We joke with each other about commitment issues when it comes to relationships, and I know that’s something that most of us will have struggled with at some stage. When we start to consider the topic of commitment, we can widen our lens to see it encompasses much more than personal relationships; how much are we holding back in the rest of our lives by not fully committing, and in the process, preventing our own development and denying the world of everything that we are?
Looking at it from a professional standpoint, there are a few people along the way who have seen greater potential within me, and have called me to commit more fully to what I am doing.
One of the most significant examples of this was when I was coming to the end of the road working in the agency world, I was a little lost and could see many forks in the road ahead, unsure of which was the right path for me. I was afraid of choosing one for fear of making the wrong choice. Those options had become a little overwhelming, almost to the point of analysis paralysis. On some levels I felt sure that working in recruitment would never offer me the chance to unleash the passion for work that I knew lay dormant within me (happily something I have since disproved).
Given my uncertainty, I resolved at the time to connect with as many different people as possible and see what those conversations might unearth; whether that be a little spark of energy or a giant explosion of inspiration.
It was one of those people who sat me down and gave me some much needed straight talking. He said something along the lines of the following:
‘At the moment, you are sitting on the outside of everything and not committing. You are drifting around and seeing what comes up, weighing things up, but not being specific in any direction. I understand where you are, but it won’t get you anywhere. Until you commit fully to something, no one is going to commit to you. You need to stick your flag in the ground and say: this is me and this is what I am all about. I’m all in.’
This is was one of those unexpected moments that life provides; the explosions of inspiration. He had no idea that what he had said to me would prove to be so impactful.
I just needed to commit to a path and be truly open to what that might look like, and once I had done that, the rest would take care of itself.
You will never be able to see what the end game is, you have to just commit to the journey. So this wasn’t about me saying; ‘I’m a this and I want to do that‘ or having a set plan, this was about me just saying: I’m all in. Whatever that might mean.
Committing to me, but committing also to being the best version of me so that I can continue to make great decisions each and every time something new comes my way.
It was only a couple of short months from that point when I got approached for the role at Shazam. Whilst I had a lot of work to do around self-belief (the dreaded imposter syndrome) as I stepped into the role, my commitment didn’t waiver. I committed to them fully and they committed right back by quickly converting me from being a contractor to a full time hire.
It’s worth considering this the next time you are deciding to hire someone on a contract basis with a view to converting them to full time. If it’s just a contract because you want to give yourself a safety net, I would question whether that option is actually best for both parties. It’s actually just lazy hiring a lot of the time. If you interview effectively and spend enough time getting to know one another, you should be able to figure out if this is someone you want to take a leap of faith with.
If you know the role is due to be long term, my advice would be to commit to hiring someone full time up front and show your belief in their abilities.
Sure; it might not work out, but by sending that message of commitment, your faith can help support people to rise into being the best versions of themselves and, in turn, doing amazing work. They are likely to produce work that’s even more impressive than even what they thought they were capable of.
There are clear parallels with commitment in personal relationships here also. If you are always keeping one foot out of the door and not committing fully (in whatever capacity), you are sending a clear message to the other person to do the same. The evolution of the modern dating world and it’s disposable nature definitely encourages (and provides ample opportunity for) people to operate in that way.
It’s the kind of situation where no one really wins, especially those who are actually looking to make a deeper connection. Just like in employment, you will never know what the future holds in the context of that relationship, you just have to be committed to bringing your whole self to the situation whilst you figure it out.
I remain committed to my journey and open to whatever it holds, but most importantly; committed to life, and to whatever new horizons might be about to come into view.