Thursday, January 05, 2006

Then ....... And Now

Just over a year ago I decided to leave a massive organisation – the National Health Service which is the third largest employer in the world after the Chinese Army and Indian Railways.

Here are just a few unstructured random thoughts about the differences I have noticed between working for the NHS – and working for myself.

  • I used to have a boss – now I am the boss
  • I used to believe I was accountable – now I am accountable – If I don’t work, I don’t eat
  • I used to have appraisal meetings with my boss – now I just look in the mirror and ask the person I see – ‘did you try hard enough Trevor?’
  • I used to work in an office – now our front room is the office – budgies, music and all
  • I used to work the hours the organisation expected of me – now I work when I want
  • I used to frown a lot – now I smile a lot
  • I used to dress within organisational requirements – now I may not shave for three days
  • I used to work through lunchtimes – now I might take a three hour break with Annie to go to the gym in the middle of the day and we both might then work till midnight
  • I used to have a Finance department – now I am the Finance department. I used to have a Human Resources Department – now I am the HR department. I used to have a Complaints Department – now I am the Complaints Department. You get the picture, etc., etc.
  • I used to sit on groups and committees – now I wonder why we needed them
  • I used to regularly feel negative stress – now I am always excited about possibilities
  • I used to believe I took risks – now I try something new almost every day
  • I used to feel controlled – now I feel free
  • I used to feel there were things I could not say – now I say what I like
  • I used to think there was a place for planning – now I realise John Lennon was right “Life is what happens while we are busy making other plans" – well said Mr Lennon
  • I used to get angry and frustrated – now I know I control my own destiny
  • I used to think I might be in the wrong place – now I know I was in the wrong place
  • I used to be sad quite often at work – now I am happy

And finally, but most importantly - I used to be not in love – now I am in love.


Rocky said...

That sounds great. It sounds as if I need to follow your prescription. My life mostly sounds like what yours used to be like. that is all very thought provoking. Thanks.

Steve Sherlock said...

Trevor, I am glad it is working out well for you! Reading about it and hearing about is easy, but seeing someone do it real time, that is quite another thing; it is called inspiring!


Sriram said...


Interesting….. I am reminded of a saying that goes like this….”Love your work and you would’nt have to work a single day” To keep it short and simple I would say “Celebrate Work”

Its nice to know that you are having more time to yourself than ever before. I believe being an entrepreneur (in any chosen field) is extremely challenging and sometimes even daunting. One needs to wear a different hat (definitely a larger one!) as an entrepreneur than as an employee. The most interesting & important thing about being self-employed is that you can take control of your time rather than letting your boss take control of it. I bet u would agree with this because I feel there is no greater privilege & satisfaction in this world than taking control of your time (your own time!) – You just can do (with your time) what u wanna do, the way u wanna do & how u wanna do and that’s a gr8 feeling indeed.

Wishing you good luck in all your endeavors and looking forward to meeting you.

Anonymous said...

It's great to see how much life improves in such a short time... a short time compared to a lifetime
You reeally deserve it.

Trevor Gay said...

Wow!! - Where do I start?

Thank you all for your wonderful comments. I am touched by your generosity of words.

Rocky - we are always in control of our destiny - however hard it might seem at some challenging times in our lives. You have so much ability and talent you will make a great impression - Yeehah!! :-)

Rosa - wonderful words - thank you. You are right about love being the most important feature. Until I met Annie I did not appreciate how incomplete and unfulfilled life and work actually is without real love.

Steve – it didn’t seem that hard to do. I enjoyed the transition and I still enjoy it. In many ways wish I had ‘broken free’ years ago but the time was not right and maybe I was not courageous enough then. Writing about it is quite a good feeling – doing it was relatively easy – I was always optimistic.

Sriram – thank you and I am sure we will meet one day. Keep going with your ideas about simplifying the world of finance – you can do it. Yep it is wonderful to have freedom and control of one’s life and one’s career. The fact that both are in harmony is a great bonus.

Gabriel – you are spot on. Fifteen months is but a blink of the eye in historical terms. The last 15 months have contained more dramatic life changes for me than the previous 52 years of my life added together. Those changes have been brought about by me taking control of my life rather than being responsive to external factors. The joy of walking that potentially stressful journey hand in hand with Annie is the most important single factor – of that I have absolutely no doubt.

Felix – we are real Amigos my friend. If my experience is helpful to read about then so be it. I have found the journey incredibly liberating. There is still much to do of course. More change beckons with each passing day – I know you and I will do our bit to try and make the world a better place.

Marilyn Jess said...

Add to that...I used to love my choice of career but hated the office politics that I thought were the price of work.
Now I only take on projects I love...without the poilitics.

Trevor Gay said...

Yep I endorse that completely Marilyn - thank you!