By Romina Mayani Nankani, CYE-CYL

I’ve known Benjamin since my teenage years. He was, and is always, with a smile, followed by effortless jokey conversations. As life would have it, we both set sail for our own journeys and amazingly enough we got to cross paths many years later. I was ‘wowed’ by everything he has been working on to reach to where he is today.

“How has life been for you? I know you have worked on so much but I would love to hear it all (well as much as you can).” I asked super intrigued and with questions ready in waiting.

“I met someone a few years ago, who described his various ventures using the term ‘Portfolio Career’ and I realised ‘AHA!’. This is me! My vocational and professional life are so different and so challenging as well as rewarding, that I never could quite describe my diversity until I heard this phrase.

From 9am to 5pm, I excel in my job as the Director of a Trust Company in the Commercial Sector in Finsbury Trust. I then go on to my practice as a Psychotherapist where I work with clients from every walk of life, different socio-economic backgrounds and incredible people including teenagers and adolescents requiring empowering tools to help themselves in finding their own direction. On weekends and after hours (some days), I am what is known as a ‘Guardian Ad Litem’. These are independent people appointed by the Courts who represent minors in court cases together with a barrister/lawyer.”

My vocational and professional life are so different.

I needed to ask how this became his life’s purpose.

“I was brought up with a value system put in place. I did struggle with some of the practice at times but not the belief, so finding the balance became difficult. I often found myself with this internal tug of war to lead my own life but also not wanting to offend anyone. My amazing parents (and mentors I must say), positively challenged me to think for myself, and in doing so to remain respectful of those around me, including being non-judgmental on the choices others made for themselves. And that’s where I started.

I went on to pursue a career in psychology and practiced in various countries. But I kept having that internal talk of what did I truly want? Somehow things and people kept presenting themselves and it kept re-routing me from where I thought I was going. I learnt so much. Nowadays I always smile at the expression ‘Tell God your plans and watch him laugh’.

Now that I have welcomed the terminology Portfolio Career as to what I do, it keeps me grounded with an open appetite for more. I have that at the forefront of my mind every single day and at all levels of my life experiences. It reinforces me to remember and know that everyone is doing their best, that we all have our part to play and contribute in so many different ways.

I could be completing the sale of a building in London one morning, and refocus myself to a child’s requirements in a court case by evening. We are all dynamic. As humans we experience love, hate, envy, happiness, anger, fulfilment, pain to name a few, but I would say that our biggest influencer should be NOT to be afraid of failure. It doesn’t mean we avoid doing certain things or don’t engage in certain situations, it means trying and facing challenges even when the outcome is not the desired one. If we don’t try, we will never know”.

“If we don’t try, we will never know.”

Benjamin continues to persevere in his own passions when he’s not working. He enjoys travelling, exploring, surfing, visiting jungles and so much more. He embraces the lessons he learns from all the incredible people he meets along the way.

“If you want to see how you develop, spend time with people who can feed your mind and empower you to make a difference for yourself,” Benjamin concludes.

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