A few days ago a friend with whom I used to work alongside asked if I would be a guest speaker at the upcoming TechVets conference that he was hosting. TechVets is a community that provides a bridge for service leavers and veterans into Cyber and Technology careers (www.techvets.co).
I was flattered and humbled to be offered such an opportunity but unsure whether I could add any relevant value to the audience, after all, our company deals in human performance development. Yes we utilise tech to our advantage, and I have a background in tech/cyber, but I wasn’t sure how to tailor the talk so that I didn’t let the service leavers down. With this negative frame of mind and self-doubt, I held off from giving an answer.
It was a few days later, after some serious consideration and more self-doubt that I finally had the wave of clarity wash over me. I should just say yes and then figure it out.
As soon as I sent the message confirming my attendance, the solution literally popped into my head. Feedback from the previous conference suggested that a lot of speakers and representatives kept on mentioning the ‘soft skills’ that service personnel have which are useful in the commercial sector. Disregarding the horrendous terminology ‘soft skills’ for now (that is another article in itself) it was clear that there was a lot of talk about what skills service personnel have, but a lack in specifying what they are, so there was my challenge.
I learnt a very valuable lesson in this situation that I wanted to share with you. Regardless of how confident we are in our abilities, it is only human to have self-doubts. The battle is not to let the self-doubts win. Next time someone gives you an opportunity, take it. Even if you don't know how it will unfold, you will figure it out, and most importantly, you will learn something.
Don't forget, there will always be someone that can help you if you need it.