2018. Lessons Learned.

Ahhh 2018. Is it too cliche if we say ‘what a year’? If you find yourself saying that at the end of EVERY year, you are very lucky indeed.

Because it means you experienced a year that brought you something.

Good, bad, ugly, surprises, achievements, lessons.

BOY were there a lot of lessons. For the whole team. So to round the year up, Lisa and Saara have written their ‘top lessons learned in 2018’ for you.

They’re all different. Maybe they’ll shed a light on a challenge you’ve never experienced before. Maybe they’ll inspire you to reflect on your own lessons this year.

>> Saara. Lesson Learned.

When Lisa and I started discussing what would be our last Career Hacks article for 2018, we had a flood of ideas. Mainly, we wanted to make it epic, and we wanted to make sure you walked away from reading our last article with a growth mindset, ready for 2019.

So when we landed on “2018. Lessons Learned.” – I was excited. And I knew what lesson I wanted to write about, because it was a lesson that was pretty much my entire theme for 2018.

There will come a time when you realise that – yep, every freakin’ inspirational, motivational, career and life quote, was correct: you are the captain of your own ship.

And if there is one thing I can absolutely promise you, it’s this – you get out of your career precisely 100% of the effort you put in.

So: If you want a seat at the table, pull up your own damn chair.

For those of you who are unaware – generationYOU is run by a Company called Bright Conferences. We are event managers for clients, and we also run our own events (generationYOU being one of them).

This year, I worked with the team on one of our biggest projects to date. It was an event called Something Digital.

Lisa and Nadine gave me the opportunity to step up to the plate and pull up a seat to the table.

And I wanted a seat at the table so frickin’ bad!!!! I mean don’t we all? Don’t we all want to prove to our managers, tutors, parents and friends that their belief in us isn’t futile!?

And yep, it was a hell of a lot of pressure, it was stressful, and sure, sometimes I fell short (and there are lessons in that as well).

But. If you want a seat at the table, pull up your own damn chair.

I didn’t wait for my bosses to give me a solution to every challenge that they presented me; I didn’t wait to be asked to help with tasks; I didn’t leave jobs that I planned to be completed that day for ‘tomorrow’; I fell short and still came into the office the next day and made an effort to be better than the day before.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not advocating for the ‘hustle until you burnout’ mindset that has become ever-so-popular (albeit unhealthy). I’m encouraging you to be smart, to work hard, to use your initiative, to grow from mistakes and to realise that if you want a seat at the table, no one is going to pull out that chair for you – it’s up to you.

And a final thought: If you get to the point where you decide you don’t want a seat at the table in front of you, or it’s not ‘worth it’ or you’re waiting for better, then my advice to you is to step out of the arena altogether and move on – because there are many more people waiting in the wings for the opportunity to prove themselves!

>> Lisa. Lesson Learned. 

They say that necessity is the mother of all invention. It turns out that necessity will also help us break some pretty long standing habits. 

In 2018 my number one learning had to be that asking for help is not a sign of weakness.

And this is coming from the child who’s first words were (according to my mother) … Mummy I can do it. 

I have always been a stubborn person.

In my personal life that is a bit of a joke and a trait … a bad habit. But on the career side of things, I have always felt that to be strong and successful, I needed to be able to make it work. And somehow asking for help was akin to cheating.

Madness I hear you say. You’re right.

This year has been a huge year for us as a team and business and there were times where we could not handle it all ourselves, we knew we needed help if we were going to achieve what we wanted to. 

So we asked.

We risked our pride. Ditched the perception that we had everything under control. We asked for help.

It was the very best thing we could have done. 

Not only we’re people happy to help, but we got to a far better outcome than if we had tried to go it alone. Fresh perspectives were bought to the table, ideas we had not considered and experiences we had not personally had. 

We found a whole tribe of people who were willing and excited to help us … and not once did anyone thing we were weaker for asking. 

However, I do want to add one caveat though to this statement. 

Asking for help did not mean the people we asked would swoop in, solve our problems and do the work for us. That’s called outsourcing and is a whole other conversation.

Help meant listening, taking advice and having people do some bits for us … but a the end of the day … this was still our ‘thing’ and as a team, we still needed to work out butts off to get the job done.