Tag: #personaldevelopment

Making Sense of 2021

Building a narrative over a full year is usually tough. I often forget most of what I did towards the beginning of the year. This year is particularly troublesome, as post-March 2020 and 2021 melded together as one relentless monotony. Pre-pandemic life feels a distant memory, with our changes to lifestyle and work now feeling […]

Taking time to develop our writing skills

The word ‘writing’ suggests an artistic craft which only authors do. Yet every day we type emails, comment on posts and message our friends. With the boom of internet communication we are spending more time writing. However, we spend very little time actively developing how we write.

With my recent focus upon blogging, I realised that I had fallen into this trap. It has been years since I reflected on my writing style, and how I could improve, which for someone writing a blog on personal development, it is not the best example to set!

Why did I decide to start a podcast?

Last month, I listened to an interview with Lucy Gourlay, a coach who had started a podcast called ‘Lucy Loves’ over the last year. She detailed her trials and tribulations of whether to start it or not, and how it had since become a key part of what she does, ultimately supporting her business.
Fast forward a few weeks, I found myself releasing my first ever podcast episode, in a whirlwind journey of setting up tech, deciding on a name/concept and finding a first interviewee. So what pushed me to make the decision of starting ‘Behind the Suit and Tie’?

Why I chose to leave my government career

In the last few weeks, I’ve connected with a number of individuals interested in knowing more about what it’s like to leave the UK Civil Service. So I thought it might be an interesting chance to write about why I chose to leave, what opportunities lie elsewhere and some of the issues I have had to face in doing so.

I’m going to talk about my own experience particularly working as an official in the UK government. Nonetheless, many of the points here will likely be relevant to anyone who is currently finding themselves interested in their next move, particularly so if you are either feeling a little stuck or in need of a new challenge.

How I prepared for big changes in my life

I’ve been on my own personal rollercoaster this month. I’ve just finished moving countries during a pandemic, where I returned to my flat in London that I haven’t been in for over a year.
In total, I’ve taken 6 PCR tests (all negative!), completed two separate quarantines, moved out of a flat and signed my contract for my new job after having finished my final day in the last one.
I wanted to write a little bit about how I prepared for this pretty grueling few weeks. Ahead of time, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to my month of July due to these reasons. I’ve made life-changing decisions in an intense time pressure, all the while worrying that one positive COVID test would through all my moving-out plans out of the window. Such decisions aren’t easy at the best of times, but they are even more complicated during a worldwide pandemic.

Understanding ourselves during the rollercoaster of lockdown

The lockdown has been a tough journey. For some of us, it has meant the difficulty of losing loved ones and not being able to grieve as we normally would. For others, it has meant homeschooling and juggling job responsibilities. Some of us are worried about protecting our more vulnerable friends and family, meaning we haven’t been able to visit them in quite some time.

For better or for worse, I’ve learnt a lot more about my own trigger points and warning signs internally. For me, I tend to be a lot more disorganised with my thoughts, often interrupting myself mid-speech when I am overwhelmed.

What have you learnt about yourself during the pandemic?

Building More Gratitude in our Daily Lives

In my previous team, we spent every morning listing three things we were grateful for. We would go around in a circle (which turned virtual as the Pandemic hit) listing one thing each, patiently waiting until someone had something to say.

Whether it was having a nice coffee break, relaxing in the evening to a nice meal, catching up with a long-lost friend, spending time with the kids or simply the sun coming out in the morning, we started verbalising these positive moments far more than we ever would have done otherwise.

Why Authenticity is key for our success

I really believe in the importance of helping others and supporting individuals on their own journey. This led me first into working in Government, then into Diversity and Inclusion work, and most recently into coaching.
One of my initial blockers was whether I would come across cheesy, or insincere.

The answer for me was bringing a higher level of authenticity into what I say. I post things that I think will be genuinely helpful for people, and that I actually believe. After all, how can I give advice to anyone if I don’t believe it myself?

Do you know what your personal strengths are?

Think of someone you know well and have seen a lot of over a long period of time. Take a few moments to think about what their relative qualities are. What skills do they have, and what are their personal qualities that are their greatest strengths?
But what if we’re not talking about someone else – what if we are talking about you? Do you know what your own strengths are?