Are you looking up wondering where your next job is coming from?
You’re right! There is no such thing as actual “Pennies From Heaven”.
The term “pennies from heaven” is used to describe unanticipated gifts or surprises that bring good luck. Luck has been described to me as the moment when opportunity meets good preparation. So, how are you preparing for opportunities that may come your way.
These are my four strategies to being open to new opportunities.
- Say yes, then figure out how
Recognise what you are good at. Think about a time where you felt at your best, where you really felt like you were contributing. What were you doing? Whatever that is for you, is likely the beginning of understanding your natural talents. Now consider industries or roles that require those talents.
One of my mentees has particular talents in contract negotiation, attention to detail, customer service and a need to work in a culture where respect and ethical behaviour was not only valued but acted upon. Having spent her career in the travel industry she found herself redundant at the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic. She searched for months for a new role where she could leverage her skills and natural talents, first focussing on what she knew, but with the ever-shrinking travel industry, opportunities were scarce. She reflected on her talents, and in what industries they could be leveraged, and then broadened her search, landing a job with one of the big 4 banks. She learned to say yes and figure out how!
- Have a growth mindset
As a child I was often asked by my grandfather “What do you know?”. My learned response was “A little bit more than I knew yesterday, and a little bit less than I’ll know tomorrow.”
A growth mindset it critical to allowing openness to opportunity and success. It allows a continuous pathway for learning and development and embraces the concept of “there is no failure, only feedback”. This allows us to learn and develop from both success and failure. A growth mindset gives us the willingness to adapt and build resilience for the future. One of the statements you will hear me say often is “If what you are doing is not working, then do something else” I truly believe this and practice it in all I do.
Sometimes we need to un-learn and re-learn as is the case in our environment at the moment where we are learning new social practices, new ways of living in our home environments, new ways of working and un-learning the old “norms” of the workplace, average sanitisation, assumed practice of “touch” greetings and social gatherings. There is truly an opportunity to learn something new every-day if you look for it you will see!
- Feel the Fear and do it anyway
Susan Jeffers author of the book “Feel the fear and do it anyway” discusses how we handle fear in two ways through Pain or Power. When we are in the pain process we stall, find ourselves in helplessness or depression. On the other hand, in power we are motivated to action, excitement and choice.
In these uncertain times, people who feel powerless may find themselves in a constant state of fear. We can change the way we manage fear through our words, our self-talk and self-care. The truth is that the only things you can control, is what you say, what you think and feel and how you behave. If you choose to do or do not, the outcome is your accountability.
I want to share my personal experience in relation to this concept;
Those who know me know that I am super optimistic, I say yes and figure out how (with the exception of complicated analytics or excel spreadsheets), I like to think, I feel the fear and do it anyway despite potential stinking thinking. Today I felt full of fear. It’s been five months since the pandemic began and all of my face to face business disappeared, so I am rebuilding. Reinvention takes time and I am not used to the waiting! I feel like my contribution is wasted, my motivation has taken a beating, and my working future is looking dim. Without self-direction I find myself procrastinating, emotionally eating and feeling tired and restless all at once. My creativity is simmering, and my self-talk has slipped into the pain category. Today, I didn’t “manage” myself well. I was cranky at the dog for being so needy and frustrated with my child for the same reason. Today life feels a bit dark.
I spend a few hours in this space, it’s not good for me and I know how to get out of it, so why am I choosing to sit here?
Then I remember I am BEING HUMAN. I take a time out. I let myself know that its ok, to not be ok, just for a little while. Instead of berating myself for being a bad parent, making bad food choices, and procrastinating, I decide to take myself off to a massage. I need to get into a better state of mind to continue and I need to start by being kind to myself. (I am reminded, my dog doesn’t come when I yell at her, she comes when I give her a treat!) I understand kindness has to begin with self so I can then contribute to others. I speak with my partner about how I’m feeling, and I am so grateful for the support and love I have around me.
So, it has taken me three days to write this article, today I am finishing it, I am ok with being vulnerable and share my story with hope that it will contribute to someone else. Today, I am feeling the fear and doing it anyway!
- Regular self-check in – what are you prioritising or procrastinating
In times of uncertainty we can be easily distracted by “stuff” all sorts of things from eating to grocery lists, to self-talk, to what I must to do to what I must avoid doing. Are you taking on the easy tasks and leaving the big ones? It’s time to check in, regroup and ask yourself. “What is the best use of my time right now?”.
Make a decision on that and then take action no matter the response! If it is to go for a walk, write an article, watch an episode of your favourite show, chunk down that overwhelming “A” project and start one task, then just do it! Take one action today. Now, I have got my list, my five things to today. There are only five. Sometimes less depending on the size of the task and the meetings in between. At the end of today I will feel a sense of achievement, a sense of contribution. Take 5 minutes and check in with yourself. Where are you at today?