The Role of Resourcefulness

Dear Millennial Young Professional,

Your boss (regardless of how implied, expressed or communicated this is) values your resourcefulness. It makes their life easier, and yours. It reflects self-efficacy and self-leadership. Your resourcefulness exhibits your ability to not be overwhelmed by problems. Do everything in your power to develop this soft skill for the benefit of your career, your daily life and your relationships.

Anger, conflict, boundary, time, project, relationship and self-management are illustrations of situations where the ability to be resourceful plays a critical role in problem-solving.

“Resourcefulness is a broad collection of cognitive-behavioral self-control skills that an individual uses to cope with stress and perform healthy behaviors.” (Rosenbaum, 1990Zauszniewski, 2012).

So, what does resourcefulness actually look like?

As a young professional myself, it is my responsibility to take every opportunity to upskill, grow, mature and refine my skill set. To do this, I might seek out mentors in my industry or healthy leaders that are much further ahead than I, to learn from (ladies, I recommend reading Sheryl Sandberg’s book, ‘Lean In’, she covers the topic of mentoring brilliantly). I might ask my boss what areas I could develop in – and then seek out books, read articles or ask how to work on strengthening that area!

Perhaps the situation is less career management, but more a personal issue of being overwhelmed in your personal life around managing your commitments, passions and relationships. Resourcefulness might look like asking for help. This is not asking for help with all your commitments to continue the cycle, but asking for help on how to set healthier boundaries, learning how to say no and perhaps even asking around and finding people who you feel do this well (though, no one does this perfectly!). Resourcefulness may even look like you seeking out counselling to find out why you might find yourself stuck in this pattern (real talk: counselling is a resource and nothing to be ashamed of).

Important note on resourcefulness: growing in humility is key to this skill flourishing. Resourcefulness does not mean you have the ability to solve every problem under the sun (in fact – quite the opposite). It means you need people. You need other people with stronger skills. It means you need resources. Together, collaboratively, you can work towards solving the problem.

YPs, you got this. Keep hustling humbly and being resourceful.

Elyce

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Self-Awareness: Knowing Who You Are and Who You Aren’t

Before I walk into a meeting room or an event full of potential, brewing conversation, I already know five things.

  1. The culture I want to bring is one of inclusiveness.
  2. Regardless of what any conversation brings, my default will be to respect you and I will do everything I can to reflect this in my actions.
  3. My emotions will not dictate how I treat you.
  4. I want my behaviour to reflect that I believe at the core of my being, that each and every person has inherent value.
  5. I thought I had five when I wrote five above, but I only have four.

How do these convictions play out when I walk into that room for me personally? I’m willing to engage with anyone who may look socially uncomfortable. I’m willing to ask questions; what do you do with your time? Do you enjoy it? Do you have hobbies? This engagement reflects and communicates that I am interested in your life, I am willing to find value from what you have to share. How is this person’s behaving as we have this discussion? What does their body language say? Better yet, what does my body language communicate?

This understanding comes from having an awareness of how people impact each other. Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “no man is an island” – and this is true! We do not live isolated, and we have an ability to set a culture by our behaviour and actions. Self-awareness is the first step in developing this: understanding who you are and who you aren’t, because you’ve probably noticed by now that you surround yourself with people that are similar to who you think you are and what you think your values, beliefs and convictions are.

I feel it’s important to note that if you’re anything like me and this value for self-awareness and loving people well can somehow dance (somewhat gracefully) across the line into hypervigilance, it’s important to develop the skill to rest and have healthy boundaries (if you’re not sure what healthy boundaries are, go right now and buy Dr Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend’s book ‘Boundaries’). Self-awareness means knowing that even when you’re not at your best, your desire to express how you value others can manifest in a number of different ways (and does not mean not loving yourself well enough by not getting the rest you need).

So, I leave you with these questions: who are you before you enter a room? Have you decided who you will be regardless of external factors? Do you know how you might handle someone disagreeing with you? What five things (or four) do you know about who you are before entering a room?

Elyce