Eight years ago, on Monday October 1st of 2007, was the first day of being self-employed. The first day of operating under the name of Respondi AB, not supported in any way by a boss, an employer, colleagues.
My sense of right-doings had stopped me from actually contacting potential customers to ensure I had an assignment starting October 1st, until I had officially quit my previous employment. I did have a lunch date set up with one though, on this very first day, and I left that meeting with a one-month assignment. That turned into a three year full time gig, in one of the most challenging projects I’ve ever worked with (the building of a greenfield API facility outside Mumbai, India, for those of you who understands that life science-mumbo jumbo).
At the end of that gig, working fewer and fewer hours/week for my client, as the need for me became smaller and smaller (the very best of assignments, in my view, where I slowly make myself unnecessary, as the organization itself get’s to be self-sufficient, constructing and setting in place the structures and routines necessary to function in a good way), I made a decision to train as a coach. And since then, well, life hasn’t been the same. In the very best sense possible!
That also meant I no longer wanted to find long-term full-time assignments, such as the above-mentioned gig, but rather have shorter assignments of a different type. I still have a few ties to the Life Science-industry, but less and less, and I am slowly transitioning out of that business, fully.
That in itself is an interesting journey, it’s like I am actively decommissioning myself from Life Science. It’s like starting a new job, and going through the first time of doing everything, except turned upside down. I’m doing stuff for the last time (at least, that’s my sensation), and am aware of it, which gives it a bit of a bittersweet flavor. It’s my choice though, and I know it’s the right one for me. Now I just have to learn to say No when asked to hang on a bit longer in the industry…. and that might well be my toughest challenge here. Have you got any experience with this process of slowly retracting from a specific industry/business to share with me?