Spoken by The Tribe: Adventures of a Personal Kind.

Introspection doesn’t sit comfortably with people, I know. We just don’t sit around and talk about ourselves. Narcissism, self absorption and touchy-feely hippy crap are words which are all too easily bandied about. And so it was with some level of underlying reticence that many of us signed up to TheEscapeTribe, and even more that we attended our first weekend of workshops.

What we learned though, was the undisputed value of knowing ourselves. That before we launch ourselves on the world of work we need to know what that world should look like for each of us. And that we should have a values compass to guide us on the mission of getting there. After all, we are each undeniably unique, and we have all already acknowledged that the one size fits all approach of the traditional corporate world isn’t working for us.

Last weekend’s 4 sessions neatly segmented the task of exploring our metaphorical box rooms, and provided multiple tools to assist us in doing it.

Rikke Hansen taught us what it means to be unapologetically ourselves, through which lens we defined our career likes and dislikes, and identified the skills, gifts and strengths that we most identified with and which might be our unique contribution to the world.

Jules Evans convinced us to quiet our sabotaging self-talk and to stoically accept that we might not change the world (though we can have a damned good go). Charly Cox shared her adaptation of the Golden Circles model and the power of Why: using our personal values to inspire action, and provide a scaffold for the How and What of our future careers.

Finally Rob Archer introduced us to our ‘inner chimp’ and provided us with the skills we need to be resilient and psychologically flexible throughout our career change journey and beyond. Here’s what the fruits of the weekend’s labour looked like for me…

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Just as importantly, we learned the value of our Tribe. A group of non-judgmental, kind, and sincere people sharing a difficult yet exciting journey, full of hope (and providing wine and wise words along the way).

So was the weekend as painful as expected? Well yes, there were definitely moments of pain, interspersed with moments of discovery and even more of fun. But it was pain of the cathartic, releasing variety. Pain which feels like it’s making you much stronger. And pain soothed by amazing food, lots of coffee and new friends. In fact it almost felt like pleasure. Almost.

Here are some of the key takeaways the Tribe generated in our following Tuesday meet-up:

  1. We should be kinder and more honest with ourselves.
  2. Working in ‘Tribe accountability’ groups makes us more motivated to take action.
  3. ‘Values mining’ is an ongoing and difficult task but acknowledging our values helps us begin to identify our mission, its purpose and the direction it might take.
  4. In looking for a possible future role it’s more important to identify the ingredients we would like it to include (and not) than to identify a role and try to fit ourselves into it. In doing this some of us have realised that it might be more who we are working with than what we are actually doing that we need to change.
  5. Inward reflection is helpful and cathartic albeit sometimes painful. Sharing the resulting thoughts adds even more value to the process.
  6. We LOVE the pomodoro.
  7. And finally…Live life as if everything is rigged in your favour – Rumi.

This is a guest post by Charlotte Maddrell, from our Escape Tribe. After nine long years Charlotte decided a lifelong career at the Ministry of Defence wasn’t enough. We’re thrilled to be sharing this new adventure with her.  

For more information on The Escape Tribe, click here.

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