Nadja Conaghan is a trained psychologist, coach, facilitator and resilience champion. Nadja is the founder of Great Minds United where she helps individuals and teams perform to their full potential along with helping build resilience and productivity.
Here are Nadja’s Top 5 Pearls of Wisdom:
#1 Pace yourself – you have time.
We live in very fast paced world – everything needs to happen now and according to our schedules. We tend to set ourselves very ambiguous and unrealistic schedules about our career and life; and often we compare ourselves to others who seem to be ahead of the game. Time (or the feeling not having enough time) is one of the biggest stressors in our society. The irony is that when you are stressed about time, you cannot think clearly and don’t use your time effectively and are at risk of burnout and compromising on your (mental) health. Take the time that you need and don’t forget to recharge. Life is a marathon not a sprint. Enjoy the journey and do not use up all your resources at the beginning.
#2 Be mindful of your priorities and watch your work-life balance.
There will be times in your life where your career is your top priority – this is especially true for most who start their career. Be mindful of what your priority is and why – which helps you to keep focused, motivated and resilient in adversity. At the same time keep an eye on the other areas of your life – e.g. (mental and physical) health and personal relationships – to ensure that you do not neglect them and permanently damage these areas for your career. The Wheel of Life is a great tool that may help you to reflect on your priorities and create a balanced life.
#3 Embrace your imperfections and seek learning opportunities.
If you do something for the first time, it is okay and totally normal to be not perfect. Indeed, no-one expects you to be and often we are our harshest and biggest critic. Be kind to yourself when you face setbacks. Reflect on your “failures” by seeing the lessons and actively seek opportunities to grow and learn. Practising self-compassion and a personal growth mindset are typical for resilient people.
#4 Stay curious, open-minded and flexible.
Be curious and open-minded and genuinely interested in others and what they do and the different ways of doing things. When you are too focused on a specific career path, you may miss out on opportunities and fun. If you always go the straight path and never explore what is around, you may resent your career and others who are happier and have more opportunities. I found that every little detour made sense to me looking back and got me on the path that is meant for me. I am not saying that you should not pursue your dreams – quite the opposite. What I ask of you is to keep an open mind and be flexible, especially when things are difficult when we try to achieve our goals. Being flexible and open-minded will help you to see alternatives and opportunities rather than obstacles, find solutions and overcome adversity – i.e. be resilient.
#5 Find and seek advice from your mentors.
I am a big believer that you cannot do everything on your own and that your support network – be it your colleagues, family and community – is your biggest resource and the key for your success and being resilient. Especially for your career and life in general, mentors are so valuable. In hindsight, I had many great and inspiring (mostly informal) mentors who supported me throughout my life, helped me to see a different perspective and shared their life lessons with me, so I don’t make the same mistakes. One piece of advice I got when I started my career was that the way I show up in the first few days in a new job, determines how I will be perceived and treated by others. If you are the first and last in the office, your boss and colleagues expect that you are always available and work long hours.
Nadja consistently puts out great content on her LinkedIn profile. I recommend you connect with her here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nadja-conaghan-resilience/