Thank goodness it is February. January was probably one of the worst times most of us will ever know. A long hard month of Lockdown 3, short cold days, home schooling and many people we know suffering from covid, some in hospital. It does not get much worse. Thank goodness for February; for daffodils and snowdrops; for more daylight; and vaccinations. Whoever would have forecast the day when we were grateful to have a needle jabbed into us!
In the last few days I have been thinking and writing about courage. It is a strange attribute. We do not think we have it because we don’t need to use it. Then suddenly there is a need and out of nowhere we find ourselves responding to the situation and doing something we never considered possible. It might be diving into water to rescue a dog, or appearing on stage in front of hundreds of people to sing and dance (those were the days). We do it and then wonder where our courage came from.
This month I have been helping people find their courage. Sometimes there is the glimmer of an opportunity. We are aware of it but do not want to look it full in the face. Sometimes it is a business idea or alliance. Other times it is a new role.
The business opportunities are often the easy ones. It is a question of unpicking the advantages and disadvantages; of deciding whether there is enough strong market research to indicate there is a hole in the market we might fill and then whether it might fit well with other things we are doing. Market research has been one key. Evidence is the most important element to the decision. The other has been whether the person concerned really wants to move into this area and have a go at something outside their comfort zone. It demands some hard thinking and the ability not to run away with the idea just because it is there. I have worked with several people this month in this situation. We have really focused on the possibility and concentrated hard on where it fits with the other streams of business they run. In most cases it does and the business owner just has to find the courage to give it a whirl. Not easy but this is where I come in, helping people feel supported and able to take that next step.
I have also been working with people for whom that next step is a career move. In the majority of cases this has been within their own organisation. Most of us are not very confident about putting ourselves forward and it takes a colleague to draw the role to our attention or even the potential boss to touch us on the shoulder and ask us to consider it. The question is then where do you go to think it through? I have helped a couple of people to do that and to identify why they might be good at this job. Once we have done that it has been a question of making the right sort of application and then interview preparation. At every stage it has been about finding the courage to take that step. One person secured the job and had to move herself and her family a hundred miles to take it up. That requires a different sort of courage but it is fanned by the excitement of new places to explore and new people to meet.
I think we all have courage but sometimes we need encouragement from someone else to say, “hey you can do this” and to use evidence to convince us that the step is possible. We just need someone to support us and cheer us on.
Lockdown 3 has brought even more redundancies and a very different workplace. Maybe your previous occupation has disappeared or looks like it might. Is it time to be courageous and do something new? I say, “why not? what do you have to lose?” You have been successful in one field so why not another? Your skills are probably transferable. The big question is do you have the courage? The answer is yes, you do have the resources you need to focus on it and then you need to develop a plan to exercise it and prepare.
In lockdown many of us have been doing new things: decorating, the creative arts, sewing, woodwork, mastering new technology. We have remembered how to try something new and the joy of discovering how much we love it. So why not do that in the work place? Find your courage and try. Our world will never be the same again so why should we?
So if you are reading this and it resonates with you; if you like my ideas and values; if you want to develop your business or yourself; then please give me a call. I love speaking with people, off the meter, to help them explore possibilities and whether/how to take them forward. You could have more courage than you realise!