By Danielle Golinski, Career Advising Fellow
This past weekend was Thanksgiving (can you say a wicked fast 4 day mini-vacation), and I spent the extended weekend with my roommate and her family. It was relaxing, rejuvenating and filled with lots of laughs, perfectly timed for the last two weeks before I depart home (New Hampshire) for the holiday break. I also jumped on a pogo stick for the first time in about 15 years, and it was absolutely thrilling. Just like riding a bicycle, it came right back, after a few trials and wobbles, I was soon quickly pogoing as I did when I was 10 years old. Initially unsteady and nervous, teetering and balancing at best with one foot on the pogo and one on the pavement, I gradually stepped up the challenge from doing one pogo, growing my confidence, and then trying again and doing a second round of successful pogos before falling off. Before I knew it, I was pogoing with one hand, showing off my newest talent to the approving audience (a small, but engaging 3 member audience). Putting the pogo stick back in its resting place, I gently stretched out my quads, using muscles that I haven’t used in quite some time. It reminded me of the gently aging process, putting a smile on my face and reflecting upon childhood and the many of hours spent in my driveway playing and pogoing to my heart’s content.
What have you done recently (either personally or professionally) that encouraged you to step outside of your comfort zone? Were you initially hesitate and unsure of yourself? After you tried, no matter how small of a try, did you completely fall over or did you wobble? Were you able to steady yourself and get back up on your feet and try again? When you tried again, did the world look on and watch? Did you eventually succeed? Did you see yourself grow, either personally or professionally, from this experience? Have you reflected upon this experience? If not, it is never too late to get started!
As I give presentations on the topic of interviewing, I always remind students that interviewing is a skill and that it takes practice. A point that I emphasize is that of reflection after the interview. What went well? What was challenging? Where did you see yourself really making the connections and being concise and clear? What stories did you tell that were strong? What questions caught you off guard? How can you improve for next time? I have found myself reflecting after each presentation I give, after every interaction to encourage me to learn from that experience and grow. A time spent without reflection, is a time spent without learning from potentially educationally stimulating opportunities. I have found the reflections in my day-to-day happenings, meaningful and essential to growth. Reflecting and taking the opportunity to step outside your comfort zone, whether it be personally or professionally, can offer great opportunity and smiles, even if it is as simple as jumping on a pogo and feeling like you can conquer the world.