...But necessary because if we are truly honest, we all have something to be thankful for.
As we doff off our hats to surviving an eventful year, let's realise that showing gratitude really does put everything into perspective.
This year, I have had joys and heartbreaks; successes and failures; expectations and disappointments. But I choose to be thankful for all I have experienced.
2015 has been a learning curve for me as well. It has stretched me and challenged me, but I'm still standing.
In particular, two opportunities illustrated that perseverance pays off:
1) Customised business communications training
This is how I felt when I finally took the plunge into consulting:
I delved into the unknown but successfully completed my first business communications training as a paid assignment! Now I had, in the past, written and edited pieces for friends/acquaintances, as well as offered advice for website content, etc, for free, but this opportunity was different.
I was approached by the managing partner of a respectable consulting firm, Consulting X Ltd. based in Lagos, Nigeria, who wanted me to offer a business communications training session for six employees.
After consultations, I designed and executed a training programme covering communications guidelines, email communications and a writing workshop. The training was scheduled for five hours but stretched well beyond the time frame, simply because it was so much fun! The participants were engaged and enthusiastic. I couldn't have hoped for a more committed audience.
Feedback given from the managing partner two months after the event highlighted a noticeable improvement in the writing abilities of the participants.
Such good news from a single training session!
I was elated and thankful that I was able to help promising professionals become more confident writers.
And what was the unique selling point that made the client take me seriously enough—despite the referral from a third party—to pay for my services?
Yes folks, all the hours researching, writing and mercilessly editing my articles, to churn out high-quality original content every month for over three years on this blog finally paid off.
Note that I didn't need to choke the website with annoying advertisements, pop-ups and all those popular, (albeit effective), methods of monetising blogs to get that first break; which frankly speaking, was slow in coming. Still, better late than never.
And for that I am thankful.
2) Communications coach job
I had known for a while that I needed to jump back into the employment ocean and rejoin corporateville.
Nonetheless, I was finicky about positions to consider and the companies to work for. I knew roles likely to attract me had to be communications-related. So I targeted a few companies and sent them detailed suggestions about how they could improve their communications. I also applied for a couple of positions and chased up leads. An encouraging flurry of meetings and interviews followed…then nothing.
I bided my time.
A while later, a friend told me about an opportunity for a communications coach at the Lagos Business School, a prestigious institution ranked among the top 50 business schools in the world, and the only Nigerian business school to be included in a world ranking. Although I also read that the Lagos Business School had received high ratings from the Financial Times of London, for open enrolment executive education—eight times—I was unsure that I would be a good fit.
I applied anyway and during the selection process, it became evident that knowledge gleaned from numerous articles I had written for my blog was invaluable to my portfolio. Also of relevance was the training programme I had completed months earlier for Consulting X Ltd.
I was made an offer and accepted the job. So now I am the communications coach for the MBA and executive MBA programmes. It has thus far been a baptism by fire; nevertheless a rewarding experience.
I am committed to improving the communication skills of professionals who pass through the corridors of the MBA programmes in this reputable establishment.
For this opportunity to help shape the careers of various talents, I am also truly thankful.
While being thankful for 2015 might seem pointless to those who believe that they are masters of their destinies, it is necessary for me to count my blessings and to look with hope to the future.
Being grateful for having survived another year is humbling, especially if you have overcome setbacks.
For those who have faith, knowing that God will continue to have your back is comforting, even in the face of harsh realities. You will of course need to trust Him and ask for guidance for the year ahead.
Now, as 'tis the season to be merry:
I wish all readers a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!
Happy holidays and season's greetings!
Next blog post will be in 2016.
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Need help with improving your communication skills?
Hire me for:
v Communications training sessions for your executives;
v Writing assignments (content creation, executive speeches, etc);
v Speeches and keynote presentations at your corporate events.
Let me help you get results.
A) Send an email to: Lucilleossai@gmail.com.
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Nigeria: 0704 631 0592
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N.B: First image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici; via freedigitalphotos.net. Second. third and fourth images courtesy of Stuart Miles; via freedigitalphotosm.net.