FirstGroup: They can knock me down, but not out
"They can knock me down, but not out."
Dealing with a hit and run accident a month and a bit after starting a new job and moving to a new city.
Resilience is an interesting skill. Because I don’t think you can acquire it without first going through something difficult. It’s that classic every cloud has a silver lining. Although, as shall be explained, I would recommend developing it in a less dramatic style than I did. In September 2018 I moved to London and began my FirstGroup Rail Operations Graduate scheme. My whole life was completely new but everything felt like it was on track.
Then on Friday 19th after a normal day I was cycling my normal route home and I was knocked off my bicycle in a hit and run, landing up being taken to hospital in an ambulance. To cut a long story short I badly damaged my knee and required surgery to pin it back together (and a second operation in December). I was then in a full leg cast and for almost a month and unable to go to work. Having just started and really enjoying what I was doing this was really difficult for me. I was so worried that I would come back and be behind everyone. Resilience was required. I thought about what I could do rather than what I couldn’t do whilst signed off work. I read several academic papers about rail issues, I attended a Young Rail Professionals talk, took in some London Museums, continued going to the gym and I even did a week long intensive French course. It’s in the most difficult of times that you have to make yourself think of solutions rather than problems.
As soon as my cast was removed and I was moved into a leg brace, still on crutches, I was back at work. To anyone who has a long time off let me reassure you that coming back was fine. I knew how hard being away had been, so I happily took the challenges of the work place. Another key point of resilience is seeing the positives in all situations. For example, I have been doing a lot of desk based work since being back as I am less mobile. This has exposed me to so many areas of business that I may not have otherwise experienced. To round up, next time you encounter a hard situation think of it as an opportunity to build your own resilience.