There are plenty of programs for students to learn more about career choices and industries in their field (think internships and co-ops). Why do businesses stop doing that for experienced people?
What if you could build a bootcamp / externship-type program for your business where you bring in talent from other industries to work in your space for a while? What if you could even do this between the different groups within your company?
Do you think skills you have from working in one industry could be useful in another? There’s an easy way to find out once you find a company with this type of program embedded in the organization.
How else could you benefit from the knowledge someone else has in another field?
I love going to spas. No, not the kind that are advertised in the back of local newspapers, but the real kind that are luxurious retreats from the outside world. Periodically being in a place that is specifically geared towards helping me relax and recharge while being extremely comfortable is as close to perfection as possible: fluffy robes, soft towels, salt rooms, wet and dry saunas, different temperature hot tubs that get hotter and hotter, cold plunge pools, lounge chairs, hot towels for your face, rainfall shower heads…
When you’re immersed in the spa those features may seem like they’re geared for your body, but it’s your mind that is getting a radical change of pace as well.
Imagine if you could use that different mindset for your work. How about integrating some elements of the spa into where and how you get work done?
Introducing the Work Spa.
Much of today’s most important work (if not all) involves creativity. The Work Spa is about being in an environment, periodically, that enhances your creativity while also being conducive to getting work done–if you want.
Could you be more effective immediately after a series of hot and cold plunges in the different pools? Would you stimulate a latent part of your brain and be able to better solve problems because you’ve never tried to find a solution while you’re sitting around in a robe and towel surrounded by eucalyptus steam?
There are plenty of movies where the two power brokers in some financial transaction go into a steam room, so let’s take that idea to the current times.
A simple start would be putting wi-fi and laptop lockers in existing spas and having a section where the keyboard clicking wouldn’t interfere with the silent portion. What else would your ideal work spa have?
Are you taking the right risks in order to progress your career and your opportunity for learning?
When looking back at your career, can you remember the times where you were nervously excited because of a decision you had to make? Originally, I was going to call this post “measuring your career by gut wrenching moments” but I wanted to make the clear distinction between the negative insinuation of gut-wrenching vs. the positive excitement of nervousness, even though the right level of nervousness can still make your stomach churn.
When I’ve switched roles in my career I experienced a wide range of nervous excitement that occurred with every opportunity–all the way from zero to that feeling you get when you are sitting in the first car of a roller coaster and are about to take off.
Looking back, I can say that the times where I’ve had the highest levels of nervous excitement are the opportunities that generally led me to places of great learning and growth.
At first, it was hard to make decisions that generated a positive uneasy feeling. That feeling made me question the opportunity and take a harder look. Over time–thanks to the impact, learning, and growth from those decisions–I’ve learned to embrace that feeling and take it as a good sign.
Secondly, I examine what it is about certain activities, jobs, or project opportunities that generates that feeling, compared to the seemingly same activities or opportunities that don’t give me that feeling so I can be more aware of what motivates and interests me. It’s interested to discover which opportunities initially interest me vs. ones that don’t. I’m learning more about what drives me and where I can have the most impact.
So, how many times have you been nervously excited by an opportunity? How did it turn out? Even if it didn’t work out great, did the learning from that help in the long run? Could you base your next career move off of what scares you?