So, two things have happened to me recently.
Believe it or not, it’s been a year since I boldly decided to leave my former employer in Hong Kong and divert to Singapore.
Since then, I haven’t tried to make much happen. Instead, I’ve taken the time to concentrate on reforming my inner world.
Still, I’ve kept my ear close to the ground on the off chance a job should avail itself.
Not because I necessarily want to continue with my aviation career (and I certainly intended to take time off) but because I want to keep my options open.
I didn’t/don’t want to limit myself.
(My therapist has said I’ve shown much greater psychological flexibility in this respect since I started seeing her several months ago.)
I’ve also been cognisant that the last two years of my career during covid heavily tainted my whole experience. It was fundamentally a different job from the one I had initially fallen in love with.
Finally, there’s the small matter of money. It turns out there is a debt to be paid when taking an existential midlife gap year. Singapore also happens to be one very expensive lady to please!
So, while I was unsure about any potential return to the air, I sent out my CV whenever an opportunity made itself known. Just to see if any fish took the bait.
I figured it would, at the very least, be interview experience. I wouldn’t have to accept anything if I didn’t want to.
But I heard nothing. Not a peep. Nada. Zip.
Singapore – for reasons unbeknownst to me – makes it nearly impossible for partners on dependant passes to get a job. The airlines here are also very committed to keeping things “in-house.”
I assumed this was the universe telling me to pursue a second career in psychology. Go for it, the Gods said. What have you got to lose?
Nothing is the answer. So I did!
As many of you well know, I want to help people who have suffered as I have. I want to gain the skills necessary to help those suffering under the weight of all things.
With this vision in mind, I went to work. I did a huge amount of research into various courses before applying to several degrees. Happily, I got an offer from and accepted a degree from my first choice university.
This is the first thing that happened to me.
Here’s the second. Out of the blue, I got a job offer. A recruiter contacted me on LinkedIn regarding a commuting job in/out of Fiji of all places. I was intrigued, so I threw my hat in the ring. This was a few months ago.
But once again, I heard nothing.
I assumed it was another dead end. But then, almost as soon as I accepted my master’s degree, I got a phone call asking if I could attend an online interview. This happened a couple of weeks ago.
I figured there was no harm in attending the interview (my first in over 13 years!) So I prepared as best I could and went for it. That went well enough, so they asked me to do several psychometric tests.
Before I knew it, they offered me a job!
That happened last Friday.
So here I am with options on the table. And a difficult decision to make. It seems the Gods were having a comic laugh at my expense the whole time. Here’s nothing. Now, here’s everything all at once.
It never rains, but it pours.
I’m still mulling the options on my table, and I’ll pick this up next week. To finish, I’d like to share a few thoughts.
Having options is extremely useful. When you do, you get to choose from a position of strength, knowing you don’t have to do this, that, or whatever.
But nothing is either good or bad. Most things are both.
The dilemma is turning something down you want to do because you can’t have it all. That can be painful.
Yet, choosing the option that limits you — choosing not to have options — is a way of shirking responsibility. It’s easy because you don’t have to decide. There is a sort of perverse mental freedom to that.
But ultimately, that option will imprison you.
If you find yourself in the privileged yet tricky position of having options, it’s worth remembering that the best option is the one that gives you the most options.