work. Never stop learning nor enjoying life as a contributor is my motto. Stay well and on track to what is next. Denyse

  2. Interesting. I need to think about if I see it as phases. I def move through them. Or float through them, more apt. Look forward to seeing where you head...

  3. Sounds like you're ready to conquer the world. Go Leanne go!

  4. This had me thinking about my phases. Like Lydia, I think I've drifted through mine. Here's to Pgase 4, the spin-off series.

  5. Well it all sounds exciting and invigorating Leanne (quite the opposite to how life feels for most of us atm). I'm sure you've got the get-up-and-go to achieve whatever you set your mind to, and good on you for leaping into the next phase. I'm in a much quieter phase (and really enjoying it) so I guess life is different for us all - which is what makes it all so interesting.

  6. I've recreated myself a number of times - completely different careers etc. My path was a bit different as I worked from Uni until I was 43 or so and took the redundancy from government. I decided then I didn't really want to work full-time ever again but I've found it hard to find jobs locally (post-seachange) that I can do part-time to sustain me.

    I guess though, it's been 7yrs and I'm not skint yet so I'm surviving! Am sure you'll find your next phase and enjoy it.

  7. Bring on phase 4, I hope it is a good one!

  8. I would absolutely love to completely re-invent myself at this point!

    Di from Max The Unicorn

  9. Yes, I agree - life is all about different phases and reinventing ourselves. I've done similar things to you: studying, work, raising a family. Now with grown children and a growing tribe of grandkids, I'm just loving this post-work stage where I've reinvented myself as a traveller and travel writer and photographer (as well as having plenty of time for the kids/grandkids), and I'm absolutely loving it. Great to have a mix up and embrace the next stage.

  10. I am really overwhelmed with this article. I would like to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post. Thanks for sharing. Great websites!! :)


  11. Bring on the next phase of your life. Thirty years ago this week I started a journey that was life changing and I guess I re-created myself. Thirty years ago this Wednesday, April 15th 1990 I went to boot camp for the U.S. Navy. It totally changed my life.

    Thanks for hosting and I hope that you have a wondeful week. Stay healthy.


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