This week’s focus: It’s now seven years since I launched my consulting business. Over that time I’ve had the good fortune to work with some great people from market-leading organisations including Alliance Boots, Avon, GSK and Sealed Air, as well as many other mid-sized, but equally interesting businesses. I thoroughly enjoy what I do and have found that my work-life and personal-life have morphed into a single, seamless, integrated life.

But I only started in this career because I was forced out of my previous role. Although I was deeply unhappy at work, I just didn’t have the confidence to take the leap myself; someone else had to make that decision for me.

At many of my clients I speak with managers and executives who are frustrated and fed up. They are simply waiting for a payout, retirement or lottery win. I know that many people have a deep-seated need for financial security, but, equally, life is short and our careers even shorter. Virtually everyone I know who has moved on from positions where they were unhappy are now more satisfied and more successful.

The last seven years have taught me that our careers and lives are not on a pre-determined course. It’s up to each of us to make the most of our talents and to take the decisions and actions that will enable us to thrive. I wish I’d taken control much earlier, but I’m happy and grateful that I’m finally living a life of my own choosing.

Off the record: Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel

I was feeling part of the scenery

I walked right out of the machinery

My heart going boom, boom, boom

“Son,” he said, “Grab your things

I’ve come to take you home”

© Stuart Cross 2013. All rights reserved.