Ever since I was in my early teens, I’ve had a very clear picture in my mind of my ideal man.  He is tall, dark and handsome.  He is clean shaven with twinkly eyes.  In fact, he was Captain Scarlet.  Yes, a puppet but in my humble opinion, the handsomest puppet Gerry Anderson ever created (and he created quite a few lookers of the dark and handsome variety).  Given the limitations of a very small puppet boyfriend (although there must be benefits too), a 6ft human version of this fine specimen would do very nicely, thank you.

Ideal "man"

By the way, the image is from gerryanderson.wikia.com which will tell you much more about this gorgeous creature and his colleagues.

Over the next couple of decades, I sought and occasionally found, boyfriends who came close to this specification but the relationships didn’t last and the men were far from indestructible!  But I kept looking until at the age of 30, I finally met the man of my dreams…  Yep that’s right. I fell in love with a 5ft 10 ginger man with a beard.

Huh?  I suppose that it was bound to happen.  It seems that until then, I had been distracted by the packaging when all the time I should have looking for what was really important to me; intelligence, a good sense of humour and someone who brought out the best in me.  More importantly, we shared the same values around money, family and career.  We encouraged each other in our career development which came to include living in separate countries for two years, independently giving up salaries to go contracting and setting up our own businesses.

Do you see where I am going with this?  When we look for a new role or debate a promotion, it is easy to allow our heads to be turned by; the salary, the benefits, the prestige, a car parking space, feeling wanted etc.  What we really need to know is this:

  • Will the role draw on the best of me?
  • Will I be majoring on the stuff I am really good at, or want to develop in, or is it going to rely on me doing stuff I try to avoid?
  • Who will I be working with? What are they like?
  • Will I feel valued?
  • What is the company culture and structure like? Does it fit with me and my values?
  • Where will I be able to go from here?
  • Where do I want go from here?

By the way, these apply when you set up on your own.  You can get distracted and disheartened by people telling you how you “should” run a business, that they have all the answers without knowing anything about you.  Earning a living is a fact of life for most of us so wouldn’t it be great if you loved what you did for a living?  

“There comes a time when you ought to start doing what you want. Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning. I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don’t like because you think it will look good on your resume.  Isn’t that a little like saving up sex for your old age?” – Warren Buffet

Having moved from the role of permanent employee to contractor to coach with my own business, I am in the third phase of my career…and my happiest.  Through it all I have been lucky enough to have this wonderful partner to support me every step of the way.  After a great deal of trial and error (so many frogs to kiss both in work and romance) I found my ideal man and a role that I love too.  Captain Scarlet fans may have spotted that my ideal man is turning into Colonel White. 

Happy Valentines Day everyone! Now go and enjoy your work. S.I.G!

I help people to find their best self and and bring it to their work so if you are out of love with your job or business, looking for a direction or feeling stuck, give me a call on 07990 514537 or email shirley@thechangeagent.me. I offer a free chemistry call which is part fact finding and part coaching so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from getting in touch.


  1. Nicki Kinton

    A great story Shirley, and thank you for helping me rediscover what I love about what I trained to do.

  2. Martin Jarvis

    So important to be happy in what you do. Lovely post. I’ve been happily married to my business for a long time now. Although this is a bit different to being employed, the fundamentals are similar – enjoy what you do, and who you do it for, and life is good! The tangible rewards are likely to follow, as if you enjoy what you do, you’re likely to get good at it and want to persevere (even when the little red doubter with his fork sits on your shoulder).

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