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Tackling your own mountain

This weekend saw me back on skis after 7 years. I was a latecomer to this sport; I had always liked the idea of skiing but it wasn’t until my mid-thirties that I took the opportunity to try it out.

I see people who excel at sport and I am in admiration. I am not a natural sportsperson – my coordination is clumsy at best and my results are typically average, but I am someone who will give almost anything a try. I always have the slow and steady approach but I am tenacious and resilient, and I do keep going. Eventually, I get to a point where I can perform consistently and after years of self-reflection, I recognise this is me in my professional life, not just tackling a new sport.

In recruitment I witness various approaches to being successful, some more successful than others but there are key areas which I believe do work for us all.

 

Preparation.

Each time I arrived for a ski break (and there have only been 3 so far!) I always book myself a lesson to refresh and try to build on the skills I already have. Investing in that time helps me take effective leaps forward. There are still Bridget Jones moments, but at least I can stand up (most of the time!) and get myself down a mountain – result!

Click into being a recruiter and planning our day ahead, knowing our purpose, refreshing ourselves on training, investing in new training. All these elements are areas which will result in us having productive and effective days. I know if I have not planned my day ahead, my day can run away with me and I lose control – exactly as I did on the slope, ending up flat on my back!

 

Being brave and having a voice.

We all have our own learning style and for me I learn practically, I am a visual person. With skiing I need the instructor to show me and I will follow. In work, I will either watch videos or listen to someone share their stories; I like the animated approach rather than reading a manual, I will only do that when I really need the fine detail.

One of the most important lessons I have learnt is that I am responsible for my own learning; if I don’t find my voice, I will be left behind. All too often in my early life and career I would not “catch on” quick enough, but even worse I would not speak up. Sometimes I would find my own way through, often not. Once I realised that I needed to speak up, say what worked for me and what didn’t I gained more success. The most powerful words when communicated efficiently can be:

“Talk me through in a little more detail”, when I wasn’t clear on a customer’s assignment.

“I don’t feel comfortable tackling that right now, can we practice again”, to the ski instructor.

“I feel really nervous about this presentation”, to a colleague who would then have my back, understand where my head was and would then give me structured feedback.

 

Planning, training and communication. All key elements to be successful in recruitment and on the slopes! Added benefit of a ski break for me – it rests my mind from work when I am focusing on getting down that mountain, I cannot think about anything else. #worklifebalance

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