We Have To Do More, People

2015 is going to be here in a couple of weeks. When it arrives, beyond the festivities of New Year’s Eve and the wee hours of New Years Day, it may not look on first glance to be much different from 2014 but it will be.

I’m an optimist and a realist and rarely if ever a pessimist. When I do catch myself be somewhat of a pessimist I do what I can to alter my attitude and check my thoughts. Looking into 2015 I see challenges which if we do what we’ve always done, we may not overcome and our communities will be less well off than they might be otherwise.

As Employment Counsellors, Career Advisors and Recruiters, we’ve got to raise our expectations of ourselves, do more to invest ourselves with our clients, be proactive and impactful. You and I might sometimes wonder how on earth that’s possible if we feel we are already overtaxed, but I suspect (and no arrogance intended) you and I, we have the capacity to dig deeper and give more.

The philanthropists out there this means you too. There are an increasing number of middle class people who are getting squeezed by employers on the one hand who can’t pay more wages, and governments on the other who are raising taxes to pay for infrastructure we need. Your past generosity to aid the poor, to heal the ill through the provision of medical devices, to feed the hungry and house the destitute have been sincerely appreciated. You know as do I however that the need remains, that children are still living in poverty, that more folks will be laid off and out of work in the year to come. Please step up and encourage others with the resources to make a difference.

Are you a politician? You’ve got our thanks and you’ve got our wallets. You’re to be thanked for putting yourself under such public scrutiny, but you and I both know you are capable of better. Stop the squabbling and the political bantering and posturing. Get on with making decisions regardless of party politics and get things done that improve all our lives. Create jobs not red tape by getting the transit expansion underway and approve more affordable housing.

If you are looking for work you too can do more. You have to recapture that enthusiasm for the job search and overcome all that frustration and bitterness that you’ve experienced. Yes it is tough and there are many setbacks and disappointments. Reach out and get the help you need and keep asking for help. Write cover letters if you haven’t, target your resume if you haven’t always done that, give it more effort not less and get in charge of your own job search again. Make it happen in 2015.

If you run a business remember it’s the people you employ who make or break your business. Invest more in them by positively reinforcing their effort. Train them to be better but do it with kindness not as punishment. Where you can, raise their wages and give them a better standard of life. Compliment good behaviour, thank them for helping put money in your own pocket. Treat your customers with respect because these people are YOUR livelihood.

If you’ve got a job that nobody seems to think is very important like running a gas station, picking up the trash, walking the kids safely across the street or bringing food to a table, perform it better. You know you can smile more, interact with the people with a more positive attitude, and serve them better. Work like your job is important because you are important; and you are. You’re needed and valued if not always appreciated; that’s most of us.

You who have positions of influence and power have a higher responsibility to use your positions for good. With your work you’ve got a daily opportunity to be self-indulgent or become the better person you wanted to be long ago when you resented and wanted to replace people who were greedy, lazy, self-absorbed and ignored the real challenges. Okay so you are in that position now and unlike most of us have the power and influence to make significant changes. Do what you can with a social conscience.

You who are volunteering and giving of your time I personally extend deep gratitude to. You make days brighter, lift burdens from those who would otherwise fall, clothe, feed and house people with your gifts of skill and time. You’re needed more than ever in the coming year and you’ll be counted on to do more in 2015 because givers do just that; they give.

And you and I whomever you are, we can do simple things to do more. We can smile on the street, complain less, appreciate others more, do our work with enthusiasm, use our manners, stop being so high maintenance ourselves and learn what being needy really means. Extend a hand in greeting, speak kinder of each other and be the better people that we all have the capacity to be and want to be viewed by others as being.

We all have to do more because waiting for someone else to do it is a fools game. There are threats to our standard of living around us, but there are opportunities in all places, and every day. Thanks for doing what you do on behalf of those who benefit from it. Now lets you and me get out there and give more of ourselves.

The Best Don’t Always Get Hired

Sometimes the best people find themselves not being chosen for employment opportunities. They submit strong applications, they interview very well, but someone else gets the nod. Yes it happens and we need to acknowledge it. So should the good people of this world stop applying for jobs because the best don’t always win out in the end? Of course not.

Take for example your unionized workplace setting. In these kind of settings, it is more than occasional that someone who is better suited to a position finds themselves finishing second to someone else who meets all the minimum requirements but doesn’t necessarily sell themselves as the best candidate. The seniority of the applicant might trump the performance of the person who is better which is indeed unfortunate. That to me is always perplexing, as I’ve always wanted the best candidate to get the job.

The above scenario does happen in unionized workplaces; sometimes a unionized employee upset with finishing second to a better candidate will even grieve a hiring decision and sometimes win the appeal. Imagine the implications of that process. Two people apply, the Management decides on the person they feel best meets the job requirements, the person who finishes 2nd grieves this to their union, an appeal is launched, and the decision overturned. So now you’ve got someone in the job that everybody knows wasn’t the initial choice and the best person isn’t in the role? What a message to send everyone.

Another situation could be that the interviewers and the selection panel aren’t skilled enough in their own jobs to make the best decisions, and so they just pick the wrong candidate and the best get passed over. Even when entirely competent, interviewers could themselves be stressed out, mentally fatigued or distracted, overly tired or ill. In other words the usually good judgement they have is distorted and they make a decision they’d otherwise not make. In short, they are human and err.

My point here is that because people are at the key of the selection process, errors are possible because no one is infallible. We always hope of course that every single time the very best candidate gets selected, and where we personally are involved we trust that person is us.

What often comes into play in the selection process are the factors that go beyond the written requirements in a job posting. Oh sure the educational requirements and skills are printed in black and white, as too are the job responsibilities. However, often the person making the final decision is looking at other less well-known factors. So you could have a decision at that point made on things like team chemistry and personality fit. Can you imagine a job posting that says, “Applicant must mesh with existing chemistry of the present team”. How could you prepare yourself for that?

Looking at things from the point of view of those making hiring decisions, you really do have to look at the environment that you are going to be adding a person to. Do you want to stir things up with the inclusion of a strong personality or are you looking for someone to mirror what currently exists? How will the addition of one of the three final candidates for a job impact on those currently working on a team? All candidates might look entirely qualified on paper and interview very well, but the best person for the job might be all three of them and only one can actually get hired.

And so it is that you might be told, “There was nothing more you could have done to get this job, and you interviewed very well but another candidate was selected.” Is this a good thing or not? Nothing else you could have done. I’d say that is actually great news. Sure you didn’t get the job, but it would appear you left it all on the table and didn’t hold anything back. Your personality might have just not been a good fit for the organization and the people you’d be working with. So that in turn could mean one of two things; you may not have worked out well and thus have been happy yourself working with them, or if you hear that again and again, you might need to consider a change in the vibes you are giving off.

Do yourself a favour though. Only about 1% of job seekers ever even think to write a note to an employer after they have been rejected for a job in the final decision. Think about writing a note expressing your disappointed with the end result but at the same time wishing to let them know of your continued interest in the role or a similar position. Hey if you got to the very end and finished number 2, it could be that number 1 doesn’t work out after a month, or another opening comes up. Write that letter and maybe they realize they should have hired you in the first place.

Exceptionally qualified people – the best people – do sometimes finish second. That’s life, it happens and it’s not fair maybe but it happens. If you give up, you will lose out 100% on all the jobs you don’t apply for – guaranteed.

Teaching? Find Your Students Motivation

One of the things I enjoy about my position is that my supervisor moves me around on the team schedule throughout the year, and I find myself sharing various skills and teaching clients different aspects that collectively make up a structured job search.

This week and last, I’m teaching a basic computer class. This class is composed of people who know zero about a computer other than perhaps going to Facebook when they arrive at a computer that is already turned on in our Resource Centre, plus a couple who know marginally more.

It’s been six days so far, and over those six days they’ve learned how to turn the thing on, some rudimentary terminology, the difference between software and hardware, how to use Microsoft Word 2010, basic functions like cut, copy and paste, ergonomics, proper keyboarding, made an email, made a resume, how to send, reply and open emails, and most importantly how to attach a resume and apply for a real job. Whew! That’s a lot in just six days.

Yesterday, one of the activities I had the group do was to use the computer to make a Christmas gift for someone whom they still have yet to get something for. I told them this gift wouldn’t be expensive, (in fact it would be free), and while it might not have the best wow factor on Christmas morning, it would show the person that they were thinking of them nonetheless and took the time to make them something using the new skills they acquired in the class.

Now you have to understand as I have said many times in previous posts, that the people I’m working with during the day are exclusively in receipt of social assistance. Pay their rent and buy food and there’s not much left for other necessities such as transportation, clothing and a structured job search. Throw Christmas presents into the mix and those presents are going to be few and far between and have to be cheap. So the idea of making a present and doing it for free has great appeal. And there’s your hook.

By hook, I mean motivation. If someone can see the direct application of whatever they are being taught, the likelihood of mental commitment to the learning process rises, and by way of this, learning gets imbedded. So if the learning is fun, not only will the skills be learned, but the use of the computer becomes a positive experience, rather than something to dread or simply endure.

Let me share the activity with you. It’s not an earth-shattering, oh-I-can’t-believe-you-got-me-this-for-Christmas idea I remind you, just a small thoughtful gift that requires using some learned skills to pull off. You could do this too if you want.

What I had the group do first is open up a blank document in MS Word and extend the margins to a narrow setting. After minimizing but not closing the document, I had them navigate to the internet and start at a search engine of their choice, Bing or Google – for we learned the pros and cons of both engines. Once there I had them search for, “This day in history”. Now of course there are many results that will come up and I had them all go to the same one I use for this exercise, but really any number might do.

On the site I had them land on, each person entered a month and day that corresponded to the birthday of the person they wanted to make their gift for. After having done this and clicked on the enter key, the engine quickly displayed significant births, deaths and events that happened throughout history on the birthday of that person. What I had them do was to highlight, copy and paste the births and events from that page to their blank Word document, plus the thought for the day at the bottom of the page.

Next, I personally typed, “Hope you enjoy this small gift. Merry Christmas.” at the top of a page, jazzed up the font and printed one copy for each person. They then took this single page, put it on the bottom of the pages they printed off but turned over so the writing on the last page was on the back. I had them then roll all the pages together like an old-time scroll or diploma, and we tied them up with a coloured ribbon I bought at a dollar store in the mall.

Now each person had a zero cost, personally made gift to either slip in someone’s stocking or give them as a stand alone gift. Doesn’t sound like much does it? It was for some however something instead of the alternative which would have been to give nothing at all – and so it became everything.

This exercise really was about putting new-found computer skills to use. No it’s not a job search exercise. It does however use many of the same skills used in making a resume, a cover letter, copying and pasting data – the same skills needed in a job search. Are they motivated to work? You bet. The resume and learning the online application process we covered as well. But everybody needs a mental break, new stimulation and some divergent fun when sitting in a class for hours on end learning something like computers.

Teaching a skill? Find the hook.

Specific Help For YOUR Resume

This entire blog is going to be devoted to a single concept which if you take heed and implement will have the impact of strengthening your entire resume. By the time you are done, you will look at the finished product and feel a rise in your self-esteem, feel more confident about your overall applications in the future and be proud of how you look on paper.

I’m referring to the content of each bullet or line under you various work or volunteer roles. Instead of just putting done a few succinct words that say what you did, indicate your understanding of why you did the work you did and how that benefited your employer. Then as a potential employer reads it, they will understand that you get ‘it'; and if you understood your role for someone else, you will get ‘it’ when working for them. Not everybody gets ‘it’.

So right about now I bet a concrete example would help with your understanding of what it is I’m saying. Fair enough. Suppose the resume you are making is for a job as a Cashier in a grocery store. I like using examples of common jobs we all experience so that the majority of readers can relate. Okay so suppose the resume said this:

- Took money, ran till and bagged groceries

In the above bullet there are three job requirements and responsibilities being performed. Usually when I ask real people who have items like the above on their own resumes WHY they did those things, they reply by telling me it was their job, and they look at me like it’s an obvious answer that anyone should know.

But here’s the key thing. If you are only putting the absolute minimum on the resume of things you’ve done, and the only reason you did them was because the job description or boss told you to do it, you don’t get it! You are not marketing yourself to the best of your abilities and an employer can hire just about anyone to do those three things I think you’d agree, so why then don’t they hire just anyone? Why do they keep going through resumes until they settle on a select few to interview, and in the interview why not hire just anyone? No they keep looking for the right people. In both the resume and the interview they are looking for someone who will communicate to their satisfaction that they get it; and ‘it’ represents what exactly?

‘It’ is the understanding of the role you are applying for and how it fits into the overall business. So again, let’s look at that revised bullet first and then break down what’s being communicated.

- Entrusted to receive and accurately process payments including debit, cash and credit card transactions
– Carefully and quickly bagged groceries for customers to keep lines moving, all the while smiling and chatting with customers, thanking them for shopping with us and encouraging them to return which creates strong customer loyalty

Okay so it took two lines on a resume to get those same three job requirements. Can you see now however as this revision not only says what the person has done, but it demonstrates that they go about doing their job understanding that their role in the big picture is to be friendly, helpful, and by doing things this way they encourage repeat business which increases a stores profitability? I also point out the simple word, ‘”Entrusted’. This single word strengthens the words which follow because it states they trusted you and the implied message is that the person reading the resume considering you can trust you in the future.

Words that set up or add descriptions to words that follow beef up a resume and make the reading more interesting. You go from what I call a, ‘Tarzan’ or ‘Caveman’ kind of resume to one that is rich and brands you as someone who can not only do the job, but goes about the job with a higher purpose and understanding of how that job fits in the organization.

So imagine a store where people go about their business and all of them are, ‘just doing what’s in my job description’. Now imagine that same grocery store where people go about their business with purpose, with a greater understanding of their role in the overall operation. The people in the second example are going to do more, and do it with a smile, take a genuine interest in helping their customers, and the customers are going to flock to that second store because the experience – and that’s the key – the experience is much more enjoyable and they’ll want to repeat that experience again and again.

So back to the resume. Imagine now each and every bullet on your resume being rich and showing that you get ‘it’. The overall impact is going to land you more interviews no matter what job you’ve done and are talking about. Try searching online and look for, ‘action words for resumes’. You’ll get reams of good words to start each bullet and will be on the way to making a better and stronger resume that gets more results.

If you want true success, ensure each bullet on your resume doesn’t just state what you’ve done in a job, but shows why you did it, and the best bullets always relate these to the job you are now applying for.

Good luck!

Jobs Via The Radio

Being back in my car this Monday morning, it was the first I’d had my radio on for a couple of days, as I usually forego it over the weekend in favour of television, music or conversation. And when all that is not going on, there’s quiet solitude and time without any external noise.

Back in the car, I turned on the radio and listened to the 6:30 a.m. news on CBC. I like CBC because not only do they do the news justice locally, nationally and around the world, but between those newscasts, they talk with people in 5 minute segments and I get a well-balanced conversation on a number of topics I’d otherwise not get exposed to.

Within three seconds I was listening about a hostage situation in Australia that is in the thirteenth hour, then there was a story about a stabbing in Toronto followed by a report on the make up of the Police Services Board in Toronto as they are having an inaugural meeting since the new Mayor of Toronto was elected.

Okay, that gives me an idea of the major headlines and I’m now prepared to get into any conversation that might come up at work with some degree of knowledge. That ability to converse intelligently from an informed perspective is useful. While by no means an expert on these kind of topics, it at least shows some semblance of awareness and instead of being seen as someone who isn’t up on current events, rather it’s the latter.

Can the radio then, or rather listening to the radio, be a part of an effective job search? Well in some respects yes it can. Oh sure there are the obvious aids like the announcement of a job fair at some major large company. But sometimes the less obvious news stories that don’t just happen in the hourly newscasts provide some of the most helpful information for those savvy enough to pick up on the news stories and turn that information into an opportunity.

So for example, there was an interview after the news this morning with a gentleman who is raising funds for the Alzheimer’s society in remembrance of his mother. He’s attempting to raise $19.23 from everyone he can to support research in that area. That dollar amount is the year his mom was born apparently – 1923.

Okay so let’s brainstorm jobs and opportunities that we might take advantage of with this story. And remember, brainstorming means that initially no one criticizes an idea, they are all thrown on the table and only later will the ideas be looked at with more scrutiny for viability.

Idea number one: We produce t-shirts that say, “$19.23 to remember 1923: I support the Alzheimer’s Society”. A portion of the proceeds go to the Society and part recover our costs with some small profit in it for us.

A second idea, we make up small buttons with a photo of the guy skating, affix it to the button and on the top we have, “I gave $19.23″ and at the bottom our own company contact information. The buttons are free when a donation is made to him and we use this as a promotional write-off.

Lastly, say we are in the business of making short films, or marketing businesses. Why not go down, make a short film of him, talk to him while he’s skating or on one of his short breaks, and then do a follow-up story. Put it all together and we’ve got a short documentary film that showcases our work and we launch it into a community film festival.

Now these ideas come into my head as the first three things I thought of. Do they have merit? Are they good ideas? Are they the best ideas I could brainstorm? Don’t know really and I won’t be giving the matter a second thought as I’m not personally going to do anything as I already have a job I love and don’t need another or have the skills to do the above ideas I shared.

But if I was unemployed, struggling, or in the fragile moments of an early business start-up or a student in the film studies class at a nearby College or University, I might be interested. This is one small news item that might just be a story we listen to on the radio and say to ourselves, “That’s a nice story, what’s the next news item?” Opportunity lost on most, seized by a few.

So how do you train yourself to pick out the gems in the media and recognize opportunity? First it requires good listening skills. With everything you hear you think to yourself, “Listen for the opportunity that comes with the story.” Be it an entrepreneurial opportunity or a chance to be hired when you hear of a new chain store going up in the area; listening for opportunities is a critical step.

And don’t confine yourself to just the radio. Watch local news on the television and you can do the same thing. And if you want to, get some people together, share a news story you heard such as the guy skating for 19 hours and 23 minutes, and brainstorm job / business opportunities with them as a group. If you want more lead time to prepare, contact a radio station and ask them what stories they are working on, share your own motivation for knowing and who knows, you could be a future news story yourself!

How One Man Landed A Job

This blog is all about how one person ended up successfully obtaining employment. Funny thing is he doesn’t deserve all the credit, nor do I, nor in fact does one of my colleagues yet…but I’m getting ahead of the story. Let me tell it to you in the sequence it happened. You can benefit from reading this whether you are looking for a job or you are someone who helps others with their employment. There’s something here for everyone.

It starts three weeks ago on day one of a Career Exploration class. Initially 60 people received a letter in the mail inviting them to this class. Of the 60 invited, on day one 24 people showed up. Of the 24 who showed up on that first day, 1 left after 10 minutes due to her high anxiety. Of the 23, 1 failed to return after the first mid-morning break and provided no explanation – just didn’t return. Of the 22 who completed the first day, 3 failed to come back on day 2. The 19 remaining after that first day completed the entire week.

As I facilitated the class, guiding each participant through numerous self-assessments, helping them to both complete and understand the results, I observed the people. I also got to know each person a little, how much they participated, did they show up on time, come early or arrive late. I saw too how well or poorly they interacted with others, and respected others views. Essentially yes, I sized each person up over the week, shaping my opinion of them with each comment they’d make, each behaviour I witnessed.

The two-weeks following the actual class itself, I met each person 1:1 for over an hour and discussed what they learned, what occupation(s) they might now want to pursue and got to know them even more. Each person was told the same thing; it was now up to them to take all that good information they found out about themselves, and research the jobs or careers their interests suggested might be a good fit. I knew even as I said those words to each person, only a small percentage would actually do the necessary work. Some had the interest and some didn’t. Some had the skills and others didn’t.

So now we are up to this week, and the schedule has me facilitating an Introduction to Computers class. At one point I called a break for 15 minutes and made the decision to leave the classroom for a stroll. Normally I’d turn right when leaving the class and head out of the Resource Centre and make my way back to my own office. On this day, I turned left however, and made a decision to look around the drop-in part of our Resource Centre and see if there was anyone there to say hello to. And that’s when I spied him.

There he was sitting at a computer job searching. When I asked what jobs he was looking for, he said he had decided on warehouse work, shipping and receiving – that sort of thing. And just then I recalled getting an email 1 day prior from a Job Developer whose office is next to mine about a company hiring people for such work. “Don’t go anywhere”, I said to him and went to see her.

“I’ve got a guy you should meet”, I told Finuzza the Job Developer. He’s here and I think he’d be good for that job. Can you meet with him?” So Finuzza met with him right away interrupting her work, told him of the job and sent him back out with the details to put together his resume and send it out – and he did just that.

Yesterday I was told by Finuzza that not only did he apply, but he had an interview and was hired on the spot. Oh yes, people do get hired in December this close to Christmas. So let me summarize the what had to happen to get a job in his case.

Finuzza: 1) Met an employer 2) shared an email advertising the job 3) met a client unscheduled interrupting her work 4) assessed him as I did as a good candidate 5) provided him the details 6) reported on his success to me.

My role: 1) Met him in a Career Exploration class and liked the impression he made 2) made a random decision to take a break and chance took me left instead of right 3) saw him and opted to initiate contact 4) was impressed he was job searching and that sparked my memory of the email Finuzza had sent 5) used my break to initiate contact with Finuzza and introduce him to her.

And him: 1) Took a Career Exploration class and made a good impression 2) came to job search independently showing further self-commitment 3) took advantage of an opportunity to look into a job 4) met with Finuzza unexpectedly and made another good impression 5) took the posting and the initiative to target and send his resume 6) went for an interview and made a 3rd good impression 7) accepted the job offer on the spot.

This guy put himself in a position to succeed by a series of good choices. When luck came along, he was prepared to seize the opportunity. We all played a part in his success but it all started with him and he deserves the bulk of the credit.

By the way, 1 of those people who took that Career Exploration class is now in my Computer class – continuing to make a good impression as she commits to her future success.

Overcoming Trepidation Part 2

In short, the answer is yes. If you haven’t got a clear idea of that to which I refer, I’m following up on my blog of yesterday, in which I shared the fear, anxiety and excitement of performing a guitar/singing performance in front of my co-workers.

So the question some folks asked me in reply to that post was, “So how did it go? I hope there is a follow-up.” And that’s why I start today’s blog by saying that yes things went well and I did overcome this trepidation.

Gayle Draper who is a valued connection of mine picked up in my post that by sharing my story and illustrating the steps to overcoming my own fears, other people and specifically my own clients can transfer my process to overcoming their own fears. Gayle is like that; insightful. And make no mistake, she is spot on in her summation, otherwise it’s just a nice little story.

So to share what happened, I was fortunate first of all to have had the responsibility of teaching a class all morning on learning computer basics. I shared with the class what I’d be doing at lunch time and what I had done to prepare myself leading up to the performance: getting into the empty room to play myself days before, practicing with three women who were singing along with me, and then growing in confidence as a few passers-by over that period remarked how nice we sounded.

The setting was a staff appreciation luncheon, which based on the time of year leading up to Christmas day, would involve some music as entertainment. First up was a colleague of mine who played 5 songs on his accordion. Some we knew, some we didn’t but it was nice to hear his playing and discover his talent in the process. Then it was time for our little quartet to step up.

So there I was sitting with the music in front of me and my guitar on my knees. For some reason I can’t fathom at the moment, I notice the three of these ladies accompanying me are not standing beside me as I’d expect but moved slightly back and behind me. Then it dawned on me that they were having a little bit of doubt themselves and were more comfortable behind me and standing up against the wall. The second thing I immediately noticed was the chatter of co-workers in the room and not the absolute stillness of the room when we had been practicing and no one but us four was in it. That was my clue to play louder than I’d practiced in order to signal we were beginning.

So for the first song, we launched into Silent Night. In no time, the room stilled, all those eyeballs turned our way, and I sunk my eyes onto the music on the table in front of me. Sure I could have looked up along the way and looked directly into what I’d envisioned and hoped would be smiling faces and kind eyes, but on the other hand, I didn’t want to be distracted and miss a line or hit a wrong chord because I couldn’t find the page again, so I kept the eyes focused on the music.

At the end of the song, we got some claps and an assortment of positive comments. Now we moved on to the second song and I acknowledged that I was still breathing and no one had left or appeared to have stuffed napkins in their ears to block out terrible singing or guitar playing. This would be the number where I’d sing solo the John Lennon part of Happy Xmas, and the three of them would be the refrain and chorus sung by Yoko Ono and a choir.

So there I was singing along when something unexpected happened that I had to overcome mid-song. My right heel had been elevated to keep the guitar at the height I wanted and suddenly it was going up and down on its own due to the adrenalin of the moment. So I put the heel flat on the floor, adjusted to the drop in height of the guitar and carried on. That was just weird, but no one knew what had just happened. Odd.

In the end, things worked out great. Apparently some of the staff even started welling up and had started to cry. Really? To provoke an emotional response is more about the song, the lyrics and the meaning of it than the actual performance of it, or were they crying because the sound itself was painful? I’ll choose to believe the prior.

In our workplaces, we get opportunities to step out of our normal comfort zones periodically. It could be heading up a committee, making a speech as someone retires, making a presentation, or leading a training workshop for the first time. That nervous excitement we feel is good for us, keeps us alive and it’s good to stretch ourselves and learn new skills.

In my own situation, were I asked to play some other time, I’ve got one success upon which to build, and everything starts with one small step. Another benefit is that if others see me outside something I’d normally do and risk it all in front of them, maybe they can be motivated to overcome their own challenges and risk a bit too.