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Lessons learned from 2019 to tee up a great 2020

We caught up with Bex Hudson, Senior Business Manager and part of our brilliant Contract team to get her thoughts on 2019 and how she's bringing those lessons learned with her into 2020...

2019 was a great year for me, both personally and professionally, but it was certainly not without some major bumps in the road; I got married, I dealt with devastating loss, I renovated a house, I smashed my objectives at work to name just a few. 

I laughed. I cried. I learnt a lot. 

Here are my 6 key findings from 2019, and I hope they might provide even just one snippet of insight to make 2020 a brilliant year.

1. Be kind to yourself

A key learning for me in 2019. I’m hungry, determined, and always wanting to better myself. Sometimes, this desire overshadowed my ability to be kind to myself.

My advice would be to pause, take a step back, and appreciate how well you do, how strong you can be. If you sit for a minute and actually think about your key achievements, you notice, that they may just have been taken for granted by no one other than yourself.   

Kristen Neff wrote a brilliant book that I read, called Self Compassion, stop beating yourself up and leave insecurity behind. Check it out, it's a brilliant read.


2. Let it go…

Not everything is achievable, there’s always one task, one extra thing you can do. I could work 24 hours a day if I allowed myself to and if you work in a job like mine, your to-do-list is often never ending. 

I beat myself up sometimes terribly about not getting back to that extra person, not sending that info right that second to a colleague when their email hits my inbox. It has taken me a long time to get to the point of realising there is only so much you can do; you have to let some stuff go. 

Likewise, there are always going to be nuances that cause you discomfort, you have to let the trivial ones go and talk openly about the ones that have the potential to fester. Ask yourself, is it really important in the grand scheme of things? I am a better person now compared to who I was 6 months ago because I let stuff go more.


3. Priorities shift and therefore so do measures for success  

Acknowledging that your priorities shift, and that it's ok for them to do so, is super important to your mental well-being.   

As a young, single, new to London recruiter I had very different priorities and different views of the world to those I have now. It’s taken me time to accept that despite these priorities changing, and my views on what matters evolving, I am just as successful.

Your achievements don’t become diminished, they change, as your priorities do. This is why it’s so important every year to set yourself new goals. Ask yourself, “what would a great year look like for me?”.  If you get to the end of the year, and you have achieved that, then that is a great year. Comparing one year to another, for me is a negative and potentially harmful thing to do.   

4. Good to talk

I always knew this, but it's easier said than done, right? I never really implemented this philosophy as well as I had the potential too - until the mid to latter part of the year. 

I made a pact to myself to speak more openly with my family, with my colleagues, with my friends. I was also super fortunate that Ed Steer and Sphere offered executive coaching as part of their senior development programme. 

I was sceptical, I felt i didn’t need any “recruitment coaching” but Ed told me, the person they had engaged with was not a recruitment coach, she was an amazing life coach. I could talk other about anything, the only thing Sphere would be involved in, was footing the bill!   

It has been game changing to me, my outlook, my mental health, my motivation to smash yet another year. It truly is good to talk.  

The other thing I told myself to do more of, is surround myself with positive influences. My line of work is a rollercoaster, but my team's mantra is 'see the good, we go together'. My friends and family are really positive influences. I’m so thankful I have these influences in my life.


5. It’s ok to not be ok

I have cried in 2019 over loss, over one client who took all his frustration out on me, over an episode of 24 hours in A&E and much more in between. I not only embraced the tears, I was thankful for them. The emotional release is so vital. Realising that it is ok to actually just been feeling shitty about things in life is ok. It’s not weak and it’s not forbidden.    

We need to continue to push this agenda as society and give people the platform to just be ok about not being ok.

6. Mental health = physical health

If my poops were like gravy, I’d take a day off work. Why should it be any different if my brain just felt like lead? It shouldn’t and thankfully at Sphere, it isn't.

It's a hugely important part of life, everything I've mentioned above has an impact on my mental health, and it's amazing to work in a place that puts my mental wellbeing at the top of its list. They introduced 'mental health sick days' and have given everyone one of its employees access to free 24/7 support, which I'm grateful for.


What were your lessons learnt in 2019 and how are you bringing them forward into 2020 and beyond? I'd love to hear them.

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