• Lyndal Miller

Are you ready for when 'lightning' strikes?

Last year I was lucky enough to capture this pretty good photo of a lightning strike as a storm passed through Christchurch. The photo was shared on Stuff and TV 1, and I received many accolades and questions about how I was able to capture such a great image.

My initial reaction of course was – ‘it was a lucky shot’.

I was lucky that I happened to be at home at that moment and for some reason I decided to try and take a photo but of course I had no way of knowing that lightning would strike at the exact moment I pushed the button, nor did I know that it would be a spectacular sky to ground strike, so all in all – I was lucky - or was I?

There were a number of things that allowed me to take that photo that I actually had control over:-

1. Ever since we moved up the hill I have been astounded at the ever changing landscape and so I make sure my camera is always close to hand and charged ready to capture whatever nature provides

2. I backed myself to take that photo and believed that a real opportunity existed to capture a lightning strike at that time – if I didn’t believe I could have done it, I quite simply wouldn’t have even tried.

3. Many years ago I experimented in photography and took courses that helped me improve my skills and abilities.

So yes – without a doubt there was absolutely a large degree of ‘luck’ in getting this photo, but:

• it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t put some ground work in to ensure I had the capability (skills and knowledge) to take a good photo,

• it wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t back myself to take this photo, and

• it wouldn’t have happened if I was not prepared and didn’t have my camera ready to go!

All in all, I was prepared just in case an opportunity like this ever presented itself.

There is a definite parallel between this and being job ready!

Imagine that you happen to stumble across your ‘dream job’ and applications close at 5pm today – do you have your CV ready to send? Do you feel confident you can write a cover letter to accompany your application that will gain the attention of the reader?

Imagine that you are introduced to someone who is a key decision maker at a company you have always wanted to work with and he/she is happy to meet with you to discuss a job opportunity – today! Are you able to clearly articulate your strengths and passion for this opportunity? Can you clearly communicate your transferable skills? Is your overall grooming up to scratch?

There have been many events over the past years that serve to remind us that we must be prepared for the unexpected. The same applies for our careers.

• Make sure you have your CV is up to date and ready to present to a potential employer

• Make sure you have the capability to present yourself confidently at interview or networking opportunity

• Make sure you know what you have to offer and can clearly and confidently articulate when required

• Make sure you keep an eye out for those ‘one-off’ opportunities that may never present themselves again.

At the end of the day - we never know what the future may bring, but whatever it brings, if we are prepared, we will be in a better position to deal with it.

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