Second chance

My brother-in-law turned 60 recently. As is the tradition in his family, he was expected to repeat his wedding vows with my sister all over again. In the beginning, we were all skeptical about it given the pandemic situation and the restrictions on number of people who would be permitted to attend the function. The logistics were too much, too many small things to handle – and their daughter was in the US. So, in essence, everything had to be handled by them from A-Z.

What began has a tough, difficult to pull out function ended with a much loved, enjoyable and serendipitous event handled with grace, beauty and total joy. Life had given them a second chance to renew their vows to each other and they both grabbed it with their hands and made the most of it. There were no half measures at all – all customs were adhered to keeping in mind Covid appropriate behavior. Right from the decoration in the hall to the traditional dresses that the couple wore, to the breakfast and lunch served on a banana leaf…the air was thick with the perfection of it all. Beautiful memories have been created that will last forever.

Living your second chance professionally

Life has a tendency of throwing a curve ball when least expected. So it is, with second chances. They come our way when either has one has given up hope or has forgotten that such a phenomenon can ever happen.

The pandemic has once again opened the doors for women who had taken a sabbatical or withdrawn from active professional life. Work from home has made it easier for them to get back to what excites them and is close to their heart. These are the people who have grabbed the opportunity with open arms and made a success of it.

It is their belief in themselves and their agility to respond to changing circumstances that has propelled them back to being professionals. Fundamentally, these competencies and traits work around the clock for just about anybody in any situation in their career as well as their personal life.

Goof ups and making mistakes in the job are not uncommon. Snatching a second chance to improve oneself and showcase a better result is what one needs to focus at.

The first reaction to a mistake made is often a feeling of low self esteem and loss of confidence. This gets further sharpened if the manager is not empathetic and willing to accept failures as a pathway to success. Leaders in their authoritative capacity can forget what it was like being raw and to falter along the way. No one reaches anywhere without experiencing a few missteps and a fall or two in their professional growth.

While it would augur well for people to snatch the second chance that comes along, it would also be beneficial if managers practice it with their teams and help them grow. In this process, it is always best to bury the hatchet and begin anew. Raking up past mistakes except for the lessons learnt from it, does more harm than any good.

A second chance also calls for more transparency and openness in communication. It is important to set the boundaries and have the expectations aligned in the beginning itself. Often, things go awry because of assumptions and the inability to ask questions and seek clarity. The second chance brings with it these opportunities to set things better and aim bigger.

It also helps if one can identify the triggers that lead to mistakes and diversion from the task. A focused approach to the second chance will help shape the right outcomes and create a ripple effect on subsequent tasks that require a dedicated mind set.

Speak to your manager that you are ready for a second chance. Go ahead, hold the opportunity dearly and run with it to the finishing race. All the best!

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Sarita Bahl
Sarita Bahl is an alumnus of Tata Institute of Social Sciences and the Swedish Institute of Management Program. An experienced and versatile leader, she comes with nearly four decades of professional experience. She has over the years successfully overseen the communications and public affairs function and led the corporate social responsibility strategy for Bayer South Asia, Pfizer, and Monsanto, among others. Sarita has held multiple roles across diverse industries, the public sector, trade associations, MNCs, and the not-for-profit sector. Her areas of interest include advocacy, stakeholder engagement, sustainability, and communications.

As an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and Senior Practitioner (Mentoring) from the European Council of Mentoring and Coaching (EMCC), Sarita specializes in career transition, inner engineering and life issues. Sarita enjoys writing and is passionate about animals, books, and movies.

Be the first to comment on "Second chance"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.