Last weekend I attended the 30th anniversary of our Royal Navy training course at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.

It was a fabulous and fun weekend in every respect catching up and ‘spinning dits’ with old friends and colleagues, some of whom I knew well and some I simply couldn’t remember.  Watching the parade drill was an absolute hoot, and mightily impressive after 30 years.  Revisiting our old TALBOT Division accommodation was quite surreal and possibly the only thing that had not changed – apart from it is no longer the WRNS Division as women are now fully integrated with the RN.  Most fascinating over the course of the weekend was learning what people have been up to for the last 30 years and where they are now.

What struck me was the range of roles that all these people are playing now:

  • Some stayed for a while
  • Some are still serving
  • Some reached the highest ranks
  • Some left at various stages and are now pursuing a huge variety of very different roles in the private, public or third sector, as business owners or consultants.
  • Some have retired gracefully
  • Some are still deciding what to do next

As young cadets our only goal was to get through training, pass out (in the ceremonial sense) and become Royal Navy Officers. Since then many different paths have been followed.  We are all encouraged to have goals in our lives, yet goals change for all sorts of reasons and that is OK!  The path that we have followed in the past will always be a part of the path we are about to tread.  As long as it is in the right direction for us, as individuals, then we have succeeded in our own right.

Congratulations to all of us!

BRNC DartmouthSo, whilst this ramble is very central to my past career, I have found in my coaching practice that we Navy types are actually quite normal in this respect.  It is easy to become stuck, disillusioned, not know how to progress or to stay with something because we don’t know what else to do or perhaps it is because of the fear of change.  If you are feeling ready to move forward in your current path, move on or are stuck for ideas, engaging a coach can help you to clarify your needs and wants, recognise your strengths and consider your options so that you can reset your goals and march forward with a smile at the past and a skip in your step – just like these young(?) chaps!