One of the things I decided to do as I began exploring the concept of career resilience was to begin collecting stories from people about how they've applied the 4 patterns of reslience (Clarifying, Connecting, Creating and Coping) to their own work lives.
To that end, I put out a call on my social networks for volunteers who were willing to share their stories and one of the first people I heard back from was Sheri Ponzi, an artist, teacher and guide running several online programs.
As part of my plan to continue stretching myself, we decided to get together for a Google Hangout interview to talk about Sheri's career path and her experiences in developing resilience through the "4 C's." Although there were some audio issues (for which I apologize) Sheri's story is really instructive for those of us looking to develop our own career resilience.
For me, there were a few key takeways from the discussion:
- Sheri's "career crisis" came about in part because she had stopped paying attention to the 4 patterns and they basically caught up with her. This to me is more evidence that we need to work with these patterns on a regular basis.
- Sheri has made particularly strong use of the Connecting pattern, both as a way for her to develop her own personal resilience, but also as a career/business strategy. Her online courses bring together several instructors, each of whom contribute their own particular assets to the projects. Sheri is making it win/win for everyone. This idea of looking at how to build relationships and collaborate with others as being key to resilience is something I talked about in my recent post on limiting beliefs and Sheri's experience reinforced its importance to me.
- Connecting can also be a powerful way to help other people develop their own patterns of resilience. Sheri talks about how by bringing people together for her online course, she's now seeing them go off to teach courses on their own. A lovely virtuous cycle.
- Sheri has made great use of the Clarifying pattern, too, focusing on her own strengths and assets and then looking at how she could use technology and her connections to create her own employment opportunities. Her's is an excellent example of how all of these patterns can interact together to synthesize the right option for you.
- Sometimes you have clarity, but you need courage to take the next step. For many people, courage is forced upon us when we have to face a huge challenge in our lives. But if you meet the challenge head-on, with clarity, then you can create something that's amazing.
Talking with Sheri and hearing her story was a really powerful lesson for me. Hopefully it will help you learn more about resilience too.