At Next Jump, every new hire goes through PLB – or “Personal Leadership Bootcamp.” PLB is a safe environment for new employees to identify their “backhand” – the thing that holds us back from reaching our full potential – and develop practice grounds to tackle it. Jack went through two internships before coming on as a full-timer at Next Jump, and learned so much about himself along the way. Here’s his story:
Next Jump has been a rollercoaster ride for me since I first joined in 2015. Believe it or not, I’ve been onboarded a record 3 times after doing two internships and then started full time in October of 2017. My first Next Jump tears came when Dana, my first coach in my 2015 internship, gave me my mid-term evaluations telling me, ‘if you carry on like this – you won’t be getting the job’. Luckily, with perseverance and support from those around me, I was offered a full time job to return after graduation.
Jack with fellow Next Jumper Naqash
This summer, after finishing university, I went traveling, taking the opportunity to explore and get some rest before I started my role. Sitting on a beach with a pina colada in hand, I distinctly remember thinking to myself: enjoy the sun and fun because in two months’ time, I knew things were going to be a hell of a lot tougher! Fast forward to PLB and I can honestly say that I had no idea what was going to hit me. This was even with the advantage of having already done two 10xs (we did office-wide ones as interns) and having watched people go through their PLB journeys. I confidently entered Next Jump convinced of the backhand I had come up with during my internships, and thought I had a clear path to PLB graduation.
It was only after many difficult conversations with the PLB judges, my TP Rosey and my Coach Graham that I could see my backhand for what it really was…. I concentrate on myself because my own success is the most important thing to me. At my worst self, and when on an emotional tilt this comes out as a lack of vulnerability, and a lack of empathy for those around me. My lack of vulnerability made it extremely difficult to share my weaknesses and eggshells (the difficult issues we all tiptoe around, as if walking on eggshells) with those around me, which in turn made me feel isolated from the rest of the team. At the same time, concentrating on myself and my own success too much meant that I didn’t see how my actions and personal goals affected those around me. Through PLB, my practices of pushing myself to share my feelings and weaknesses through emails and face to face conversations has made me feel more connected and understood by the rest of the team. Practicing empathy when receiving feedback and giving space for other people’s unique points of view has allowed me to support them better.
Working on my backhand has felt uncomfortable and often as if it would never work. Fast forward five checkpoints, though, and I can honestly say I feel more connected to those around me both at home and at the office, and have had the space to support others around me. I would like to thank my Rosey, Graham, and all the other Next Jumpers for supporting me through this journey.
Looking back on myself sitting on that beach, I can safely say that I never realised how hard this process would have been… nor how rewarding.