It started as a seed of an idea more than a decade ago. We wanted to be parents. In our discussions leading up to our decision to have a baby, we asked ourselves what kinds of parents we wanted to be. One of the things we both agreed upon was a desire to expose our kids to experiences from all over the world. OK, we thought. How do we do that? John, my husband, a naval officer with the Canadian Forces identified a posting near Brussels, Belgium: SHAPE. If we could get there when the kids were 6 & 3, we would be off to a good start.
Fast forward to today, when our kids are 6 & 3, and you can imagine how pleased we are to announce:
We’re moving to Belgium this summer!
Many people have commented about how lucky we are to be posted to Europe, but it wasn’t luck. It was focus. John positioned himself for the posting years in advance. In 2007, he volunteered to go to Afghanistan when our oldest was just 18 months. He spent months beforehand away, training for the mission and sacrificing time spent with his new family.
In the past 12 months I have seen my incredibly humble and introverted husband carve out a strategy to secure the Belgian posting and implement that strategy with perseverance and determination.
When he was approached by a senior officer and asked to take a leadership position on the east coast, John didn’t flinch. He immediately passed on the opportunity stating, “I’ve got my eye on Belgium. That’s where I want to be, and I’m focused on securing that posting.”
With a plan, determination, and persistence, John got exactly what he wanted. And yes, it took a lot of patience and planning – however, if he had not taken the time to develop a career plan who knows where we would be today.
In your own career, think about what you want to accomplish; long term – then devise a strategy that focuses your ambitions. When you define what you want with certainty, pursue it with determination and focus. This will prevent you from mis-stepping and ensure you achieve results aligned with your purpose.
- Define what you want
- Devise a long-term strategy
- Pursue your goals with determination and focus.
As for John – he is busy getting ready to take his young family off to Europe. We cannot wait for our new adventure to begin!