The Next Chapter: Are You Ready for It?

Louie - at 7 Weeks. Handsome Boy!

It all happened a couple of years ago and the memory lingers on. Not in a good way.

Toronto Job: I was interviewing for a job in Toronto, HR manager for Canada in a pharmaceutical company. All the questions were anticipated and answered on 2X4 white cards stuffed into my inside pocket and rehearsed on the plane. I’d packed a shirt/tie combination, erring on the conservative side with the dress code. And I’d completed stellar homework on the company, turnover, products in development, major competitors, the whole nine yards. Nothing left to chance. Somewhere over the Atlantic, the tie became hopelessly creased in the luggage. I had to iron it at the hotel to look respectable. Being a dab hand at ironing (not) I managed to burn a huge hole in the silk tie and had to go shopping at 8pm on Sunday night for a replacement in a strange city. I eventually tracked down a tie and made it to the interview, but I didn’t get the job.

Dealing with Disappointment: Two of my brothers live in Canada so it was a real disappointment not to be moving across to join them. And, of course, they all knew I was interviewing for the job – so my hero status took a beating in the family! What I didn’t know at that point was that six months later I would move to Singapore and begin an Asian adventure that would last a lifetime (two of my kids are Chinese). Not getting that job in Canada was the best thing that ever happened to me – although I would not have believed it at that time.

New Dog: Roll the clock forwards a couple of years. In mid 2011, Max our dog died. We loved Max so much, it was just awful and the entire family were terribly upset. This was going to be our last dog. Absolutely. We could not go through that experience again. But, just a couple of months later, on December 27th, Nicole and myself made the pick-up trip to a town called Hospital in County Limerick where we met Louie, a Bull Mastiff,  for the first time. The journey took so long (a combination of Christmas traffic and the small matter of me getting completely lost), that I almost needed to be hospitalized by the time I got there.

Welcome Aboard: Louie cried for the first 10 minutes of the drive home until Nicole put him and his blanket on her lap and talked to him all the way home. The house is now upended. In the last couple of days we’ve picked up more s**t than the Elephant Keeper in Dublin Zoo does in a month. But ‘King Louie’ has settled in. We are looking forward to him learning to use an outdoor loo and coming on those long walks when he has all his inoculations. Max was a special dog and can never be replaced. But Louie is beautiful and has already won a place in our hearts.

None of us know what’s ahead. We absolutely cannot predict the future. And, no matter how tough things seem at the moment, there is potential joy around the next corner. Whatever happened in 2011, the potential of 2012 stretches ahead. And, the next conversation you have could change your life. Will you be ready for it?

Happy New Year!

Paul Mooney

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About Tandem Consulting

Paul Mooney holds a Ph.D. and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Industrial Sociology from Trinity College, along with a National Diploma in Industrial Relations (NCI). He has a post-Graduate Diploma and a Masters in Coaching from UCD. Paul, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, is widely recognised as an expert on organisation and individual change. He began his working life as a butcher in Dublin before moving into production management. He subsequently held a number of human resource positions in Ireland and Asia - with General Electric and Sterling Drug. Between 2007 and 2010, Paul held the position of President, National College of Ireland. Paul is currently Managing Partner of Tandem Consulting, a team of senior OD and change specialists. He has run consulting assignments in 20+ countries and is the author of 12 books. Areas of expertise include: • Organisational Development/Change & conflict resolution • Leadership Development/Executive Coaching • Human Resource Management/employee engagement
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