Age is Just a Number

Age is Just a Number

Jean Fuller

Jean Fuller

Resource Manager, EMEA

After twenty-five years working at IBM, I retired with a wealth of skills and experience and nowhere to go. Several months later, after hours of dog walking, housework, and coffee mornings, I thought “is this it?!”

Just as despair was beginning to set in, I received a call from Andy Patterson, my old boss at IBM, enquiring if I was interested in returning to the workforce and joining Arcadia Consulting. Eureka! A purpose again, return to work.

Ten years on, Arcadia Consulting has grown beyond all expectation, and I continue to be an integral member of their workforce. What I’m simply trying to say is…no matter what age, you are important and have a valuable contribution to make to the growth of our economy.

Arcadia has embraced the true meaning of ‘diversity’, where you don’t have to be at the beginning of your career, young and ambitious to be able to become a valued member of a successful team.

Real ‘diversity’ though isn’t about recruiting lots of different people. It’s about giving that diverse group a real sense of belonging and ‘belonging’ in a business demands a culture that respects everyone’s contribution, skills, perspectives and lets them flourish, speak out and challenge how things are done.

Some might call that psychological safety, I would call it caring, showing interest, being inclusive, collaboration and just teamwork.

I no longer feel part of an ‘invisible’ community that you join after reaching a certain age, but a valued member of a thriving successful team of amazing colleagues.

So, what’s in a number? Don’t let age be an obstacle that prevents you from tapping into all of the skills and experiences that you are capable of.

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A Better Me

A Better Me

Sharon Chow

Sharon Chow

Client Services Administrator, APAC

Jumping out of my comfort zone required courage. My desire to be a role model to my daughter and ensure she grows to be the best she can be, equipped me with this courage.

Prior to joining Arcadia, I spent 14 years in the same job, doing repetitive tasks every single day. Reflecting on my 2-year journey at Arcadia, I am proud of my growth and progression. It has emphasised to me that I can further my professional development and expand my horizons.

As I took my first baby steps and transitioned from my old world into my new world, it was almost overwhelming how much I needed to learn and develop, especially as the skill set required was different and I was exposed to a new industry.

Change is uncomfortable, and I discovered quickly that the change journey has hurdles and challenges that I had never anticipated. When I thought of giving up, I always asked myself, “is this the kind of role model I want to be for my daughter?”. The answer was always no.

My determination of being a role model kept me on track during the bumpy road. I learnt from my mistakes and errors and made sure I did better next time. I quickly adopted a strong growth mindset.

Typically, in life, we allude to a paradigm of win/lose or pass/fail. To challenge that paradigm, Arcadia have come up with a tool called Win, Learn, Change. I am grateful for the working environment, my friendly work team and learning this concept, which I practice regularly.

The tool helps you get closer to your goal (in my case, being my daughter’s role model), by changing your mindset from success/failure to Win, Learn, Change. The tool promotes continuous improvement by guiding individuals to focus on learning and success rather than the unconstructive idea of failure.

Win

Quite often in our lives we’ll take the wins, but we won’t ask “what went well?” and why it was good. That’s the learning opportunity that is normally missed. We don’t just learn from the things that go badly; we also learn from the things that go well. Use these reflections as a future roadmap next time you are confronted with the same situation. Focus on what you did.

What did you do or think today that took you towards the achievement of your goal?

Learn

Things that didn’t work as you hoped yet provided learning.

What did you do today or think today that took you away from your goal?

Change

Things to change for next time, action steps.

What can I do or think next time to take me closer to my goal?

Another important distinction to make here is that this is not a results tool, this a progress tool. This is something to apply on a regular basis. I find keeping a WLC (Win, Learn, Change) journal helps.  

If somebody asked me today why I jump out of my comfort zone and make changes in my life, I would answer very differently to how I would 2 years ago. I have built my confidence through travelling through the change curve many times and facing adversity. I know that I can only be my daughter’s role model when I am my best version of myself.

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