Posts Tagged ‘Get Up’

My “Get Up” Blog for March – Getting Up after “Career Falls”

When corporate culture where he worked shifted away from Val Boston’s business philosophy, he “got up” to start his own consultant practice where he could be true to his values.

For the March blog as part of my monthly “Get Up” Blog series inspired by US Figure Skating’s “Get Up” campaign, I am featuring people getting up, not from from physical falls, but from “falls” or unexpected downturns in vocations and careers. The “Get Up” message inspires us to get up from the many different types of falls we can have in our lives just as figure skaters get up and continue after a fall on the very hard cold ice.

I have four short stories to share:

Adult figure skater Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn shared: “I moved to my current city for a job that sought me out. They had made promises that they didn’t keep, and hired someone else to share my position without telling me a week after I started. Three and a half months later they fired me with absolutely no explanation. But I “got up” and dove head first into full time freelance illustration (link to her website) and haven’t looked back. Four years later it is the best thing that could have happened to me, AND I was able to fit skating into my day. Before that, I would have to travel an hour to another rink (my current was just across the street from where I live and I could only skate weekends there) just to get some ice time after work IF I didn’t get stuck working late.

After moving internationally and discovering that her past experience was not really valued in the US, Noa Ronan had to get up and forge her own path as a coach and consultant.

A consultant I met at my local SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) chapter – Triangle SHRM here in North Carolina, Noa Ronan of Noa Ronen Coaching,, shared, “11 years ago I moved from Israel to the US. I had a fulfilling executive career as a change management consultant and HR and Training executive. But after our family relocation to the US reality hit me, neither my Israeli career experience nor my MBA from Israel was of interest in the US when I applied for jobs. I felt very lost and stuck; I didn’t want to apply for jobs that will take me back to what I did ten years ago or go in a different direction. I loved what I did and I didn’t want to let go of who I was in my past. It took me few good years to fall and fail again and again until I was able to “get up” and let go of the story I was telling myself about my “glorious” past and recreate who I want to be right here in the present. Today I am using all the skills I have acquired over my career with new ones, and I coach global leaders and people in transitions. Letting go of my past was about being present with my new reality and recreating a new future for myself.

And from a highly respected consultant who has been an invaluable mentor to me as I started my own business in 2010, Val Boston of Boston and Associates, LLC: “After 5 years with a global organization, they were sold to a much larger firm. With the acquisition came a major cultural and philosophical shift, from a service focus model to a more “bottom line” one. This change in business philosophy was in direct conflict with mine. I then I “got up” and decided to launch my own consultancy focusing on Diversity & Inclusion, and Leadership Coaching. That was 17 years ago!”

And another friend from TSHRM who is so supportive of my figure skating journey, Diane Olsen (link to her LinkedIn profile) shares her story of “getting up” multiple times: “After ten years building an amazing insurance industry career, where I climbed ladders, I turned down the ultimate promotion at a very large company. I decided to move cross country and go back to school, but soon found myself in a financial position where I needed to go back to work full time. I grabbed the first job that came along. When that company shut down, I job-jumped a few times while trying to finish my degree part-time. I had a roller coaster on my resume now.

Then it dawned on me that I created this storm. What was I going to be when I grew up? I didn’t get my answer until years later. I took a job in Raleigh as an Operations Manager for a start-up company, and I was employee number nine. Over the course of eight years, I built four other departments, was promoted to VP of Operations and HR, and was able to be a part of the buy-out of the company at the end of 2015. Each of these departments I created had information pulled from a lot of the in-between jobs I’d had in the past.

Sometimes, you are dusting yourself off without even realizing it. I have since left that job, taking a well-deserved hiatus. It’s a bit stressful being in transition, but exciting at the same time. Needless to say, I look forward to “getting up” and starting my next adventure with open arms.

Life, like the ice, can be very hard, with falls giving us a good jar. But we can rise up, persevere, and move onto something better.

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Links to all my earlier “Get Up” monthly blogs can be found on my skating blogs and videos blog page.

US Figure Skating’s Fantastic New Campaign: “Get Up!”

ashley-and-miraiAs a long time figure skating fan and enthusiast, and now more recently as an aspiring adult competitive figure skater myself (yep – started at age 59,) my love for this sport is deepening. And now I am even more excited about the recently announced “Get Up” campaign from the US Figure Skating Association. The main theme is that, in all aspects of our lives, we may fall, but the more times we get up and persevere, the stronger we become.

Figure Skating is a tough sport! (link to article) It may look smooth and glamorous, but those falls on that hard ice are brutal to the body and soul. But there is a lesson here that we can apply to our personal, athletic and even business lives – that when we fall, instead of just lying there feel sorry for ourselves, we need to pick ourselves up, learn from our mistake or from the challenge we were presented, and continue toward our goal.

Here are several examples of skaters (including myself) who picked ourselves up after a fall and continued on to become stronger.

• The first example shared in the December 2016 US Figure Skating Magazine was from 4-time US Champion Jeremy Abbott’s appearance at the 2014 Olympics. He had an extremely hard fall and devastating crash into the boards, but after 13 agonizing seconds picked himself up and completed his short program.

• And then there is one of my favorites, 2016 US Men’s Champion Adam Rippon. After being our 2012 silver medalist, Adam was training hard and primed for his dream of making the 2014 Olympic team, but those dreams were shattered as he fell to his worst finish ever at nationals at eighth. Many skaters would call it quits after that disappointment, but Adam resolved to train harder than ever, winning his first Senior National title in 2016 and then making his first Grand Prix final that Fall.

• Two of my favorite female skaters are Mirai Nagasu and Ashley Wagner. After finish third at US Nationals in 2014 and then be shockingly omitted from our Olympic Team, Mirai took the disappointment with maturity and grace and continue to train hard and improve, and continues to delight fans with her beautiful programs. And Ashley Wagner has had many ups and down in long career, and now as the oldest US female competitor finished second at 2016 Worlds, ending the USA’s ten year drought of winning a ladies’ world medal.

• And not only adults, but young teens can exhibit the guts of coming back from a major fall. Early last year, I wrote of such a young man in what became my fifth most read blog of 2016. Featuring a young teen with great determination, “Lessons from a Young Teen” asks my readers how would they handle going from second place to second from the bottom in one year in a sports competition. This inspirational short piece shares how a young figure skating athlete handled this challenge.
hip-and-hawaii• And finally in my own life. I started figure skating at age 59 and had just passed my first two tests and preparing to enter a major competition in Atlanta. But in August, I fractured my hip. But that is not going to stop me; after being on crutches most of August and September, I am back on the ice and just skated in our local club’s Christmas exhibition, and now preparing to compete in the Eastern USA Adult Sectionals in March.
I do hope this “Get Up” campaign from US Figure Skating touches many people and resonates with everyone since this important lesson of getting up after a tough time applies in all aspects of life – personally, professionally and of course in sports!

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