Blog Archives

Week 12: An early work challenge

Week 12 arrived and I already had a challenge scheduled in my diary for the week ahead – a person with a plan – get me!  This week my challenge was to be work related; the first work related challenge of my 52 week journey. The fact that I was able to find a work related challenge was pretty darn exciting for me.

You see, when I first made the decision to move back to the small town of my childhood I had just enough time to ponder whether (a) I would be in the town long enough to require a job; and (b) if I was going to be in town long enough to require a job, whether I would actually be able to find a job. With one of the highest unemployment rates in the state and a scarcity of jobs for which I had been accustomed, I was doubtful that I would find anything suitable in said town, let alone anything that would challenge me.

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t think I would be sticking around town long enough to require a place of work. That was a difficult realisation, because inherent in that realisation was the fact that my dad was not going to be with us for very long. So whilst I didn’t really fancy being in the town, I also didn’t fancy leaving, because of what leaving would actually mean to my family. It was a very difficult place to be in emotionally. (If you have no idea what I am talking about, you may wish to recap on why I started this challenge which you can do here).

As it turned out, one week before I was due to board the plane that would take me from my beloved London, a friend rang me to let me know about a job opportunity that had just opened up in my home town (and I would like to take a moment here to thank that friend for looking out for me – you are my guardian angel). Whilst it wouldn’t be at the same level as the jobs I held in the past, it did fit easily within my skill set and it was in the exact area of my expertise. I could not believe that my home town would have such a job available, and at the exact time that I was on the lookout for a job. It was the craziest and best coincidence I could have hoped for. In fact, no one could have written the script better for my life at that moment. To make a long story short, I applied for and got the job and started just over a month after I moved back to my home town. It was a true Hollywood storyline in real life, albeit with the main character played by me rather than Angelina Jolie.

Rightio then, now that the scene has been set, I can move on to the challenge for the week. Drum roll please [I’ll have to leave this drum roll to your imagination as I have no idea how to add sound effects to this blog]……..

My challenge for this week was to give a presentation in front of 100 of the town’s finest business men, women and Councillors. Whilst presenting in front of crowds was not a new thing for me, the time of day of the presentation certainly was. You see, I was going to give the presentation at a 6:30am breakfast function. That is where the challenge (and new experience) kicked in.

Now some of you may be thinking – so what? Why would this be a challenge? Some others, those who know me well, will be laughing their socks off (banana bean, I know you are – I can hear you from here). Because those who know me well know that this little lady is not a morning person. No siree Bob. I do not like mornings. Never have, probably never will. Whilst I can force myself out of bed for my 530am boot camp sessions 3 days a week (it helps that I always have a shot of coffee before I leave the house) that is a brand new phenomenon, and one that doesn’t require any brain power, just some strong motivation (and strong coffee).  Mornings and I…well, we have never been friends. We tolerate each other because we have to. So, for me, having to be coherent and mentally alert at 630am was going to be a challenge. But I knew that it was important for the program I was working on, and therefore I agreed that I would attend and present despite the hour of the day.

And that was how I found myself talking to the mayor of the town surrounded by a room full of people at a time when I should have been lying in bed, or rousing myself gently with a morning coffee. Ahhhhh mingling and oozing charm in high heels at 6:30am – how my life had changed!

With great thanks I gulped down the coffee and breakfast that were provided, all the while mentally coaching myself to stay awake and look alert. Then before I knew it, the time had come for my presentation. By my side was my very lovely co-presenter, and together we took to the stage to spruik our message. The presenting part was easy – after years of theatre and speech and drama lessons I was confident being in front of an audience. And thanks to the large amount of coffee I had consumed I was very much alert and able to remember all of the information that we wanted to get across. Happy days.

I can happily report that we generated a lot of attention and interest for our program; in fact, we really couldn’t have asked for a better reception. By the end of the presentation I was feeling pretty darn proud of myself for (a) being coherent at ungodly o’clock; (b) not tripping over my feet or the microphone cord; (c) not stumbling over my words; (d) remembering what it was that I had to say; (e) not falling asleep during the spiel; and (f) gaining the interest of the crowd at such an early hour of the day. And better still, the weekly challenge was completed by 745am.

I would just like to take a minute now to acknowledge my key supporter for this challenge – coffee. I really could not have completed this challenge without coffee, and I would like to say a very big thank you to coffee for all that it has given me, not just today, but over the years. I owe so much to the coffee bean, and I am just so happy to know that wherever I go, and whatever I do in life, coffee will always be right by my side, egging me on and helping me to achieve my goals and dreams. Coffee, I thank you for all of your support, and for your role in making me the person that I am today. I could not have done it without you. You are my inspiration, my motivation. Coffee – you rock my world and make me a better person.

Reflection time

So what have I learnt this week from my new experience? Well I have learnt that:

  • I can be coherent, charming and well dressed at 630am – who knew?!
  • There is a great sense of achievement in completing important work tasks before 8am.
  • When I set my mind to something, I can achieve it. Anyone can. Sometimes you may have to make sacrifices, but if you put in the effort, the rewards will come.
  • The work day is very long when it starts at the crack of dawn.
  • I may be slightly addicted to coffee.

And with that, I say farewell to another week. Until next time, remember:

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” ~ Wayne Gretzky

The project we presented

The project we presented