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Rejection: Professional Ghosting in Business



I absolutely LOVE my job!!


There are so many good things about what I do. Here are just a few . . .

  • Supporting children and young people in a way that's best for them

  • The pleasure of seeing a young person's face when my strategies are working for them

  • Increased confidence and self-esteem that means so much for the young people I work with

  • The difference to their happiness, security and quality of life when behavioural change is altered

  • The relief and satisfaction of parents and professionals when the behaviours that have challenged them begin to change

  • My work with families in their homes and the trust they have shown

  • The unexpected work I do supporting adult clients

  • Knowing this job is my most favourite ever - and is also my forever job

  • Having the autonomy to allow my job to take me on a variety of new pathways

  • Provide an effective service - and doing it my way

  • Working in a way that suits my talents and daily routines

  • Combining previous experience in teaching, lecturing and advisory roles

  • Being as creative and imaginative as I want to be - teaching had stopped giving me that

  • Being self-employed and being neither micro-managed nor having line managers "delegate" their work in my direction

  • My boss - she's okay, you know!!


Two years into this entrepreneurial journey I have to pinch myself to remind me that I'm doing a proper job and not just swan around looking busy!! Friends and ex-colleagues I haven't seen for a while tell me I'm looking well, relaxed - and even younger!! 😆


I've undertaken a huge number of training courses and diplomas to upskill a range of my professional practices, to keep updated with reports, policies and procedures - and even just for fun!! Along the way I've met some great allies at networking events and the marvel that is LinkedIn. My business buddies have been a mine of information and a great source of support. There are two in particular who have championed my work in a way that I would never have expected and I'm very appreciative of.


So, why this blog post ... ?


One thing I've found particularly tricky is ghosting. I've experienced this a few times in my personal life and occasionally when I was part of a workforce, but certainly not in this way.


I don't mean: "Oh, give me a call and we'll meet for coffee sometime" which we say all the time, only half mean it and pretty much never do it. We've all experienced that, haven't we? I hold my hand up - it's sometimes a really gentle way of wrapping up a phone conversation or Zoom meeting that's been going on for a while. I'm sure others have done the same when I'm enthusing frantically about something they don't share the same passion for!!


What I mean is an unsolicited contact or being approached by someone who offers you a great opportunity to connect with someone or an organisation who needs your skills, to work with them, work collaboratively, to work for them ... not so much ... in fact no, no, NO!!


I can count at least ten occasions when I have been "head-hunted". I've made a connection or been on training, sometimes at a networking event. But rather than that passing "We should really do something together" comment; I mean actual offers of work.


In the early days of building Aluna, I'd get really excited and instantly start planning in my head what I was going to do, how I'd do it and the subsequent opportunities it could lead to. Ultimately they've led to no such thing. I've experienced:

  • A brazen attempt to sequestrate my business

  • Trying to pirate some of my services for free

  • The expectation of becoming their employee

  • Some dodgy affiliate marketing from a business "rival"

  • The suggestion to take my work down a very niche route ... much too niche for my liking, thank you

  • Wanting to piggy-back on my brand to promote their own cause

  • Arranging a "chat" that turns into a sales pitch for their product or service


They are the ones I've found annoying. Thankfully I'm a bit more astute at recognising the signs of a planned take-over of some description now or an intended surreptitious side-hustle at my expense. However, there have been times when I've genuinely thought that I could use the talents I've honed for over 30 years to do some good, to benefit others and genuinely help our children and young people to access the services they need. That's when I'm invested.


I must be clear here; it's not about making a fortune or financially benefiting from children's misery. If it was, I'd have started paying myself a regular salary by now. I give additional support to schools without payment, I work with some clients for a minimal fee and often work with families on a pro bono basis. I continue to give 30-minute mini-consultations free of charge that sometimes become not-so-mini consultations; but it's what feels right for the person I'm facing in person or virtually on the screen.


So, to those I've bonded with, begun building a relationship with, have given regard to and even respected; I've learned that kind of disappointment hurts. Sometimes it's crushing. It's been difficult for my emotional wellbeing at times to feel that sense of rejection and question: "why has this happened again ... ?"


I decided to research professional ghosting and have read some articles. The link below is to one on LinkedIn that offers some suggested actions. It touches on some of my experiences, including following up the initial contact but it doesn't reflect the long-term impact these experience have on me. It feels that I've suffered it in much larger doses.


I've taken a leap writing this blog post and sharing it with others; I'm half hoping no-one reads it and sees my vulnerability. I know I'm not the only person who feels like this and, respectfully, there'll be people who've moved on from this phase in their entrepreneurial journey. Some may even be the very people I'm writing about. However, I'm in it now. Right at this moment I'm not judging, I'm offloading.


On days when all is going well with Aluna, which is the majority of the time, I mark it up to experience. But the days when I'm stressed, extremely menopausal and riddled with imposter syndrome, it's a real challenge to be so positive.


I'm resilient; I know this.

I'm a survivor; I've proved this.

I'm skilled; I demonstrate this.

I care; anyone who has met me recognises this.


So, just be mindful. If this is your modus operandi, spare a thought for a middle-aged woman with a slightly fragile inner child. She's undergoing some well-needed nurturing just now.


Well, onward and upward. I took some time out very early this morning to formulate my thoughts and record my reflections, but today's a busy day. I'm preparing for presenting and exhibiting at the #DiverseEducation Conference on Saturday. I'm so looking forward to it as I get to talk all day about my work to people who are paying to listen!! Hopefully it will increase their awareness of the extremely important work #DiverseEd is doing and be a little more aware of who I am into the bargain!!


By the way, if you happen to read this post and choose to respond to it - particularly if in detail - could you do so thoughtfully and privately please ...


Et amplius.




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