“There were days when I was tired and did not have any time left for any action. So I tried to spend at least 5 min in bed thinking how I would progress in my business, what I would like to do next.”
Shares Dr Anna Nova, multi-passionate woman – Senior Software Analyst & Developer by profession and Inner Abundance Awakener by her passion.
Anna moved to London to keep her family together. Starting all over again, she qualified herself as a software engineer and studied PhD at UWL in London. She thought that was it until 2010.
Her life approach changed in 2010 when she had a car accident. The car rolled over on the roof. She lost consciousness for a very short while and after she came back to herself, the first thought that appeared was: ‘You still have a mission here!’
Anna felt very shocked and puzzled, thinking “What was my mission? Didn’t I do what I was supposed to do?” Her intensive search for mission started then. In this interview Anna will share with you how she discovered her mission and her insightful lessons she learnt on the way.
Where do you come from and where are you based now?
Hello there! I was born and happy in Slovakia. I never dreamed about moving abroad. Living and working in a small town surrounded by mountains close to my family and friends was fulfilling. My situation changed after my husband found a job in the UK, worked there for a year and did not plan to come back. Wishing to keep our young family together, I took our kids and followed him to the UK.
Starting from zero with no friends and family, no work, very weak spoken English, little kids and other cultural differences was challenging. I had my master degree in Maths completed in Slovakia but my job applications with no work experience in the UK were ignored by agencies and employers.
To be able to do a job I like and improve my English, I decided to take another undergraduate degree at the university in London. Studying Computing and Information Systems in London was like a dream came true for me at that time as I was fascinated by programming, designing software and the world of computing.
As a child did you have a dream job?
My dream job was to be a doctor because I wanted to heal all the people around and see them healthy and happy. I was preparing myself for studying medicine but after having my first baby at age of 18, I knew that studying medicine would have been very difficult and time consuming.
Study of Maths was a much easier option for me, although I regretted later that I did not choose Informatics instead. My teachers and class mates kept telling me that I was very good and fast at maths.
Funnily enough, I have become a doctor a couple of years later. So ‘Be careful what you wish for!’ as we can get things which we desire, just not in the way we expect!
When and how did you discover direction for your ideal job, career or business?
I was a people person but also liked software development so I thought that being a software analyst/programmer is a perfect dream job for me. In my final year of studying Computing at UWL London in 2009, I was offered to stay there as a research assistant and then conducted a PhD study in software engineering (with some hours as a teaching assistant).
My life approach changed in 2010 when I had a car accident and rolled my car over on the roof. Nothing happened to me but I lost consciousness for a very short while and after I came back to myself, the first thought that appeared was: ‘You still have a mission here!’ and I was very shocked (I did not talk about it for years and only a few people knew what happened). I felt puzzled, thinking what was my mission? Did not I do what I was supposed to do? Was I supposed to heal people or what should I do differently? The intensive search for my mission started then.
It was only the beginning of my self-development journey as I took the car accident as a warning to change something and as a second chance for a life, a better life with quality added. I started with a life audit and more intense personal and spiritual development. I wanted to build an inner richness, wellness, happiness and harmony in order to be able to share this with others. I joined the ChiKung and Taichi course with Faeeza from ChiMoves in West London. I learnt about chakras, how to control my thoughts and negative self-talk, what I had to change in my inner world to increase my abundance etc.
In meantime, I completed my PhD study and started to look for a job in industry. I thought that with my education, finding a job would be easy. I got my first job offer quickly after I scored 99% in the GIA online test which they asked me to complete (they explained me that I completed it better than 99% of people who took this test ever before including their best employee who took this test several times).
I started 2 months after accepting the job offer and first week at my new work was very nice. Suddenly in next week, we were told that the company is merging with a larger company and one from our team of 7 will be made redundant. I was very disappointed that I was not informed about it before I joined. My decision to leave was made almost immediately as I felt it was the right thing to do. I was the newest (not experienced yet) team member and it was fair to others. After this experience, I lost motivation and was struggling to find another job as many employers thought I was too academic and theory-driven, but that was far from the truth.
After a couple of months, I found a job as a software analyst & developer in a small software company and work there already for 8 years. I felt that this job was right for me and I had to lose the previous job in order to get a better, more suitable job. I loved it. I liked my boss, my colleagues and my work as I got more responsibility and trust from my boss than I would ever get in the previous large company. I was responsible for and involved in a full lifecycle of two web applications.
Although I was happy in my full time job, I also wanted to create tools for personal and spiritual development, mainly for women. I started my SangFroid Spirit project.
How did you recognize your genius – what are you best at doing in your career or business?
From my professional life, I recognized that I can understand constructs and interactions in processes, quickly identify a problem and come up with a solution too. I am a creative soul and a passionate learn-as-I-go artist who loves polymer clay sculpting, painting and pyrography.
I could recognize my abilities to understand, motivate and inspire people. I used to say that people around us is the most important asset we have in our life. I think this was recognized in my current full-time job when I was told that the company had many software developers but none of them had such people skills.
I know that our inner well-being, inner abundance and qualities are very important in our life so I decided to focus on awaking this in other people and offer such support for those who might need it. I would say that I am a mix of a creator, healer and alchemist as I can recognize what people need, find a creative solution and help them to nurture/heal their inner self.
Recently, my 90 years old grandma had a very bad fall and ended up in hospital. Being 2000 km far away in a different country, in the Covid era when 14 days quarantine was needed, I knew she was waiting for me to come, not aware of all the obstacles. I felt how afraid she was to stay alone in the hospital room. I managed to see her and she told me she was waiting for me. I knew about our strong bond and I started wondering how many people must have such a strong bond with their grandparent, parent or other relative and do not even realise what a huge treasure they hold within them.
I decided to grow the seed she planted in me and consequently build a program ‘The Precious Gift of Life – My Grandma’ to support people who have also such an amazing connection with their grandma and would like to grow the seed planted too. My grandma is an Angel in Heaven now but I will never stop cherish and share things I learnt from her.
What is your ideal job or position in business now? Why you do what you do right now?
As I have a full time job, I can support with 1-2-1 coaching only 1-2 female professionals at the time (12-15 weeks). To spread my work, I decided to create self-study courses and work with small intimate groups of women (10-12 participants).
My main focus is on finishing the program about the cultural inheritance and empowering the bond with grandmas. That is my passion. It comes from my heart and I have a strong need to express it. I would love to work and share things with people who have such a strong bond too and love to see that these people benefit from my program, they realise their treasure within and grow the seed planted by their grandma. So my plan is to build a small Facebook community in which we will share memories and other things related to our grandmas/grandparents.
Work and life balance – what does it mean to you and how do you keep it?
I have a good psycho-hygiene. In my full-time job, I have a fixed time when I finish my work every day. My business is my passion so I do things when I want to, change them when I want to and do only things which resonate with me.
Weekends are for family time or trips with some extra cleaning on Saturdays. I decided to focus on my spiritual development and inner work (less mobile and almost no computing time) on Sundays.
Sometime when I am tired after work, I relax by watching art and craft tutorials on YouTube. My ‘me’ time is when I create things of clay or paint something.
What have you learned on your dream job journey? What were the most difficult things you had to overcome?
I learnt lots of things and still learning such as:
- Say NO to things I do not like (not always but more often than before)
- Shape my boundaries
- Keep my cup full
- Change my negative self-talk
- Enjoy moments
- Replace expectations with appreciation
- Money is energy and should be in motion. I learnt to be happy & grateful when I can pay someone as that person then can pay someone else and then someone who got paid can pay me and so on.
How did you make your career change/starting your business work financially?
My ex-husband decided to move back to Slovakia in 2015 and I stayed alone in the UK with two kids and no second income. The situation became challenging with all living costs and expenses so I decided to change my dreams & plans into actions.
I officially started my SangFroid Spirit project focused on supporting women with the following idea:
Women dedicate themselves to being loving wives and mothers, and are often very busy with raising kids, creating warm and welcoming homes, and building own career. Most women put themselves and their personal dreams last. My mission was to support women, boost their motivation and confidence. It is important to know how to keep your own cup full and have a passion driven life.
I used a paper version of Feng-Shui Bagua for my life/self-development audit and created a map where I was and where I would like to go. I was fascinated by it so I decided to have this as my first physical product. I started to look for a solution how to implement the idea further. I went through lots of options to find out that dry erase magnetic boards would be a perfect medium for it as they can be easily placed and visible on a fridge.
I designed two versions of maps and created boards which are multipurpose tools. They can be used for life audit, visualization or goals/actions. I had to invest more money to create a larger amount of products to have them manufactured. It was a risky decision to go through the whole process at that time and invest money in such a situation. I used money from my savings and mainly my credit card.
Which 3 tips would you give to someone who is right now considering changing jobs, career or starting freelance?
- Discover Dream Job: I would start with identifying your passions and finding your dream job (do some research about it too and try to find out if it resonates with you) – I think the Dream Job challenge is a perfect starting point.
- Self-Investment: I read a book ‘The richest man in Babylon‘ and I learned that first 10% of our income should be saved for investment, then some money saved for rainy days and then the rest of money spent to pay bills, necessities etc. I followed this advice and after some time, I was ready to invest the money, just I was not sure how and where. Then one day I got an opportunity to join an academy for an energetic business growth and to develop my business skills. I knew immediately where that money was going to be invested – into myself and my growth. So my advice would be to follow the principle written in the book (or read the book) and invest the money into your skills development, your dream job or business.
- Act from place of love rather than fear and take small actions every day. There were days when I was tired and did not have any time left for any action. So I tried to spend at least 5 min in bed thinking how I would progress in my business, what I would like to do next, what would be my next action etc. Often when I caught myself up in a negative self-talk, I changed my negative self-talk to thinking about my own project – website design etc which shifted my energy from lack to a powerful creative mode. So I would suggest to use similar techniques to progress on your journey and enjoy all the moments and experiences.
If you’d love to connect with Anna, here are some links for you:
Author: AdriAna Kosovska
Certified coach & founder of ZERO TO DREAM JOB ACADEMY
Helping unfulfilled professionals and freelancers in 30s & 40s create a rewarding career
Dream job & Career Development | Stress management | Talents development