Transition

As life would have it, the first city in my journey is somewhat nearer than expected: Bangkok.

I went to sign the lease for my new condo yesterday. It is situated in central Bangkok, Sukhumvit specifically. Never in my life did I imagine I’d be living in Sukhumvit, but there we have it. I am now a proud tenant of a high-rise condo in Bangkok’s bustling, high-brow, overpriced Sukhumvit.

As I was inspecting the room yesterday, I was imagining what my life would be like. Alone in the city, away from the family. I have lived on my own before in London and Paris, but I was never completely alone. I always had a flatmate or the equivalent of. So it’s an exciting new step I’m taking, renting a room all to myself. The upside is it’s a wonderful room. Not exactly cheap, but affordable considering the area and amenities.

Together with the transition to city life comes the transition to corporate life. I started my new job last month. So far I’ve been working part-time alongside my CELTA (from which I have now graduated with a proud B). But starting in January I’ll join the company full-time. Every sign indicates that it will be a wonderful ride of learning opportunities and fulfilling relationships. Undoubtedly, taking this job ranks very high among the decisions that changed my life very much for the better.

These unanticipated transitions have led to some soul searching. I was asked in a Skype call a week ago by one of the vice presidents of my company under whom I’m (indirectly) working: what are my career goals in 10 years? That question for me is doubly meaningful. Because a few months ago I couldn’t have imagined having a corporate career. I had semi-retired myself from Wall Street English to become a full-time freelance subtitles translator. My “goal” – or more realistically wishful thinking – was to see my name in the end credits in the cinema. I didn’t even think I’d need to think about where I’d be in 10 years in terms of company and job title. All I was thinking about was Chiang Mai (which was to be the first stop in my journey and to where I was planning to move in January 2018) and South Korea. Nothing else was on my mind. Indeed, I couldn’t have imagined there’d ever be anything else to think about.

But a few grabbed opportunities after, here I am: starting a corporate career in a select team of senior managers driving and implementing a global Swiss company’s learning and development policy. In one move, I have catapulted myself from frontline staff to specialist in an executive team. Not a bad move. And not a day goes by when I don’t appreciate how lucky I am.

But the big question is this: what does this do to my life plan? More specifically, what of my journey? Where to next? And when? Is Korea happening still? What about my psychology degree? So many questions which remain unanswered. I don’t think there’s a problem with that though. Life will find a way. And I am done with over-planning my life. One can have ideas, but expecting them to materialise as expected is rather unrealistic and at most foolish.

So for now, the question I’ll answer is where I see myself career-wise in ten years. No, I don’t have an answer for that yet. But the search has begun, and I will not stop until one is found.

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