Growth and development takes courage. It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone—allowing yourself to become stagnant in your life and career takes far less effort than putting in the time and work to reach the next level. That’s why at NimblyWise we’re so proud of our individual program participants who decide to invest in their future and dedicate themselves to reaching their fullest potential. This month, we’re thrilled to feature a conversation with one of those participants who has inspired us with his immense growth working with our coaches and cohorts as a part of our NimblyWise Real-Time Learning program.
Lars is a recent Spring 2020 graduate who completed his degree in Marketing Commerce with a concentration in Business and Technology right at the onset of the pandemic. He was thrust into a job environment that was anything but traditional. Despite the setbacks and tumultuous times the nation was experiencing, he chose to invest in his professional and personal development, rather than wait for the storm to pass. While completing the NimblyWise program, Lars has achieved full-time employment with Microsoft, selling tech solutions to small private sector companies and nonprofits. We sat down with him to discuss his past, present, and future and how his journey with NimblyWise has helped him find his confidence and advocate for his growth. Here’s what he had to say…
Do you think college prepared you for the world of work?
Honestly, yes and no. College doesn’t do what we’re told it does. We’re told it’s an important gateway we must cross, but in reality, I could do my job now without college. I found some things helpful and it taught me how to navigate early adulthood on my own. That allowed me to grow, but in terms of skills to communicate in the workplace and things like that, it’s definitely lacking.
Do you think you would have been more aptly prepared if your courses had taught more of the skills you’ve learned in your NimblyWise experiences?Definitely. I think especially for business students, what NimblyWIse is teaching would have been great. Some classes touched on some of the things that NimblyWise works on, but there’s no course that teaches you how to think in an executive way. There weren’t many opportunities to think a little freely, it was all very by the syllabus, which isn’t reality. One of my favorite things to think about now is seeing the forest, not just the trees—really understanding how everything works together. But in school, you really lose that mindset. You’re mostly focused on individual assignments, not how those all come together to help you reach a goal.
What made you decide to participate in the NimblyWise Real-Time Learning Program?Even though I’m early in my career, I felt like I was a little stagnant and I wanted a change. It is hard to zoom out and see how each day is working towards a bigger goal – a promotion, a raise, etc. and I felt like I was stuck in the monotony of the day-to-day not getting anywhere. The program has been helpful in giving me the opportunity to step back and reevaluate my actions, see what’s working, what I enjoy, and how I can distribute my energy to decrease stress while also reaching my goal of having a career I love.
Can you share a specific example of a work scenario you were able to work through with your coach in real-time?I really struggled with communicating with management in a way where I was advocating for myself, but not being pushy or demanding. When I started the program, I was working part-time hours and really wanted to work full-time. I worked with my coach to get recommendations for my discussions with my managers and transitioned that into the real-world conversation that ultimately got me full-time hours. It was super helpful that I could practice it before actually having the conversation. My coach asked questions that I hadn’t considered and got me to think more critically. It’s that expertise and knowledge that I was looking for when joining the program, and I found a true mentor in my coach.
What did you think of the group cohorts?It’s really interesting to hear people’s different perspectives. There were a lot of people in different industries, different roles, so it was cool to see their responses to a lot of the prompted questions we worked through together. It got me thinking in new ways.
Where do you think you have seen the greatest improvement from your NimblyWise journey?
After the program, I am feeling much more accomplished with what I’m doing. Even if it’s small stuff day-to-day because that small stuff adds up to something bigger over time. I’m able to take the time to be appreciative of the work I’m doing and see and reflect on how it all manifests into me reaching a bigger goal. When I lose sight of that long-term plan, I tend to lose motivation, since a lot of the time I’m doing the same thing daily. Mentally, it’s been really helpful to be able to take a step back and see the progress in the little actions that add up over time. I’m able to do my best work, always put my best foot forward, and advocate for myself – I’m feeling really good about all that.
How do you think your experience with NimblyWise has most changed your perspective?I think the program has influenced me to reach for opportunities I may have considered out of reach before. I can be confident in my abilities and the work I’m doing. I have applied to a couple of roles that would be a promotion for me within Microsoft. I wasn’t able to get one of them, but I was able to take it in stride and look at the bigger picture thanks to what I’ve learned from NimblyWise.
But Lars isn’t the only one who has noticed a difference, though. Lars’s father shared, “He now works extremely hard at two jobs, saves more of his money, tries to stick to a budget, and has a longer-term view on life in general, as well as achieving personal and professional goals. As far as I can tell, participating in the NimblyWise Program has been an invaluable resource in helping him along his path in becoming a more well-rounded young man and professional.”
NimblyWise can truly help you to reach that next level, transforming your life and experiences, sparked by growth.
Are You Ready to Make a Change & Invest in Your Future?
NimblyWise aims to help young professionals and developing talent to design and take accountability for their own future and success. Our programs are meant to support the personal and professional growth of each unique individual with coaching catered specifically to their particular needs and skills gaps. Want to learn more about our transformational professional learning opportunities? Let’s chat.