Exposure is important.
I somehow found this picture of me from five years ago on exactly a date like today.
It was the first day of my first time in London, I was here for work. I decided to take time to explore the city before the meetings started. It was a fine summer day, cloudless and Trafalgar Square was buzzing with all the amusement it has to offer- artists, street musicians.. and lots of tourists with cameras, like myself.
The work that brought me to London was a job I had just a few months after my Masters graduation. I was not even thinking it was possible for me to explore international employment opportunities at this point. The thought did not remotely occur to me. I was told that normally, you work for some years and then you try your luck on the international market; you know, when you have what every employer asks for: ‘experience’.
A few months after my first visit to London, I came across a call for applications for job openings for young professional roles and guess the location? London!
Yes, the role was aligned to my career objectives and experience but to be honest, my biggest motivation to apply for the role was the location. Based on the experience I had during my short work visit to London for the first time, I was curious what it would be like to live in this big city. I wondered what would make someone local in a very diverse, fast-paced city like London which has nearly 20 million visitors every year. What was it like to be a young professional working here?
I remember having the application page open and on a few more tabs on google, I was reading blogs and looking at pictures of young people who moved to London for work. I was literally seeing myself walking down the streets of London, wearing a suit and high heels, carrying a handbag going home after work! I was painting mental pictures to my dreams. I thought to myself that, I can also be that young person. I can grow my career in London too. I am global talent too. I visualised it.
So I put in the application, one among over 500 that competed for my role. That is half the story of how I ended up in London, for work.
I lived and worked in London for two years. London is home. I made several friends there. It turned out that there are in fact international opportunities that looked for people who matched my skill set (so do not be discouraged by your experience, age or whatever makes you feel inadequate, you are enough!).
I walked on this same spot at Trafalgar Square nearly every working day to get on the tube home. I am local in London. No, I did not wear that power suit I thought I would wear all the time and it is nearly impossible to walk around wearing high heels in London. But I lived the life I envisioned I would in London. And I am very grateful to God.
So this picture reminds me of the power of vivid visualisation, of being able to mentally see yourself being the person you aspire to become even when it is not immediately looking like it is possible. It also reminds me of the importance of exposure, which can sometimes be the only thing that separates the ones who try for things and the ones who do not even put themselves forward!
I know how difficult it can be to be ambitious about things we have not seen or do not know but we must all make the effort to expose ourselves to things that are not immediately in our radar. Read, search the internet, attend gatherings, join societies, watch television, listen to podcasts, in any way possible, make an effort to be exposed to the world beyond the things that do not look immediately possible or even accessible to you. Do not be the enemy of your own progress and mystify the things you do not know or spaces you cannot be apart of, yet. Find out more information.
Abram had to lift his eyes because God’s promise was to give him the land as far as his eyes could see! He had to see the land first.
Its time to dream again. Lets dream together, how do you see yourself? How far can you see?