Do you have no idea what comes next?

(And think you should know how to figure it out?)

by Lisa Vermaak

Director of Operations at Huddle



Do you have no idea what comes next? (and think you should know how to figure it out?)

I’ve been doing this life thing for a little while, and I’ve started to realise I’ve figured some stuff out. If my hair’s looking a bit out of shape and my dark roots are starting to peep through my expensively acquired blonde rest of my hair, I know hairdressers are the people that take care of that. They’ve trained for a few years; they understand what looks good on one person and doesn’t on another and they have special scissors as well. So, if my hair is scruffy or could be improved that’s who I’ll go and see (with that one exception when I was in the UK in lockdown and had to cut my own hair). 

Consult a professional.

Or for example, I’m not good with cars and if there’s oil pouring out of the underneath of my car somewhere, off to the mechanic I go. This guy or girl has trained in knowing about all of those mysterious moving things under the bonnet where I only venture if I need to refill the windscreen cleaning thingy. Same goes for when all off my photos disappear from my computer as I’m showing them to someone - I’ll be hotfooting it down to the Apple Store quicker than you can say Genius Bar. 

But somehow if you’re a seasoned executive who has been in a management position, exposed to resumes, coached and managed teams, dressed for important meetings and eaten tuna salad every single day of your professional career, we imagine that these things make us the expert in assessing our own professional capabilities and potential. Not only do we think we can do this, we think we should be able to because of all the exposure to it. I can tell you, sitting in a hairdresser’s chair for longer than I’ll ever admit to has helped me with some blow-drying tips but I’d never attempt, or think I could or even should attempt to create the same blonde highlights and evenly cut hair as my hairdresser does. Leave some things to the actual professionals, I say.

Part of it is understanding they have the training. And part of it is also understanding that just because you’ve seen it done to other people or you’ve been in meetings where it’s been done, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to reposition yourself in the way a professional resume writer would. Or give yourself the best assessment of your own strengths, capabilities and ability to turn your view slightly to the left or right as a professional Executive Coach would. In order to reinvent yourself, you need to do something differently than you know how to do. As Henry Ford said, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.”

Many people want and/or need to reinvent themselves in the second chapter of their lives and yes it can be terrifying. That’s why we need to trust people who are skilled in helping us change our view of ourselves – internally and externally. Professionals who can teach us to talk about ourselves in a different way. For example to begin with, an Executive Coach can identify why you’re stuck and reorientate your direction. They can dig deeper into who you really are and what you really want in an objective way so even you can’t argue with yourself. Yes, it’s challenging and confronting but it will change the next part of your life.

All of us know where to go for help with many areas in our life that we’re not qualified for. The same goes for figuring out the huge conundrum of what we’re going to do for the next thirty years of our lives when we’ve already had thirty years doing something else. Perhaps this feeling that we should know what to do but actually don’t is the very thing that paralyses us. We can’t go back but we’re not going forward. Allowing a professional team to take on the task of finding out want you’re great at and what makes your heart sing may be the most valuable thing you’ve ever done. Certainly more valuable than all the money I’ve spent on my trips to the hairdresser and the car mechanic, that’s for sure.

Photo by Mag Pole on Unsplash

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