My testimony: GOD does equip us for everything.

I Peter 5:10

And after you have suffered a little while, the GOD of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

When I made the decision last year to step back from consultancy and head back into the corporate world, I was physically prepared for the adjustments that being a part of the labor force meant. Funny when you are a mom working from home you get the “so what is it that you do?” question at the PTA meetings, church gathering, coffee meets and such. One of the highlights of last year was that I was greatly encouraged by fellow QFs to step out and step into my new destiny. Really just following their stories and exploits had me challenged to stop making so many excuses.

I knew that in most recent years, indeed I had been planted, schooled, debriefed and equipped – whether I was willing to accept it or not. Living in 4 different countries in the space of 10 years, adopting new roles and adapting to a myriad of life changes will do that to you. Evolving relationships and transforming goals will at times have you second guessing yourself, and second guessing I did.

I second guessed my ability to get up and show up “for work” every single day. I was worried about how my babies would cope without mom being at every school event or them coming home to a nanny and not mom. It took me a long time to realise just how much I craved the whole “going to work” thing because again, when people see you with tonnes of flexi time they think you on a vacation 24/7. So when I took that first step to submitting my first application for jobs in the UAE, I was good and ready. I was done with being in Zim after a 12 month stint on a project and I needed a fresh outlook on life. Modern, empowering, motivating were my words to describe what I was looking for. I felt I was ready to offer my knowledge, experience and skillset to whomever would take me. Boy did I get the shock of my life!?

Two years ago I asked my dad what he thought I would be good at in the “next phase” of my life. He said “international relations or PR” and I thought really? I asked why and he said because it appealed to my personality and administratively he had watched me blossom as running point for a huge real estate project in Zim. I just thought I was getting up and “hustling” because well…I have dreams to one day be a real estate mogul on our beloved continent and that was a perfect opportunity to not only tap into my real estate expertise but actually run a project from scratch. Dad watched me navigate the bureaucracy and change tone and language to get what I needed done done. I value my father’s opinion because it comes unbiased. It can at times be painstakingly honest, but the man never lies and is a brilliant judge of character and nurturer of dreams. So I took his word for it and got to researching what it would take to join the world of PR – from a global perspective – as opposed to the more regional and localized projects I had been running.

I’m etching closer to my 1 year anniversary since joining the PR world as opposed to operating in the marcomms domain from which my career is deeply rooted. Based on my experiences in recent months, I like to consider us to be the Olivia Popes of this world. We make sure our clients are portrayed in the best image possible and fix things. It don’t matter what time of day it is – fix it and if you don’t know how – get someone who knows how. A collision of passion, creativity prowess, administrative capacity, strategy and critical thinking…24/7 save for when you are asleep or fixing your cup of coffee to get your next boost of caffeine – are how best I can experience my personal transition into PR. It’s everything I imagined but so much more.

I got to thinking about how GOD takes every experience we go through to prepare us for the next. I’m reminded of a time that I took to writing anything and everything I felt during my season in Zambia. I not only wrote a lot in that time, but in all honesty, it is then when I actually learned how to write using tones different from a more corporate voice. Sharing through written word prepared me for the countless types of pieces I write for a living today, with the spoken sharing having built my confidence in making presentations. I started out my career in retail, and 10 years later some of my clients are in the retail sector. My love for the tourism industry created many opportunities which I continue to leverage from today!

What I am getting at is: GOD IS IN THE BUSINESS OF STRATEGIC PLANNING. Anything you and I will ever go through either teaches us life skills that bolster our comprehensive capabilities, build up on attributes that shape our character or draw us closer to discovering our passion and purpose. Trust me when I say this, nothing we ever experience or learn, is in vein. Belief in GOD’s greater plan will help you and I to truly embrace every experience, however exhilarating or challenging it may be.

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So, if you need a reminder of our calculating GOD is, take a journey through your own life and see how people, places and experiences have been instrumental to where you are today! You’ll be happy to note that grace surrounds you, and experiences usher you into new levels of perception and appreciation if you allow them to.

Quintessentially Yours,

QF Yvonne

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