“If you stumble, make it part of the dance..’

Isn’t that a great quote?

Whether we admit it or not, we all stumble at some point and it won’t be a ‘one off’. As humans, we naturally take a wrong turn now and then, make assumptions and judgements which take us down the wrong path.

Even the most positive of us can sometimes feel like we’re in quicksand. No matter what we do, it feels like we’re making little progress making it easy to go on a downward spiral. However, the quicker we shake ourselves up the quicker we can get back on track.

As we come to the end of the year, I’m reminded of the amazing journey some of the people I’ve worked with have been on and continue on their chosen paths confident and empowered.

We hear often at this time of year about ‘100 Greatest Women’ and similar accolades rightly deserved. I’m reminded of some amazing people I’ve met on Growing Talent who have overcome varying barriers to reclaim their lives and move forward.

These people are a constant inspiration to me and I’m hugely proud to know them all.

Rehana – despite a tough few years, Rehana chose to return to education to qualify as a Counsellor to ensure people experiencing mental ill heath are treated with dignity and respect to experience a quicker, smoother recovery. Apart from the hours of study, pressure of exams and assessments Rehana has kept going. Always artistic, Rehana taught herself crocheting via some online videos as a distraction from studying but also to pay respect to NHS. All her crocheted animals had proper PPE masks! Not only did these make everyone smile, Rehana recognised the demand could aid payment of her course fees. So now she’s super busy and super resourceful!

Shennell – her tenacity is outstanding and inspirational to all around her. Overcoming many barriers from her teenage years, Shennell successfully secured a place on Growing Talent working with two national companies before deciding to return to Uni and secure her degrees – which she did. Despite many personal and family pressures she’s overcome it all with her focus, determination and true grit even finding time to support her church and raise money for charity through Tough Mudder challenges! She’s now about to start a career with the Civil Service who are lucky to have her kindness and empathy.

Sharlene – her untapped talent saw her embrace an alien role via Growing Talent in admin away from her creative background. Sharlene always had ideas for improvements to systems which she shared. Helping and encouraging everyone she met sharing ideas and information with all. Her boundless enthusiasm to keep pushing forward no matter what challenges were thrown at her shows Sharlene’s passion to learn and help others. Now she’s come full circle and will be one of Department of Work and Pensions new Work Coaches supporting unemployed people on their journey back to work. Difference is, Sharlene knows exactly what they are going through and how much untapped talent they have to offer.

Jane – from the early days of Growing Talent Jane’s exponential growth has been amazing to watch. During the selection process she was on, applicants had to stand and talk for 60 seconds. Unbelievably for those that know Jane – she was lost for words! but stumbled through and got offered an opportunity with a hospitality employer she’s still with today. Initially the role on offer was as a Hospitality Assistant, however, she was employed as a Supervisor on a brand new account. She’s continued to soar in confidence since then. In addition to her job, Jane’s decided to give some time to a youth charity in North London.

The inspiration I gain from people like Rehana, Shennell, Sharlene and Jane keeps pushing me to do my job. ‘Pay it forward’ is something I learned long ago and these awesome people are doing this every day.

Here’s to an awesome 2021.

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