Playing to your strengths
The Man Who Shot Tutankhamun; what a great title for a documentary!
Was this some new theory about his death, I thought? (It was late and I’d had a long day, in my defence) but no, it turned out to be a fascinating programme presented by the wonderful Margaret Mountford about Harry Burton, the photographer ‘whose images of the Tutankhamun excavation created a global sensation in the 1920s’.
I could do that!
As Margaret and present day photographer Harry Cory Wright were exploring the technique of glass plate photography I thought (as I always do) ‘I could do that, I’d like to have a go’ but was stopped in my tracks by Margaret’s accurate announcement that ‘this is no job for the impatient’.
Oh, yes, I’d forgotten about my massive lack of patience in certain circumstances; in this case, I have no doubt I would have ended up with a blurred, half developed monstrosity (with sand in it). It being National Careers Week, it got me thinking about choosing a job which makes the most of your skills (after all, I can spend hours crafting a blog or script until it is ‘perfect’ with infinite patience…)
Last week I was lucky enough to have a student spend the week doing work experience with me. I was incredibly flattered and honoured that Lucy had chosen me as her placement but also slightly worried that I would struggle to find enough interesting work to keep her occupied.
Spring forward a week and I’m still in awe of what we managed to achieve in the week she was here; she taught me focus, perseverance, attention to detail and of course, how to use YouTube correctly (she is 15, I am 43, enough said)
I ‘interviewed’ Lucy at the end of the week to assess what we’ve taken away from this experience. For Lucy, she gained confidence in her own ideas, learned about networking and presenting to a room, an enhanced knowledge of certain technology and was confident that she was able to bring me ideas from a younger perspective through her social media skills. I realised that I am good at what I am good at, could improve in some areas, and will always have something new to learn. Lucy is thinking of a career in social media marketing, I am thinking that I’d love to have a 15-year-old working with me full time!
The point is that can’t do everything yourself, and playing to your strengths will pay off. However you shouldn’t stop trying, failing and learning (maybe I’ll have a go at the glass plate photography after all).
And as we all know, if you find a job you really love which puts your skills to good use, then it doesn’t really seem like work at all.
Here’s what Lucy helped to produce last week; take a look at the fruits of our labour!