Sunday, August 7, 2011

Opportunities to learn and develop yourself can arise in many different forms

Some months ago a good friend asked if I would like to help her out at a Trade Fair in Melbourne, I was keen to familiarise myself with her new product range and an opportunity to spend a couple of nights in Melbourne with good friends, I said "Sure, that sounds like fun.".

When it came time to go, I struggled in more ways than one, I had to drop everything at work, and we are so busy, I had to leave the family (who were very understanding) and it took half a day to get there and half a day to get back, but sometimes the things that are the most challenging are the most worthwhile.
My trip down to Melbourne was exciting, with my backpack filled, I caught a bus to the train which took me to the airport to catch a plane, then I caught a cab to arrive at my destination. It took nearly every mode of transport to get me to the Exhibition Centre in Carlton, Melbourne. I felt like I was 25 years old again trekking around the country, however on the trip home it was clear that I am not 25 years old any more.
So, what did I learn and how did I develop?

I learned that people are the same no matter what industry you are in. People want to be engaged and interact.
I wanted to challenge myself with something new to remember that feeling of uncertainty in my skills, as you are when you are introduced to a new industry. I spend so much of my time as a trainer, reassuring learners and telling new job-starters that it will take a while to learn everything and feel confident. You see the uncertainty in their eyes and your words of reassurance seem to wash over them with no effect, well that uncertainty was in my eyes on Thursday morning as I prepared to throw myself in the deep end and answer questions and take orders on a product range that I was not fully familiar with. But, as I suspected, the challenge of something new was invigorating and  there is nothing better than 2 days at a trade show to familiarise yourself with a product range. I am very grateful to my friend who trusted me in her new business and I will go back to work and be able to confidently say, "I know how you feel and it will get easier".

Life Instyle is an amazing trade show and it was fabulous to be around beautiful products of such high quality and brilliant design, from bags and jewellery and clothes to toys and ceramics. It was just a shame I couldn't spend a small fortune.
See the fabulous products that I got to know over the last few days at Ornamenta and Heaven in Earth

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have a natural ability to adapt and an easy manner to engage with. You may have been thrown int the deep end but you swam gracefully.
We could not achieved what we did without you. Each show for us is new and a growing experience. Your advice was taken with thanks and we all enjoyed seeing you so much. I hope you it proved interesting to you and helped you bound back into your real work!