Updated: Aug 7
I used to have this colleague, Carol. She doesn't know this, but unwittingly she had an enormous influence on me.
You see, she did everything opposite to me. Not workwise. We were amazingly well aligned and got on really well in work.
But personally? Chalk and cheese.
Everything she did I thought of as tacky. In turn she thought of me as a spoilsport and a grumpy, joyless character (I think).
There's too many. She got married on a cruise ship. Bought a hot tub. Every Christmas she decorated her entire house with plastic backdrops of windows with snow and icicles, with burning fires and Christmas stockings. She came in one time with a coat that resembled a grizzly bear. Need I say more?
Tacky. All of it. That's what I thought. Tacky, and tasteless.
She was lovely, Carol. She probably still is.
And you know what? Whilst I didn't agree with her taste, what was infectious was her sense of joy. Her ability to enjoy life, share with others and her sense of pleasure.
So, the inevitable happened. One day I decided to bring a bit more joy into my (working) life.
I decided to volunteer to help Carol organise the office Christmas Party. (I know!)
It was everything I dreaded. Backdrops of a Christmas tree and Father Christmas. People dressing up as Christmas elves. A lady crowing about an absolute MUST-HAVE: Bucks Fizz (what IS the appeal?). Hideous Christmas games. Secret Santa. All of it.
And you know what? At one point I gave in. I started enjoying balancing on office chairs to pin the backdrop to the walls. I was the person making people play the games. I think I even had a glass of Bucks Fizz (seriously, what IS the appeal?).
What am I trying to tell you with all of this?
If you don't try something you don't know what it's like.
If you don't experiment and do something (way!) outside your comfort zone, you don't know if you'll enjoy it.
If you don't get involved and instead stand on the sidelines, you won't get the same enjoyment.
As someone (Brene Brown?) said:
You've got to be in the ring, not just shout from the sidelines.
It goes for everything. And most importantly, it goes for changing your career too.
You've got to try things out. You've got to get involved. You've got to get talking. And most of all, you've got to play.
You might hate it. You might LOVE it. Both of which are great news.
But what is more important is that you get out of your comfort zone. That you're doing something you may otherwise never have done. You're meeting people you'd otherwise never have met up with.
And, who knows, you might even find an appetite for Bucks Fizz. Although THAT, my friends, is very unlikely.
Tineke Tammes is an ICF credentialed Career Coach, who supports professional women in making successful transitions to careers of Freedom, Flexibility and Fulfilment! Besides that she is also a lifelong feminist, part-time portrait artist, never-only-read-one-book-at-any-time reader, and obsessive doodler. Oh, and she knows a bit about change management too.