At the back end of last year, I caught up with an "industry friend" who I hadn't spoken to or seen for over a year. We chatted about all the general stuff that you do, business, family, life etc. and then he asked me a question, "How does it feel going from being a 'somebody' to a 'nobody'? Thankfully I have known him a long time, so knew that tact had never been one of his strengths and whilst I was a little taken aback, I wasn't offended. He had summarised in that one question, how recently at times, I had been feeling.
The last time we had seen each other was in December 2019 at an executive lunch, held by a well-known PC Manufacturer. As with most vendors, these events are like competitions to get the most senior representatives from across the Channel to attend. Every year I was invited, along with other significant industry peers. Then I left my company and role.
I had gone from holding a senior position in one of the worlds most respected IT solutions providers, with vast amounts of responsibility and purpose to not knowing what or who I was. During the first few months of being off, I didn't have time to notice it as I enjoyed spending time with my family and learning new skills. Then in Autumn, once we saw a glimmer of normality with my daughter back at school and my husband at work, it hit me. The sudden realisation that I was on my own and that I had gone from being a 'somebody' to 'Alexia's Mum'.
Being Alexia's mum is one of the most rewarding and privileged jobs I could do, but it could never be my full-time job. It just isn't in my DNA, and as much as I tried, I don't have what it takes to be a stay at home mum. Whilst I never regretted my decision to leave my job, I started to miss being needed, relied upon, and have people share ideas. I missed having goals, targets and being called upon to make decisions, support a team, and I felt lost.
Thankfully, I have an incredible network of friends from both in and outside of the industry, some of whom had made the same transition I had. They helped me realise that what I was feeling was quite normal and the pandemic certainly hasn't helped. They also made me realise that one role or company doesn't define who you are or make you a 'somebody'.
You become a 'somebody' by achieving something or making a difference to those around you, to the people that matter, like friends and family, and not because of some fancy job title or role. It also made me realise that whilst I walked away from an impressive company, leaving that job certainly doesn't make you a 'no-body' and undo all the reasons you were respected or appreciated in the first place.
Whilst I no longer have the fancy job title or a senior position in a large corporate, I am still me. Still a 'somebody' to all of my friends, family and the new people in my life, which is all that really matters. No one should ever feel like they are 'no-body', everyone deserves to be a 'somebody' and should be made to feel like one, no matter who they are or what position they hold. So I for one and am going to make sure everybody I engage and interact with, feels like they are a somebody too. Are you?