One minute she was at the cusp of netball coaching heaven, as it were; the next, Tanya Dearns was coming to terms with reality in a cutthroat world.
The unwanted assistant coach of the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic is now in desperate need of a job.
"Netball is a not a real job so I'm going into the real world to find a job now," says Dearns, of Napier, with a laugh.
"It's fickle and it's pretty frustrating but I'm tossing up my options of where I will go.
"I first missed out on the coaching job and then I was not re-signed as the assistant," a philosophical Dearns said just hours before attending the season-ending franchise dinner ceremony in Hamilton late last week.
Outgoing Magic coach Noeline Taurua had publicly endorsed Dearns for the role but the new franchise appointed former NSW Swifts mentor Julie Fitzgerald to assume the mantle of coach.
Another prominent Australian coach had reportedly thrown her hat in the ring among the plethora of applicants. Upper-cut No 2 followed as any hopes Dearns had harboured of Fitzgerald keeping her in the Magic matrix fell through when the Australian opted for Margaret Forsyth, after having met both the prospective assistants.
The new franchise board had other ideas on the foundation of a different theme although Dearns felt she had built a rapport with the new regime and believed she had bought into their constitution of change.
"My meeting with Julie Fitzgerald was based around the knowledge of players and on the information on franchise matters," she said, coming out of the talks pretty mindful she was most likely going to be surplus to requirements.
Having played with Taurua as a Silver Fern more than two decades ago, Dearns had no qualms about offering her views to Taurua who has made no secret of her ambition to one day be at the helm of the New Zealand team on the international arena.
That role won't come up into contention until the end of 2015 at the earliest. "I often tried to give Noeline some help by offering her a different set of eyes so I would ring her up to say what I'd seen or not seen on TV," says the wife of Hawke's Bay Magpies fitness trainer Grant Dearns.
She had resigned as the general manager of the Napier Golf Club in December last year to be Taurua's assistant.
In a jocular vein, the mother of two says her husband is now becoming a little agitated with the prospect of one income in the family and wants her out in the job market pronto. Admittedly she accepts the fish pond, in netball terms, is claustrophobic.
"There's not a lot out there so I have to look elsewhere because most of the franchises have signed up for the next season," she says, believing the Australian franchises tend to "look after their own".
The departure of Taurua has casued a modicum of frenzied movement among key players with Silver Ferns Laura Langman and Irene van Dyk crossing the floor to the Mystics and the Pulse, respectively.
"If the culture changes too much then players will go," says Dearns, who labelled the pre-Fitzgerald tenure as "fantastic", based on the quality of players.
Player accountability and communication ensured a consistent degree of reliability in a "different" coaching style.
Taurua's "quite inclusive" approach, which encouraged a laissez-faire type of engagement from players, was an eye opener for Dearns who will incorporate aspects of those principles in her career in a bid to hopefully join the elite national stable some day.
Having made the Silver Ferns' assistant coach shortlist last April, she is upbeat that New Zealand Netball recognise her potential.
"For now I'm back to square one because we have a mortgage to pay and kids to feed," she says, making no secret of the fact that she'd like to keep the netball coaching kettle boiling .
That respite may come in the form of co-coach with Charissa Barham, of Hawke's Bay, as zone 3 (under the Manawatu centre banner but incorporating HB and Taranaki) campaigners in this year's National Provincial Championship before graduating to the Pulse under-23 stint.
Dearns says the development in the revamped HB Netball set up will take between 12 to 18 months to bed in.