Happy New Year everyone!
I hope it will be a great one for you!
I have a little tip for you on how to make it even greater but first, allow me to share with you a little story of mine…
This year will mark the 10th anniversary of the day that I moved away for good from my home country, Poland, to live in Great Britain where I reside until this day.
Just over a month ago, I had a chance to reflect on this subject further. I was asked to deliver a presentation in front of an audience of around 100 people on the subject of learning and development. I thought that the most important points that I wanted to make in that presentation would be best illustrated if I shared my personal story.
Let’s start with the picture above. It shows me during my first two jobs in England. (great hair, I know! :P)
When I first came to this country during my gap year, my English was at a very low level.
I struggled to understand people.
They were saying things to me and I smiled. I smiled not because I didn’t know what to say to them but because I had no clue what they said!
For the first 4 months of my life in England (bear in mind that I landed in Yorkshire which also has one of the strongest accents!) I worked in a company that every month was receiving a delivery from China. A massive truck containing thousands of lovely soft toys packed in large boxes was arriving at our warehouse during the early morning hours. Our job was to unpack it, sort all the boxes out and then stack them into huge piles.
This was my first job.
I got paid a minimum wage for it, which, if I remember well, at that point was somewhere around £5.00 per hour. If someone said to me then that one day I would work as a trainer, delivering three-day-long courses in the English language all around the world, believe me, I would be pretty amazed to hear that!
However, one decision that I made during that time when I was working hard, lifting all those boxes day in and day out (some of them weighted 16, 20 or even 30kg!) was that I WOULD LEARN ENGLISH! I would do everything to make sure that the language was my tool that would allow me to progress to different job roles.
And this is exactly what I did.
You have no idea how proud I felt when I advanced from working in a warehouse to becoming a bartender! 🙂 I was proud because it meant a progression to me. My English was finally at a good enough level that I could use it at my workplace to communicate with people.
A few months later, I became a hotel receptionist. Sometime later I decided to apply for an admin assistant position and proudly joined the 9-5pm workforce in my first ever suit which was probably a bit too much for the place where I worked but I felt great! Then I became an admin manager and decided to enrol on a marketing course which almost cost me a nervous breakdown (one thing is to communicate in English, the other one is to try to write a 12,000 words assignment on a business related subject!).
However, the effort paid off and because I completed this marketing course I landed my first marketing position. And because I was learning more about marketing and its trends, I was able to slowly progress to become a more niche specialist by enrolling on a digital marketing position, establishing myself as a search engine advertising specialist and later on becoming a trainer on this subject. I did that simply because I loved sharing my knowledge with others (still do!) despite fighting with my huge fear of speaking in front of public.
Throughout my years of living in England I have had various jobs but there was one thing in common.
I was hungry for knowledge!
I was constantly searching for new opportunities to improve my skills, my expertise and to gather new information. Every single year I was making a plan on what were the next things for me to learn. What were the next things for me to focus on, to be able to use this knowledge as a sort of ‘jumping machine’ to the next level!
Whether it was English language, business, marketing, finance, management, working on my confidence, emotional intelligence, resilience, managing my fear or improving my communication and persuasion skills, I was learning all the time and I am still learning and this year will once again be about learning for me!
Because when you do that, when you make a decision to learn and when you decide to drive your focus into learning then some amazing things happen!
The confidence that comes from the fact that you know you can and you are in control of your own success, of your own bank of knowledge that no one will ever take away from you can be applied to any situation in your life!
That confidence that comes from dedicating yourself to learning is absolutely amazing!
My message to you today is what the life so far thought me – that committing yourself to learning will take you to places that you have never even dreamt off!
I had no idea that that’s where it would take me. I didn’t even dear to dream big!
Now I dare to dream big because I know that things like that are possible!
So for 2018, I wish you all plenty of exciting learning opportunities and the motivation and hunger to grab them like a lemon and squeeze the whole juice out to the last drop!
It will taste sweet, that I can guarantee you! 🙂