Jason worked in Events, a job which he really loved and he was also a drummer in a band which fulfilled his passion in music. He was married with two young daughters and life was pretty good. That was until Jason caught what he thought was the flu, he had a lot of aches and pains and was feeling really run down. Within a short time he realised that something was seriously wrong and to his complete disbelief and horror he discovered his symptoms were actually that of gangrene and this spread rapidly, sadly causing the need to have both his legs amputated from the knee down. As you can appreciate the road to recovery was long and hard from both a physical and emotional perspective for Jason and his wife.
Jason’s illness had a devastating effect on his life and it also meant he could no longer work in his chosen field of Events, this was because he could no longer cope with the physical element of setting up events which was a major part of his role and what he enjoyed. He also had to give up his drumming because he needed a sense of rhythm in his foot tapping to ‘feel the music’ and he no longer had that.
Yet when I met Jason, he was one of the most positive and upbeat people I’d ever met. I also met his wife Tina and she told me that while they had been through a challenging time she felt they’d come through the other side and were ready to take on life with renewed strength and vitality. They were grateful for all the good things they had in their life, the essence of which was a strong family unit – Jason, Tina and their two daughters.
By the time I’d met Jason he’d had robotic limb replacement and he was quite agile and maintained good health and fitness. He had a love of the outdoors and a renewed zest for life and spent as much time as he could with his wife and daughters in the wonderful parks of London, many of which were on his doorstep. He had plenty of time on his hands and was determined to make the most of it and indeed make up for the time he’d lost during his illness.
He was considering his next career and although uncertain initially what this would actually be, he began to think of it in terms of what he loved doing and what was important to him. He did a lot of his thinking when he was in the park, spending time with his wife, playing with his girls or just walking in nature maintaining his fitness routine. He got to know the people working in the park and talked to them about their careers. These conversations led him to become a volunteer with responsibility for maintaining the upkeep of the park. Although he had no specific experience in doing this, he quickly grew to love what he was doing and became more and more interested in the horticultural side of things.
One of the park horticulturalists noticed Jason’s natural ability in the work he was doing and spoke to him about the internship programme they ran each year and suggested he apply for it. This is exactly was Jason did and he was successful in securing a place on the programme and is now developing his new career in horticulture.
Jason’s story for me has to be the most significant in overcoming the challenge of what life threw at him, coming through this with greater strength and a determination to move on in all areas of his life and develop a new career in line with what he enjoyed doing that also fitted in with his values and that of his family.
*Published with client permission. Names have been changed.
Evolving Careers Players can help you manage, develop, and transition your career during challenging times. We deliver 121 career coaching, group learning and development, and outplacement services. we devise community forum theatre, corporate drama workshops and role-play scenarios. http://www.evolvingcareersplayers.com Get in touch to discuss your needs: firstname.lastname@example.org