It’s often at this time of year, that we resolve to try to learn new things; perhaps take up a new hobby or sport, learn a new language or even go back to school or night classes to learn new skills.
It’s also something that we often aim to do regularly in our professional lives – whether it’s learning a new system at work, developing your career through training or even starting a completely new job.
And as much as it is exciting, it can also be a bit daunting too; fear of the unknown.
This week, we’re pleased to feature a blog from one of our own, Lynn Filson, one of UP’s recruitment consultants, to share her recent experience of learning something new!
Let It Snow!
It’s that time of year again when many of us watch the snow forecasts with dread to see how much it will impact on our travel to work – and sure enough, just the other week we saw gridlocks and roads like sheets of ice again!
At the same time, there are those who look forward to seeing the snow; kids hoping for a day off school; those of us hoping to build snowmen or go sledging and of course – winter sports enthusiasts! The latter category I’m now proud to be a member of.
I recently took up the challenge of learning to ski prior to going on a skiing holiday in France. Not wanting to be a complete beginner, I booked some ski lessons on a dry ski slope to gain some basic skills and techniques; attending practice sessions in between the lessons to try out what I had been taught that week. I never realised how much I would enjoy learning something new and seeing improvements each week which of course only increased my pre-holiday excitement!
Roll forward three months and I found myself standing nervously at the bottom of the slopes waiting to up on the chair lift, struggling to adapt to the feel of skis on real snow!
We reached the top and started on out descent down the slope and my initial feeling was one of real fear; going too fast, losing control and falling and, scarily, everything I had learnt in my lessons seemed to have been forgotten in an instant!
Inevitably during those first few runs, I took a couple of tumbles – luckily with pride hurt rather than anything psychical. I frequently had to pick myself up, brush off the snow and, despite the initial dent in my confidence, learnt to just get on with it. Throughout that day and for the remainder of the holiday, I steadily improved by continuing to persevere and overcome my fears when facing the different challenges of steeper slopes, icy sections and so on, and was left with a real buzz of adrenaline and sense of achievement.
Now that the holiday is over and I’m back at my desk, amongst reminiscing of the slopes I have been reflecting on the whole learning experience and thinking about how we should apply the same values in our working lives.
Facing a new challenge head on and overcoming your fears becomes easier if you have completed relevant training, having learnt the basic skills and techniques, allowing you to focus on building confidence and gaining that sense of achievement when you succeed.
Whenever we start a new job, project or commence training to learn a new skill, many of the same principles apply; taking time to learn new skills and techniques, applying them in practice and accepting that, if something doesn’t go right the first time, not to be disheartened but to learn from the mistakes and try again.
So, at a time when everyone else is nervous about the heavy snows forecast, with my new skiing skills under my belt, I can hear myself shout, “Let It Snow!”