23 Jun 23 / Blog

A Personal Summer Reflection

I’ve been feeling a little reflective this week – lots of reasons for that. An old box of photos from the attic – a big birthday next year – winding down after a hectic run of events and training programmes and looking forward to a bit of a rest over the summer, as I’m sure many of you are! (Although look away now if you work in tourism or hospitality!)

I’ve also recently been watching the best television I’ve seen in a long time. Have you watched the BBC’s Once upon a Time in NI? It’s a brutally honest series of accounts from all sides from people who lived through the troubles and it really brought home how precious peace actually is and how we can never go back to those terrible days.

It’s also made me think a lot about my time at BBC NI as it’s exactly ten years since I left my job in the BBC NI newsroom after seventeen years there as a journalist and presenter reporting on many of the atrocities in the run up and after the Good Friday Agreement and after.  It was a very emotional watch.

Whilst it was an honour to that job, I left because I had literally burnt out.  I felt I needed a different way to live and work that allowed me more time with my family.

I thought this might resonate with others perhaps at a career crossroads or stuck in a rut. It’s something I hear a lot on our resilience courses. People who need to make a move but feel trapped by fear or financial responsibilities.  What I’ve learned is there’s always another way to live and work it’s just being brave enough to make the changes or at least begin the side hustle! What I’ve also learned is that first jump might not always work – it takes time, hard work, and resilience to start again. It’s definitely not easy.

After the terror of the leap into the unknown, it actually began well for me.  As I write this spookily my facebook memory from this day exactly ten years ago sees me sitting in a UTV studio presenting a summer edition of my new show –  The Magazine – with none other than Jamie Dornan as my guest! He’d just hit the big time with “The Fall” and everyone wanted to interview him.  (His lovely late father Jim arranged that for me.)  I felt so happy at that time.

However now – looking at the picture with Jamie I actually had no idea what was around the corner – a few months later my dear Dad would lose his battle with dementia and the following year The Magazine Show came to an abrupt end and I suddenly had no job!

What was I going to do to keep a roof over our head? Well, it taught me a valuable lesson as a freelance never to put all my eggs in one basket and it spurred me on to try a number of other things as I knew I could go back to news but didn’t want to. One of those was getting into Media and Presentation training.

A decade ago I hadn’t even met my business partner, Camilla, had never even thought of setting up a communications training business but yet here we are!  Out of necessity and a lot of hard graft that’s how Bespoke Communications started – the universe provided new opportunities that both of us had never even considered or imagined possible before.

So who knows what opportunities are out there for you? Just be open to them!

Reflection is so important as we learn from the life lessons. It’s why we  build time to chart your career and personal timeline into our Resilience courses.  Let’s face it when do we ever sit and look back at everything  – the highs and lows, see what we’ve achieved and how far we’ve come, what we could control, what we couldn’t, mistakes, regrets, all of it.  These life lessons help us develop better self-awareness around recognising our strengths and and help us improve in the future.

Camilla and I hope everyone manages to get a little time off this summer perhaps to reflect and  spend time with friends and loved ones  – we also want to thank all our wonderful clients and those who’ve trusted us to come on our courses so far this year.  We love what we do and the best part is seeing people rise up, challenge themselves and really shine in media and presentation and business opportunities.

I’ve included a blank reflection template for you to look back at your own timeline. Why not chart your past decade or two and appreciate how resilient you have been over the years to get through the tough times and also reflect on the wins and the times that really made you smile. 

And if you fancy signing up for one of our courses in the Autumn then please do get in touch.

Take care.

Sarah.  your-timeline

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