Times like this get you thinking…
For me it was March 2019, I had come to the decision that I needed to make some changes. Although nothing as serious as the current situation sparked this need, I had decided my life was not where I wanted it to be. Insurance had been my background since I finished University in sunny Glasgow and although I had many great experiences in the industry, I did not feel fulfilled. The insurance sector in the City of London is frantic, chaotic and a little crazy – all attributes that appealed to my personality – or so I thought.
A trip home to my small town in Scotland in March 2019 turned out to be serendipitous. A chance encounter with a fantastic stranger on the train journey set me off on my new path. On that 5-hour journey we talked over most things (fuelled by the complimentary refreshments provided, thanks to a last-minute lucky upgrade to First Class). Specifically, we talked work and I mentioned that I was thinking of changing my career and wanted to look at options within Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). The fantastic stranger smiled and told me she was a mediator and offered me the opportunity to observe one of her mediations to allow me an insight to see if it was for me. Swaying into Glasgow Central (the train not us) the fantastic stranger handed me her business card and said to keep in touch – which I am glad to say I did.
After my trip home I gave some further thought into a career into ADR and specifically mediation and was able to partake in the live observation as offered to me on the train journey. The observation confirmed for me that mediation was exactly what I wanted to do and so I set about getting qualified. I spoke to many training providers over a period of a few months and one stood out – the London School of Mediation (LSM). Booking the course was easy and they were happy to help provide me with answers to any questions that I had (I had more than a few!).
I embarked on my new mediation adventure with LSM in October 2019. I thought I knew what to expect but nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to learn. The course was intense but thrilling and you truly feel inspired. From the vastly differing backgrounds of all the delegates to the dedicated support of the trainers, I can honestly say I had one of the best weeks of my life. It is a common misconception that all mediators are lawyers however, on my course, only 3 of circa 18 were from a legal background. It interested me as to why people had signed up. For some, like me, it was an interest in pursuing a new career path but for the majority it was to give them skills to deal with many varying situations. We don’t realise it but all of us are constantly navigating potential conflict or dispute, be in it the workplace, at home or in friendship and relationship circumstances. I realised that not only would the course give me the potential for a new career, but it would also give me great life skills that can be used in many different ways (not quite mastered the relationship aspect yet!)
Would I say that my time at LSM changed my life? No that is too holistic. Would I say that it has given me the toolkit to change my life? Absolutely! In the time since completing the course I have built my own mediation company.
One year later, I finally feel like I am on the right path.