fbpx

Wellbeing / Work life balance

Is your gut instinct telling you something?

'Good instincts usually tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out.' So says Michael Burke. And how right he is about your gut instinct!

By

Two and a half years ago I saw a wonderful job advertised. Flying Solo was looking for an editor and reading through the job description it was like someone sat down, listed all my skills and experience and then distilled it all into one amazing role.

Writing and editing? Check.

Around a topic I was passionate about? Check.

The chance to work with people I respected and admired? Check, check, check.

Everything was perfect.

Except the timing.

So I looked wistfully at the job description one last time … and then set it aside.

The only problem was, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’d wake up thinking about it. I’d go to sleep thinking about it. My gut instinct was sending me a very clear message: Kelly, you need to apply for this job.

So I did.

And it was no half-hearted application either. I went all out. I spent 20 hours crafting the covering letter alone. I edited the sample article to within an inch of its life. I secured the very best, most relevant references.

"After I didn’t get the position, it would’ve been easy to get mad at my gut and wonder why on earth it urged me to devote so much time and effort towards something that wasn’t going to pan out."

In the end, I achieved my main goal. I got an interview and got to put myself in front of Sam, Robert and Peter and confirm for myself that they were awesome people I’d love to work for should the opportunity ever arise.

History will show that the amazing Jodie was the right person for the job at that time, not me.

After I didn’t get the position, it would’ve been easy to get mad at my gut instinct and wonder why on earth it urged me to devote so much time and effort towards something that wasn’t going to pan out.

Instead, my overriding emotions were relief (because the timing was really wrong) and satisfaction, because I just knew those efforts would pay off in some way in the future.

In the meantime I got busy having another baby, being mum to our young son and helping my husband run our business.

Fast forward in time to July this year. Said husband and I are excruciatingly tired because we’re parents to two young children and both working 50 to 60 hour weeks in our business. I’m only supposed to be part-time but it turns out when your entire team is drowning in work, the owner of the business cannot put her hand up and say “hey guys, I’d love to help, but I’m only part-time remember?”

Suffice to say, the status quo was not working well for our young family. Our kids and our household needed one of us to be more available to them.

So I came up with a solution: it was time for me to step away from our business and look for a part-time role elsewhere.

Less than a month later I happened to see Sam at a conference. She casually mentioned the Flying Solo editor role was going to become available soon. Might I be interested?

I’m not sure what my face looked like on the outside but from the inside it felt like my eyes had just fallen clear out of my head. Was she serious? She looked serious.

She was serious.

When instinct urged me to go for the Editor role two years ago this was not a scenario that had crossed my mind. I thought an opportunity to work with Flying Solo in another role might come up … but not this, my dream role.

So, that’s the very long story of how I’ve come to be here today, saying hello to you, the amazing Flying Solo community, as your new Editor.

Yes, I’m still pinching myself.

Yes, I’m extraordinarily excited.

And yes, I’m very grateful to my gut instinct!

I have huge shoes to fill; Sam, Jodie and Lucinda are complete superstars.

But I’m definitely up for the challenge and hugely looking forward to building on the amazing work they have done.

When was the last time your gut instinct got it totally right?

Kelly Exeter

(former Flying Solo Editor) is an author, editor and ghostwriter with particular expertise in helping non-fiction writers get their book babies out into the world. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Comments

127,165 people use Flying Solo to help them create a business with life. Do you?

Connect with Flying Solo

Explore the benefits of membership