On the latest episode of the Northern Power Women podcast, Anu Kaura has shared top tips, advice and experiences in her Life Lessons. In the podcast, she talked about times when she transformed points of failure into positive experiences, the importance that allies and role models have had in her life, and her choice to change sectors within the legal industry. We wanted to know more about the topics that Anu touched on in her Life Lessons, so we asked for her valuable advice and insight into how she tackled her experiences with failure, how to go about expanding the limits of your comfort zone, and the practicalities of changing careers and disciplines.
One experience with failure that Anu turned into a positive learning experience was when she received her A-Level results. In the podcast episode, she said “it was possibly the worst experience of my life, as I was not only disappointed in myself, but I knew I had disappointed my family. I made a promise to myself that day that I would never feel that way again, and ever since then I have thrown myself into any piece of work 110%”. As we approach the end of exam season, and students across the country begin to wait in anticipation to receive the results of these exams, Anu offers her advice to those who may be disappointed with what they receive. “Don’t let it define you or deter you from your goal. It is only part of your journey, not your destination”. Rather than springing straight into action and trying to come up with a solution to your failure, Anu instead suggests dedicating some time to processing the emotions you will be feeling, before moving on to the next challenge. She says, “wallow, and then move on, but remember how it made you feel and strive never to feel that way again”.
In order for you to tackle that next challenge, you first have to establish the opportunities available for you to take that step out of your comfort zone and learn from new experiences. For those who are unsure where to start when it comes to finding a motivator to take them outside of their comfort zone, Anu would advise that you “research people that inspire you and look to experience any new opportunity that comes your way, even if it scares you”. Take advantage of the opportunities that social media offers and grow your voice and presence on online forums. “Offer to write a blog, start conversations with influencers, connect with people you admire and read everything you can about them to learn how they tick and why they are so successful”.
Your step out of your comfort zone could even push you outside of your current sector or specialism, as Anu experienced in her transition from immigration law to employment law, then to in-house solicitor for Malhotra Group PLC. Despite it being something that she described as being “totally out of (her) comfort zone”, Anu encourages you to not be put off by the fear of the challenge. “Do it!” she urges. “If you are stuck in a rut, or have a deep desire to try something new, don’t procrastinate as an opportunity might pass you by. Use all your connections and even those of others you know. You have nothing to lose, but everything to gain. Even failure gives you experience.