#CollectiveWisdom: The Power of Doing + Dave O’Connor

This is the first in a series of posts that will highlight the stories and experiences of members of The Collective; what they learned, what worked and what didn’t, on their own career journey and as part of the Flank 5 Academy community.

Collective Wisdom: The Power of Doing

AAEAAQAAAAAAAALuAAAAJGQ0NDFkNTRlLTJkNWQtNGYyMi1iZmUzLTU1MjlhMjkyOWRjYgDave O’Connor is an alumnus of The Collective and recently joined RIVS Digital Interviews as a Business Development Representative. You can follow him for more wisdom on Twitter at @DaveOC312.  

I recently landed a new job in a new role in a new industry. As obvious and simple as it sounds, what helped me the most was, simply, doing.

I’m contemplative by nature so thankfully the self-reflection part of career development comes naturally for me. I also learned there’s a shadow side to self-reflection. For example, I’ve used it to procrastinate, staying in discovery and analysis and not moving into action.

During this particular transition, I once heard my inner monologue say “you’re really close to nailing down your vision; once that’s settled, you can start reaching out for jobs.” It was then that I knew it was time for doing.

This time, “doing” meant:

+Gathering data to inform my vision so I could feel confident about my story and my job outreach plan.

+Getting outside my comfort zone of self-reflection.

The road to landing my new job lasted just over a year, and I must admit I can’t recall a single moment of self-reflection that yielded significant wisdom.

I do, however, remember and carry with me the wisdom gained from participating in online coding classes; making targeted and direct asks of people in my network; and interviewing for roles outside my area of expertise and comfort zone.

Perhaps self-reflection is daily exercise or practice, and doing is the main event.

At one point, I scheduled eight networking conversations and formal job interviews into four business days. I entered the fifth day with lots of tangible information about several companies and specific roles. I also benefited from the opportunity to do a comparative evaluation of all the information I gained.

Gathering this data was really important – but moving into action externally and putting the data to use is what really proved invaluable to shaping my vision and confidence internally. I am now a believer that we need to take action – within our networks, family, education, or physically – to gain more wisdom and confidence to move the needle on our career journeys.

About The Collective

A career and leadership journey is not meant to be a solo endeavor. The most fulfilling careers are built in community, with a personal board of advisors involved – asking critical questions, providing affirmation and applying pressure where needed to help you be brave, bold and inch toward mastery. The Collective is a ready-made board of advisors, led by a trained facilitator, that delivers engaging and intelligent career development strategy in a small group coaching format. Become a member of The Collective.