Last night I helped out at a charity’s winter ball, the charity is called Sparks http://www.sparks.org.uk/, and the event doubled up as their Life-President’s 70th birthday party. He is Sir Geoff Hurst, which explains why I’m pictured with a football – not just any football, but the very football he scored his hat-trick with in the 1966 World Cup Final.
The point though, is not that I ‘do a lot of work for charity, but don’t like to talk about it’, or that I spent the night hob-nobbing with celebrities, but that it reminded me just how good volunteering can be at helping us understand our work-related strengths and weaknesses.
For part of the night I was handed a sales role – selling genuine Lotto balls, and Sparks-branded teddy bears – and I was absolutely useless at it. Breaking that down, I was fine at closing a sale when someone had shown interest; what let me down was an ability to work the room in order to generate the interest.
Now this experience only took up a couple of hours, but if I’d been at the beginning of my working life and took the time to reflect on it, it would have given me an excellent insight into areas of work to focus on.
They think it’s all over…….it is now.