3 Tactics To Help Navigate Times of Change
Change and growth are intrinsic to a healthy career trajectory.
However in a small and tight-knit industry like wine, where "success" may be judged based on technical knowledge, networks, connections and tenure, maintaining your sense of self through transition can be tough.
The toughest professional change to navigate is the unforeseen. Being laid-off or managed out is confronting, unsettling, and downright scary. It raises questions around financial security, career longevity and to many, how to reinvent yourself in an industry that likes normalcy. It brings up issues of value and worth, which can quickly escalate into depression and withdrawal.
Conversely, change may come when you are elevated into a role that is unfamiliar – be it through achieving a certification, landing a well-deserved promotion or a new level of responsibility. Invitations to once-elusive events stuff your IN Box, and the panelist opportunities once offered to your boss are being extended to you. The quandary of how to navigate this newfound environment can test even the most grounded of professionals.
So when faced with a new set of challenges, how do you stay grounded in your own sense of self, while the environment around you is clearly different? Here are three tactics I have found helpful during times of transformation:
The critical mind and ego will start to create a story about your current position, why things are what they are, and the future outlook. But have the courage to stay still. We live in a world of consumption and instant gratification, so coming to stillness will help find your reset button, and give the space to clearly define the potential of what is next.
2. Stay connected
As tempting as it is to isolate when the phones stop, or familiar faces disappear, stay connected to those closest to you who appreciate you for YOU. They are the same tribe who you can lean on to keep you grounded and focused on what’s next.
3. Reclaim your reason
Take a moment and ask yourself what attracted you to the industry in the first place. Is that drive still there? If so, then find a way to do more of that.
Evolving in this industry can be tough, particularly if there is a perception that what you do defines who you are. But the most difficult and valuable lesson I’ve learned through times of change is to be vulnerable. The biggest transformation can happen when all ego and conditioned responses are set aside.
Having the courage to be your true self takes work, but it’s worth it. And it’s sure as hell easier than trying to be someone that you’re not.
Meet The Tribe:
Our community is only as strong as the company we keep, and here we meet some of the folks who make our profession so dynamic.
Kurtis Kolt, Vancouver-Based Wine Consultant, Writer, Judge and Enthusiast
Years In Industry:
26 years; the first 18 working my way from bussing to GM and Wine Director positions at various restaurants, and then the last eight years consulting with restaurants, presenting seminars, curating events, freelance writing, and judging competitions.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
The erratic schedule of being self-employed. When things are consistent, work-wise, it’s easy to ensure I’m eating well, exercising, sleeping well, and so on. When things get hectic and stressful, it can be a little too easy to not make time for proper nutrition and exercise, something that’s compounded when traveling.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
I’m still figuring this out! In fact, recognizing that wellness is a journey and not necessarily a result has helped me grow. Yoga has been important for me over the last few years. While it’s great physical exercise, the mental aspect is way more important for me. I work a lot, and when I’m not working, I’m socializing, I’m devouring media, my mind is often a hive of activity.
Doing yoga is among the only times when I’m truly mindful and in the moment. If I put off yoga for too long, everything else can fall apart quickly. It still happens, but with less frequency; it’s a pretty easy horse to get back up on. Fortunately, it can be done anywhere, and even ten or 15 minutes can make a big difference.
Also, I think we’re a lot more open to discussing wellness challenges in our industry as of late. Open, honest conversations with both local and international colleagues has been great for awareness that these efforts aren’t necessary solitary ones. Mutual support and encouragement definitely go a long way.
What We’re Reading:
There's no shortage of wine stories and media inundating our IN Boxes. Here's what has piqued our interest this week.
7 Proven Ways Meditating Prepares You For Success – Entrepreneur.com
“What do mega-successful business leaders and entrepreneurs like Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, and Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, all have in common? They carve out time in their busy schedules to meditate.”
Changes in Wine Business Models Disrupt Wine Market – Beverage Enthusiast Insider
“Rabobank’s third-quarter report released this week forecasts consolidation in the wholesale tier, wineries and the retail sector, as change becomes the only certainty in the wine business.”
Let's Meet Up!
As work life has it, we are traveling over the next few months and would love to see you. Check out details on the Let's Meet Up! page.
Bâtonnage Forum in Napa, July 28 (Cathy and Rebecca)
TexSOM Conference in Las Colinas, August 11 to 13 (Rebecca)
Business of Wine & Food Tourism Conference in Cape Town, October 17 (Cathy)