My friend Allie and I went to coffee the other day and she casually mentioned that she spoke at her college graduation ceremony. I’m not talking small tiny college here: she spoke at Michigan State’s commencement- WOW! So I immediately interrupted her story and asked HOW she was able to partake in such a great honor. I assumed she must have been valedictorian or student body president but she wasn’t. She simply said, “I just raised my hand.”
Apparently she found out about the opportunity and volunteered. Perhaps no one else had the guts to represent but either way she had the great honor of representing her class.
So we got on the topic of how important it is to raise your hand in life. We agreed that it is especially important when first starting out.
Allie told me another story about someone she knows who randomly decided to email the President of a large, well respected international company when she was in college. The email suggested that they should go to lunch when the president was in town presenting to her college. They went to lunch and the person has been employed with the company ever since.
The moral of the story here is, don’t be afraid to take on a new challenge. Raise your hand for a new project. Volunteer for the opportunity to present to new clients or your company’s executive board (even if you are terrified). Send an email to someone you dream of working for. Ask someone you admire to lunch. Reach out to those who intimidate you because most others won’t. The simple action of raising your hand can lead to many exciting new partnerships, adventures and opportunities.