Since the middle of 2009 I have been visiting schools on a voluntary basis to talk about a whole range of different subjects: my work, pain, drugs, clinical trials, music.
What has become apparent is how much of the information I had thought of as specialist is applicable to students in their studies, today. It’s been a bit of a surprise rediscovery. For example, my background in clinical trials has allowed me to share a wealth of knowledge with Year 7, Year 8, Year 9, GCSE and A-Level students. What’s more, I’ve also had opportunities to provide input at higher education (degree) level.
So where does this leave me with respect to all the other activities I undertake, personally and as part of my business?
Add it to my portfolio!
What I am learning more and more is that we all have our own unique life story. No-one else can tell it: it’s ours! That story is extremely valuable to others, both in terms of our knowledge and our experience, however little we me feel we have!
When I take time to look back and look at my experiences (good and bad) I’m amazed how often the help, advice or opinion of someone else has helped, either for providing a solution or for clarifying my thinking.
Our experiences are never wasted. It is usually the bad ones we remember most and that come back to haunt us, but there are many good experiences which have etched their impact into the metal of our lives.
So, why should it be any different with our career? All of life experience is valuable for how we learn and interact with others (or don’t). If we add our total experience together, we will be amazed at what we can offer: it’s usually more than we ever realise.
After all, it’s free added value!