This is a character-building moment in history. Yes, it’s true that the world as we know it is in a moment of global distress. Every day, I hear from professional men and women who are nervous about the future.
If I am being truthful with you, I languished for about thirty days myself. During the first few weeks of the US COVID-19 response, I saw over six figures of contracted business disappear in ten days. I felt discouraged, disappointed, and began questioning everything with a perspective more negative than an undeveloped piece of film.
About 4 weeks into this grey period I had a realization that emotions are contagious, energy replicates the state you’re in, and I could either continue to drown or spark a shift and swim to shore. Yes, we’re all encountering something we’ve never experienced before but, that then also means we can do something never been done – if we’re willing.
Most companies and organizations are scrambling to redefine, realign, and recommit to their customers in order to not only survive but thrive in this new normal. Why not do that for yourself as well? If you have been restless or contemplating how to use this experience as a reset button or catapult – I have too, and here are five ways I’ve discovered to create momentum during a worldwide pause.
5 ways to spark opportunity during this unprecedented time.
1. Embrace what makes you different
2. Communicate your uniqueness
3. Initiate good conversations
4. Adapt and Expand
5. Create Ambassadors
Dictionary.com defines the word Spark as “anything that activates”. In order to create that ignition, start with embracing what makes you different. Another way to think of differences is to identify your strengths. The author of An Enemy Called Average, John Mason, wrote: “most people are born originals but die copies”.
How can you bring not only your strengths but yourself to your business? If you struggle with identifying your differences check out this Success magazine article and feel free to use the prompts to kickstart your brainstorming. Another exercise could be asking individuals whose opinion you value what they think your strengths are and pinpointing where different answers overlap.
Knowing how to communicate your uniqueness is just as important as identifying your strengths – communication is currency. You communicate your uniqueness by initiating good conversations. The good news is there probably hundreds of thousands of courses, lectures, articles, presentations, workshops, and seminars that can help you hone these skills. If you struggle with conversation-driving or becoming more comfortable with public speaking, there is a LinkedIn article where I deep-dive on the skill I believe puts you in a league of your own.
Identifying how you can adapt and expand is the durable differentiator in the new normal and doing so can be the difference between job security and insecurity. How can you be bigger than the job description you have, or the industry you’re in? By leveraging an above-and-beyond attitude you can detect industry or organizational gaps that create goodwill when filled.
Finally, in my opinion, the best way to spark opportunity is to create ambassadors. Doing so increases your impact ten-fold. What that means is finding someone that will be more than a mentor to you, an individual that will sing your praises and keep your top of mind when they come across prospective advancements. I’m so passionate about this strategy I’ve created a LinkedIn Learning course on the topic called Finding a Sponsor; you can find that here.
Whether it’s creating security in your current position or pivoting to a new venture these tactics can help you to be inspired and extraordinary.
Your industry will never be the same again, because the marketplace is not the same and truthfully, neither are you. Leverage what you have, communicate that uniqueness and show up for great conversations. Find ways to being bigger than what you’ve known and create ambassadors inside and outside of your organization that champion what you uniquely bring to the table. Men and women like yourselves who appreciate the gravity of this moment with their head, heart, and hands have that spark. You have that spark and are being called to activate, use this experience intentionally.
I believe in your brilliance,
Want more tips and tools on how to become professionally re-inspired?
If you really want to experience personal transformation, how do you begin to think about quality time, quality relationships and having quality life?
Simon T. Bailey’s passion and purpose is to empower and equip you for sustainable transfomation. He has over 30 years experience and had partnered with almost 2,000 organizations. He’s here to help you pursue your potential.
Simon is a keynote speaker at NYC SHRM’s Annual Conference, Navigating Next. He will be speaking about how to Shift Your Brilliance on Thursday, April 22nd.