By Sandra Neal
About ten years ago I graduated from college and entered a job market that was on its way to rock bottom. Looking back, I got a lot of advice from friends and family about how to navigate the turmoil ahead. But here are two things that have been most true and helpful on my journey.
And not in the social media or after-hours kind of way. They meant find a cause you can get behind, and link arms with the people who share your passion. Many people get this far, but after a few months or years, drift away because they don’t find it very fulfilling. Sometimes it’s because they didn’t go deep enough – as in contributing not only to the cause, but investing in the people who are contributing to the cause. Looking back, whenever I’ve felt like I’m not getting much out of a group, it’s been because I haven’t been putting enough into it. The next time you’re considering taking a step back because you’re not getting much out of a group or activity, try taking a step forward instead. When you stretch your comfort zone, new growth happens, and it might just be what you’ve been looking for.
When it comes to creating learning content, we know the trifecta: fast, cheap, easy. You can only pick two of the three. The same is true with any project or relationship. Rome wasn’t built in a day; your career, marriage, and anything else that’s important won’t be either. That’s not a reason to give up on them. Just don’t expect to binge on some YouTube videos and be ready to slay the dragon in one go. That would be like reading a book on swimming and then jumping into the deep end of the pool. Get clear on what you want, and what it will take to get there, before going overboard or giving up. (hint: the Get Connected step is really helpful here)
So much has changed in the past ten years. But good advice still applies from generation to generation. As we look ahead to 2019, I hope you’re considering ways to get connected and be realistic too. If you are, and want someone to think it through with, let’s get coffee. I’m truly looking forward to the conversation!
2018 ATD Chattanooga President