Thursday, 10 September 2009

Climbing the right ladder - Bloom's 2nd anniversary

We're now entering our third year of business. For a brand new company doing innovative things in the world's biggest recession (TM), we think this is an achievement to be proud of. More importantly, we've delivered great results for a wide range of both organisations and individuals, and we've worked with great people along the way.

We believe our two operating principles of being evidence-based and remarkable have never been more important. We think being independent and values-driven allows us to focus on delivering what our clients want, not what we think they want. We also think that psychology is relevant to many - if not most - of the problems that people face on a day to day basis. So, to put it midly, we're feeling optimistic about the future.

Even better, on a personal level we are now doing what we set out to do. Life feels very different when you use your strengths every day, and you suddenly realise you're actually quite good at your job. It's even more of a shock when you start to - whisper it - enjoy it. It's been difficult to get to this point, but there's never been the feeling that this was the wrong goal in the first place. After all that time in the stats lab, that comes as quite a relief.

Talking of which, yesterday I picked up my Masters' degree at Goldsmiths. All my old classmates were there, full of energy and busy making their way in the world. It was great to see and excellent to see our lecturers there too. I'll always be grateful to have been a part of a group of such bright and welcoming people.

I've got two requests:

1. Keep in touch. We built something remarkable during our course and we can use our network to help each other in future. Don't rely on anyone else - write the email, attend reunions, ask for help and offer help.

View Rob Archer's profile on LinkedIn

2. Think about what you actually want. If there's one lesson that I have learnt it is that climbing the ladder is not the problem. Although new projects feel difficult at the start (stats coursework anyone?), almost always you will succeed in what you set out to do. The same will go for your careers.

The difficult part is finding the right ladder to climb in the first place. I climbed a ladder only to find it was the wrong one all along. And believe me, starting all over again isn't easy.

You can avoid this by taking some time now to think about what you are uniquely placed to do, and what sort of cause you want to put your strengths in the service of. Now's the time to look ahead and to think strategically about the sort of life you want to build.

Don't make the mistake of living someone else's life, or get fixated with climbing the rungs of the ladder. Instead, focus on what you want the world to look like once you reach the top.

1 comment:

Tina said...

Rob, as one of your fellow travellers during our year in Goldsmiths, thanks for taking the time to write this. Our network is invaluable and we are already proving to be of great help to each other - as evidenced by my plea for help re Emotional Intelligence last week :)

I noticed you included a link to your LinkedIn profile - an implicit endorsement from you I guess. Can I make that explicit?! LinkedIn is a brilliant way of staying in touch – and a great way of extending your network through contacts of your immediate network. Again, referring back to my requirement to find out more about Emotional Intelligence and EQi in particular, I found a contact of one of my contacts via LinkedIn who’s an EQi practioner and met up with him this afternoon to find out more about this topic.

I echo your sentiments about how wonderful it was to catch up with everyone at our graduation. It's so exciting to hear about what everyone is doing - whether that's starting out in a first career - or re-inventing oneself to start a new career. Re ladders - I think that regardless of which ladder one chooses (or finds oneself climbing almost before realising one has made a ladder choice!) there are invaluable lessons to be learnt. Even finding out that the ladder you choose was the wrong one is still a valuable lesson - don't we sometimes we find out what we really like/want by first discovering what we really dislike/don't want?

My year at Goldsmiths was challenging and enjoyable - and hopefully my new reinvented career will be the same!