At the start of the year I’d set myself four goals that I wanted to achieve by the end of 2017 and now with two weeks to go until the end of the year I’m minding the gap between my expectations and my reality and acknowledging my growth, because whilst I have a huge drive for achievement I’ve not yet succeeded in achieving any of the goals I set for myself.
So let’s have a look at the goals I set:
1. Get my eggs frozen (not the eating variety!)
2. Get a new job
3. Get my permanent residency in Australia
4. Get a boyfriend
And the progress report…
I’ve always wanted to have children of my own but when I found myself single again in my mid-thirties that really put a spanner in the works with that dream! This year in recognition of my biological clock ticking I decided I’d take some control back and looked into the option of getting my eggs frozen. It’s not the cheapest of options but I figured you couldn’t really put a price on preserving the opportunity for motherhood in the future. Unfortunately despite my efforts and the fun of treating my body like a pin cushion things didn’t work out, my body didn’t respond to the drugs and I didn’t have enough eggs to warrant undergoing surgery. I was gutted; I knew I didn’t have the emotional strength to put myself through another round of drugs especially with no guarantee of success. I decided to let go, it was only March and I knew that this was one goal I definitely wouldn’t be achieving.
I decided to actively put myself on the market for a new role around February time and started the process of networking with recruiters and getting myself known in Sydney. Having been with the same organisation for over ten years, albeit for different businesses within the group, my external network was rather limited and in Sydney it was virtually non-existent. I was open with my business about my external search, as the type of role I was looking for wasn’t available internally and I knew in order to continue progressing with my career goals I’d need to look outside. Now this certainly was a risky move and you may ask - have I been hindered by being so open? In honest truth, yes in some ways I have. But trust is a big value of mine and I stand firm with my choice, it’s helped me navigate the search without having to duck and weave and it enabled the business to plan for my exit and ensure a smooth transition to someone new, the irony was that after seven months of me searching they were ready to execute the plan and I’d still not found a role externally – Yikes! Thankfully the business was able to find me a project role with another sister division that needed resource so I didn’t muck up the exit plan and in turn I have something new to sink my teeth into whilst I continue my search.
I learned through my job search that getting my permanent residency seemed to be a pre-requisite for the roles I was exploring. In eleven months, given all my networking and connecting with the right recruiters I have only been put forward for an interview for one role! And despite getting only positive feedback after my second interview – I learned I didn’t get the job when I found out a colleague of mine had - joy! The market in Sydney is certainly very different and I’d be lying if I said the lack of interest hadn’t knocked my confidence. Whilst I know I’m well regarded in my business it has been incredibly disheartening to not even get a look in for great roles given the experience I have.
The journey towards permanent residency has been long and challenging; I started the process in Sept 2016 and as of today have not yet been issued my PR. I’d decided to go down the route of an independent skilled visa and fund it all myself rather than asking my employer to nominate me for permanent residency. When I started the process I knew I had outgrown the role I was doing at the time, so I didn’t want to ask my employer to nominate me and fund the visa mainly because I didn’t think I’d be able to meet the obligation of working for them for another two years once it was granted, I knew I’d feel bad if I left knowing they didn’t get payback for their investment. My moral compass guides all of my decisions and I’m comfortable I made the right choice – the irony is that I’m 15mths down the line and still working for the same organisation and could well be for much longer!
Well what can I say about this one other than I’m still single! I’ve opened myself up to the opportunity of meeting someone new and I’m definitely ready to settle again. I know it’s taken me a while to get to the place where I was truly ready to let go of my past and accept the life I had, but this year I’ve been ready, I guess the planets have not yet aligned to my new state! Dating apps have allowed me to meet some interesting new people and make some new friends along the way but the investment levels for anything more have typically been low. It’s been interesting observing how the world has changed. In the distant past I had a ‘boyfriend’ after two dates but now it’s different, that word seems to carry so much weight so people ‘date’ for weeks, months at a time, without any label that suggests any level of commitment.
Minding the gap…
So here I am, I’ve not succeeded in achieving my goals but I’ve learned a lot about the expectations I set for myself for this year and the years previous. Firstly I’ve recognised that measuring my success or failure on the achievement of my goals wasn’t fair on me, why? Well I couldn’t control the outcome of a single one of them, so measuring my success or failure with this approach seems rather harsh don’t you think?
What I could measure was my effort and input toward achieving each and every one and if I use that measure I have definitely succeeded.
I gave the egg freezing a go, I committed financially, emotionally and physically to it - did it work? No, but did I do everything I could, yes!
With my job search I’ve networked with recruiters and people within finance in different companies. I’ve actively applied for roles independently, I’ve found new mentors, I’ve invested in myself with coaching – did I find a new job? Technically, if I included the internal project role, then yes but not actually the role I’ve been looking for. Did I take enough steps towards securing a new job externally? Yes absolutely!
As for my permanent residency, I’ve taken English tests, twice actually (to improve my points score), I’ve made a significant financial commitment to the process, and I’ve completed the full application documents and gathered all the necessary supporting information. Do I have PR yet? No, but did I do everything I could? 100% Yes
And last but not least, getting a boyfriend - I’ve focussed on personal healing, loving myself deeply so that I’m 100% whole and therefore not seeking another to complete me. I’m going to the gym four to five times a week investing my time in staying fit and healthy so I look and feel great. I’ve learned how to communicate how I feel more openly and express what I need. I’ve learned be more vulnerable and have had my heartbroken a couple of times – the downside to wearing it on my sleeve, I guess. I’ve invested in personal growth and lots of new hobbies; any new guy doesn’t have to worry about entertaining me or be concerned about me being too boring or needy! I’ve given the dating apps a go and whilst they frustrate the hell out me, I’ve learned how to laugh at myself and appreciate the stories, knowing I’m not alone in the search. Do I have a boyfriend? No. Did I work on being the very best version of me so I have more to give, hell yes! I’ve never been more ready or more beautiful, inside and out.
So, what next?
I’m going easier on myself next year and starting with setting goals that I do have full control on achieving as this is much fairer. But in the case of those that do require external factors to achieve, well, I’ll continue to mind the gap between my expectations and reality and acknowledge my growth in the pursuit of those goals.
How about you?
How did you go this year? Did you achieve all of your goals? Are you minding the gap and acknowledging your growth? Were you fair on yourself with your measure of success? What will be the focus of 2018?