That is an old saying that rings so true sometimes. The person who makes shoes for the village, doesn't have time nor resources to make shoes for their own children.
How many of you have done one thing your entire professional life? You went to school to do “X” and you are still doing “X” years later? I am always fascinated by people who have that story.
I have had so many different jobs over my professional life that sometimes I have difficulty explaining my background. Much of this change was dictated by necessity. Having been a military spouse for 15 years, I moved every 3 or 4 years. With each move I had to reinvent myself in order to get the next job and make the money we needed to make ends meet. Some reinventions were a little more drastic and desperate than others. Later in my professional career the changes I made were by choice and were to expand my horizons and open options.
After my time as a military spouse ended, I still found it necessary and even desirable to reinvent myself. This has been important as an entrepreneur because with that choice comes the responsibility to shift as the economy and customer demands change. Throw into the mix relocating from the West Coast to the panhandle of Texas, and here I am again reinventing in order to not just survive, but thrive.
So how do I reinvent myself? Here are three tips for you:
*Never stop learning. Always be willing to admit you don’t know everything. Listen to those around you and learn from their mistakes and their victories. Keep reading, watching videos, and studying.
*Assimilate. I’m not saying lose who you are, but take time to get out and meet people. Pay attention to the local vibe. Network.
*Yes, you can. Believe you can. Can what? Can do whatever it is that you want to do and are willing to put the effort into doing. Take what you know, learn what you need to, and go for it.
Here is a true story. I found myself at Yokota Air Base in Japan. I had spent 12 years working as a legal assistant for several different law firms. There were two legal offices on Base, but both were staffed with military paralegals, so no room for me in that capacity. There was, however, a position open for a court reporter. I learned that the Air Force did not use the stenotype machine, but rather used a stenomask system. I had never used a stenomask system, but I developed a plan.
I went into the office and met with the Law Office Manager. I offered to volunteer in the office in exchange for being trained on the stenomask machine so I could apply for the job. She happily agreed as they had been without a court reporter for some time. I treated my volunteer responsibilities like a regular job. I went in on regular hours and I worked hard. As the paralegals had time, they trained me to use the equipment. WIthin three months I was able to complete my application for the job and was hired as a GS6 with promised progression each year at performance review time so long as I continued to improve. When I left Yokota I had reached the top pay grade I could in that position at GS8. I was often requested by name to work at other Bases in the area. I developed a solid reputation among visiting judges as a good court reporter.
I went in knowing I had a strong skill base and could learn the rest. I was willing to put in the work to gain the experience I needed. The really cool thing--you can do the same! Want to learn to do something? Then ask. You might be surprised what people are willing to share with you. Know you’re going to have a learning curve, but don’t let it discourage you. My husband says it best. You have to be willing to stink at something in order to learn to be really good at it.
Have you ever reinvented yourself? If not, do you want to? Perhaps a professional reinvention is a bit much. Reinvent yourself socially. Learn a new hobby. Do something to change it up. Reinvention is itself a skill worth possessing.
I spent this past weekend at a Toastmasters Conference in Ruidoso, New Mexico. The Conference was put on by District 23 Members. Everyone did an excellent job executing their portion to ensure that the event went smoothly and everyone had a nice time. There were speech contests, meals, socializing and lots of great educational breakout sessions.
The intent of those who organize conferences, workshops and seminars is to excite, inspire and motivate those in attendance. I often come away with all sorts of ideas, to do lists and new dreams. But then what? How long can that last? If you don’t turn those ideas, to do lists and dreams into concrete goals, the post event glow will fade quickly.
Here are some tips to converting the post event excitement into something that will propel you forward.
You will be hearing what I learned at this last conference in the coming weeks. I came away inspired to make some changes in my messaging and focus. I look forward to your feedback.
When was the last time you were inspired by a workshop or conference? What did you learn that you meant to put into practice, but let it go stale before you got there? How will you reignite your excitement? I hope you will share your thoughts with us on social media.
You are busy. Aren’t you? We all are. Work, home, kids, pets, and life all demand time. We are surrounded and overloaded with input and information every day. Screens are in front of us at every turn including our phone, computer, and television. There seems to be little good news and we find ourselves taking on the emotional weight of the world. No wonder we sometimes feel like our tank is empty -- depleted.
If you are someone who, like me, finds it difficult to say no to others who ask you for help, you are at double the risk of depleting your personal resources more quickly. We want so badly to help others, so we say yes, sometimes at a great personal cost.
If this sounds familiar, I am writing this for you. If it doesn’t resonate with you personally, chances are you know someone who may be at risk.
When we become depleted we become overwhelmed. Everyday tasks can seem monumental. Feelings of hurt or anger that we would normally brush off become large, open wounds. Focus is difficult to achieve if not impossible. It’s ALL just too much.
When you find yourself in this situation, what do you do? How do you climb out of it? How do you restore your energy and reserves? Here are a few tips:
What tips do you have for restorative personal care when you become depleted? Share with us on social media. It may help you remember what you need to do and will certainly help someone else.
I know this is a long post, but I feel strongly about speaking to all of you (and myself) about this. I speak from experience. Yes is only the right answer if it is also the right answer for you.