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And now, a blast from the past. I wanted to share with you my thoughts the day my very first book launched, “Effective HR Communication: A Framework for Communicating HR Programmes with Impact.”

I should have been filled with excitement and pride, which I was, but I was also filled with an unexpected surge of emotion. It all of a sudden hit me - I had taken the lemons which life had handed me and....I’d written a book!  And not only a book, but a book that is going to help others in my profession, and a book that has directly led to me landing an amazing job in an amazing company.  

How’s that for lemonade?

Let me start from the beginning, which was over two years ago. I’d gone into work after the holiday season to be told that I was being made redundant (for non-UK readers this means that my company had decided they no longer needed my job . . . or me!).

I’ve had this happen to me before, having been in the workplace for over 30 years, but this was made even worse by the fact that I had just picked up and moved my family, and we were in the middle of selling our old house and buying a new one. More lemons and more stress!

Needless to say, I came home shocked and scared, wondering how I was going to keep up a brave front for my children, and get through not only finding a new job but sorting out the challenges we were having buying and selling homes.

Very early on in the process, my husband and I decided that we were going to handle both of these in the “right” way – I was going to find not just any job but the “right” job, and we weren’t going to settle on any house, but the “right” house for our kids and us.

Good decisions, but many more lemons!

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I began by taking charge of my lemons, putting on my determined and optimistic persona.  This is when I came up with the idea of a book, deciding that it would be the perfect way to occupy my time, my mind, and my energies, doing something constructive with those pesky lemons life was throwing at me.

I had never written a book before, and in fact it wasn’t something that had been high on my bucket list.

It just hit me one day, I had something that I passionately wanted to write about, communications, and this was the perfect time to give it a go. It certainly wasn’t easy, but the result is something that I am extremely proud of and as I mentioned at the start, will help others.

Was I ready to rebel?

Let me jump now to the other happy ending to my story, and that is about me finding the “right” job. I had almost finished my book, and was asked to speak at a seminar about the model I created and explained in the book. I showed up, did my presentation and then sat back to listen to the next speaker, Glenn Elliott , who we’re all pretty familiar with by now.

What can I say about Glenn, he and his story was so inspirational that I asked him if I could interview him for the book.  We met up for the interview, I got my fantastic story for the book, and then Glenn completely surprised me and offered me a role he decided to create after hearing me speak. I knew immediately it was the “right” job for me, especially as I had walked away from others that didn’t sound or feel right. This was an even better happy ending than I could have ever imagined.

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Glenn and I will share more stories on how we rebel together, or separately, but for now, I wanted to leave you with what having all those lemons taught me.

    • The first lesson was about learning the lemons’ purposes. I learned that lemons don’t have to be something bad if you use them to create the right “recipe.” Avoid them and/or let them overpower you, and you end up with a bunch of useless ingredients, or (even worse) rotten, moldy lemons.

      We need to take the time to understand them, and like ingredients in a recipe, understand if/where they fit in, and how they should be used.

    • The next lesson is about the “recipe” itself. What you decide to do with the lemons.  For me, it was writing a book, as I thought it would give me purpose and outcome which I’d be proud of. For you it may be different, but the point is, don’t start doing anything with the lemons until you decide what the recipe is going to be.

    • The final point is one that works alongside the others, and that is to have belief and trust in yourself. Believe that you can handle the lemons, and you can create a recipe which is right for you. I had never written a book before, but that didn’t stop me (or my publisher) from believing in me, which is why I strongly believe that I’ve been able to achieve my happy ending.


In closing, my wish for you is that if you find yourself in a situation where you are handed lemons .....you find your own way to use them to create your own happy ending!

Find more stories like this one in "The Rebel Playbook" 

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