Butterflies in my tummy

ButterfliesI’m looking for a new challenge. My dear wife Susani took it literally and asked me if I’m up for a game. I wasn’t sure where she was going with this but agreed.

Which ways can you go?

was her first question. She put my answers each on a sheet of paper. These were for me:

  • “start own business”,
  • “take a similar job with another organisation”, and
  • “go contracting”

She put the paper on the floor and made me stand on one of my choosing.


Now comes the tricky bit. Step forward. Close your eyes. Your are 1 months into your chosen direction. How does it feel? [That is the important question: How does it feel!] Now here are my answers for “Go Contracting” [another note, your partner needs to take those notes or use your smartphone to record your ramblings]

  • butterflies in my tummy
  • a different environment
  • and I’m not part of it
  • and I will not become part of it
  • people treat me the same
  • although it feels different

Step forward again and this time 2 steps. Your are 1 year into your chosen direction. Same question, how does it feel? here are my answers again for “Go contracting”:

  • new project – new organisation
  • the process is the same, what I do is putting things into place and not seeing what it will deliver long term
  • it is a different feeling than being in full time employment
  • I used to develop an attachment to the people I’m working with, I care for the team and the outcomes. I fear this becomes just a job.
  • I’m still dedicated to deliver and to make things work.

Now you see, this is a journey in your head. I need to be honest with myself – no kidding allowed. The process is about trust and fear and feelings.

Step forward again. This time 3 steps and you are 3 years in the future. Answer again to “How does it feel?”

  • things have changed
  • contract working feels like driving different cars for different people but still driving
  • need to plan for breaks, I can get consumed in work and there is still the fear a long break makes it harder to get back into it
  • it is different when full time employed you have your leave entitlements and your role to go back to.
  • becoming respected in the field – it’s like an “extended” team I often work with people I met before
  • it is going alright
  • things changed

Now, repeat the process with each of the directions you imagined at the start. Review what felt best or right, “yes I want this!” or “No, too uncertain”. Sleep on it. Discuss again. Discuss with others.
Decide and Act. Remember, if it doesn’t work out – stop and start again 😉


We played this little game 2 weeks ago. On Friday I got a phone call asking me if I’m interested in a contracting role. It’s a 3-4 months commitment. Not quite what I imagined but close.

3 comments on “Butterflies in my tummy

  1. Brent Drysdale says:

    Hi Frank.
    Ok so biiiiiiiig change for you. Wish you all the best for your choice.
    I have gone through a much less organised process and am waiting on that first call. Am very happy though. An even bigger change for Mel and I as we have to leave our home in Nelson, most probably to the big smoke.
    Regards Brent

  2. R2 says:

    Hi Frank, it is a big change as Brent said. But could the contracting work lead to more opportunities within the same company or even a longer term appointment?

    • Frank G says:

      Hi Rochelle,
      yes there are a few questions and options. I need to dig a bit deeper to understand the situation and possibly talk to the organisation directly. Had a chat with Brent before, a friend and with family and all said the same thing: not enough information, don’t sell yourself short, and what is the ongoing and lasting value of this engagement?

      I wrote the blogpost to sort my own thoughts on the matter as much as provide a trigger for others who have a similar situation.

      Thanks again to all who responded by all the different means of communication 🙂


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