Career Coaching: Contributing. I have become involved in collaboration with a heart-based organisation. This is SO good for refocusing my intent.
“ Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”JFK
Similarly, ask not what this job, organisation, or course can do you too, ask what you can do for them. I’m not talking about getting caught the volunteering-trap. Whilst volunteering is a fabulous and essential part of our human ecosystem, too much for too long can, in the end, lead to resentment. The contribution I’m exploring is that which you can bring naturally. The contribution that barely costs you as it is part of the very fabric of who you are.
I have seen so many examples of this in the past few months. The musician who enabled me to access my grief, the neighbours with whom we share childcare, the wisdoms that seem obvious to me about behaviour. patterns that no longer serve people that I can offer up. The man who has initiated BrightSkys because he was seeking community for himself and that has met such a need in the world. It is literally moving like wildfire through the business community. Those people who will house sit whilst I’m abroad when my cats will be happy and my friends will have roof over their heads. There is something important about seeking those meeting places where it’s a win for all who are involved.
To do this takes risk: It takes showing up and saying ‘I’ve got this, does anyone need it”. Inherent in that offer is, of course, the risk of the echoing silence of “no takers”. However, we cannot let our fear of such a rejection cannot get in the way of our contributing. Making caontribution is how we belong. When we have contributed we also gain the deep-seated permission to receive. The reality is, that if we offer something up, a skill, a personal attribute or a piece of knowledge then somebody will usually find a use for it. The best bit about that is that in using ‘it’ and receiving appreciation for ‘it’ we grow stronger and more adept both at that thing and in strengthening our connections and belonging. What happens as a result is that our self-confidence and our self-esteem rises.
In order to do this, however, you might need to have a little explore of who you are in order to find those unique ways of yours that serve others and that don’t compromise you.
Try this: list 30 of your skills, personal attributes, and your knowledge on a bit of paper. Yes, it’s a stretch, however, it’s well worth doing. Then you know what you can bring. Then all you need to do is to choose where to use it. That can be life-changing. Feed the thing you want instead of focusing on what you don’t and you can transform your world, merely by benefitting others. Right, I’m off to offer up some clinic supervision in service of a cause I really believe in. What can you contribute?