As someone who has worked in corporate social innovation and with internal change agents for over 6 years, the high number of talented professionals I've witnessed quitting their jobs is incredibly worrying.
Taking action to change our businesses and organisations for good from the inside out is important work. In my opinion, it’s an absolute necessity if we have any hope of addressing the social and environmental concerns we face as a humans living in harmony with other species and our planet.
The thing is, while most of us actively choose to be internal change agents because we're intrinsically motivated to have careers that feel meaningful and impactful, we're also human. Therefore, its no wonder we daydream about what life would be like if we pursued a more traditional career path.
There are so many reasons why our jobs are tough. Corporate inertia, manager's and colleague's who don't understand us, silos, broken communication… I could go on and on with this list of very real challenges.
What intrigues me is how rarely we openly speak constructively about how these challenges impact us personally and how we can solve them. Sure, we’ve all found ourselves "chatting" to colleagues over an after-work drink about how we feel like we are all alone in our missions, with little support internally, but how often do these conversations leave us feeling uplifted and ready to seize the day?
What starts off as little niggles – “Is this really worth it?”, “Will they really change?”, “Can I have more impact if I leave?”, “Will I be happier doing something else?” – can spiral into internal hurricanes of doubt and confusion.
There are so many websites and blogs available to us that keep us locked into this way of thinking as well. They preach to us how much better life can be if we become entrepreneurs, take time off to travel, go work in the field, or any one of the many other solutions touted to us that sound way more appealing especially after we’ve hit yet another internal roadblock.
Sadly, the typical result is decreased effectiveness, unhappiness, and a single-minded course of action involving two words: “I quit!”
Sure, sometimes the right solution is to quit. But not always.
As a coach for social intrapreneurs, entrepreneurs and other sustainability professionals, I’m dedicated to ensuring my clients are making decisions based on a deep level of self-awareness. They learn to really understand what is going on with themselves, and therefore what actions they can take in order to achieve their professional and personal goals.
And I can completely relate. Years ago I was a social intrapreneur at Virgin. I know now that I unfortunately didn’t gain those deeper, richer insights into myself. If I had, like my clients do, I would have been able to overcome even more of the roadblocks and challenges I faced, and achieved my professional goals even quicker.
Adopting a proactive strategy to address our little niggles before they become hurricanes of doubt and confusion will mean that fewer of us end up feeling like quitting is our only option. Plus day-to-day work will feel even more satisfying, and you may even have a bigger bounce in your step!
This is why I've partnered with Business Fights Poverty to help shed light on this critical aspect of an intrapreneur's journey – personal resilience.
Please join me as I explore through blog posts different stories, thought-provoking ideas, and practical personal development activities.
Some examples include:
+ The power of reframing. This technique is often a winner with my clients as it helps individuals look at their situation in a new light, often leading them to turn problems become opportunities.
+ Blocking out temptation. Getting to the heart of your motivations and goals, and creating techniques to stay focused, is essential to keeping you on an impactful path.
+ Staying energised when you feel all alone. I’ll share ways to stay self-motivated and focused when you feel the impact of being surrounded by nay-sayers and apathetic status quo lovers.
If reading this has struck a chord with you, and you have a few minutes to spare, I would love to hear from you. Maybe you want to share your story, or how you stay resilient or you have a burning question you want help answering… Feel free to share this in the comments section down below, or message me directly at heidi at heidikikoler.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
This is part of a series on Intrapreneurship and Personal Resilience, authored by Heidi Kikoler.
Heidi Kikoler is a Resilience and Effectiveness Coach for Internal Change Agents. Having been a social intrapreneur herself at Sir Richard Branson’s corporate foundation, she is uniquely placed to understand the mindset and unique challenges faced by employees seeking greater meaning in their work, and those on a mission to change their businesses and organisations into forces for good from the inside out. She has spent over 6 years working with social intrapreneurs, innovators, corporate responsibility professionals, and third-sector employees. She applies proven personal development and coaching techniques to help change agents find solutions to the challenges they face in staying effective, resilient, and feeling fulfilled. Heidi regularly explores this often unspoken, but incredibly important area, in her blog We Are Good Rebels.
She is an advisor to the League of Intrapreneurs, and a member of The International Coach Federation and The Human Agency. Heidi has honed her niche skillset in, and deepened her passion for coaching, social intrapreneurship, and corporate social innovation through working closely with many leading thinkers, brands, and change agents, including: The University of Oxford, Virgin Unite, Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Atlantic, The League of Intrapreneurs, Ashoka, Shell, BP, Imaginals, and Burton Snowboard’s Chill Foundation.
She has trained with Coaching Development in London, earned a MSc from Oxford in Environmental Change and Management, and a BBA from the Schulich School of Business in Toronto, Canada.
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