By Barbara Harvey
Weekend Warrior Lucy Schott (Organisational Capability Specialist at Domain) spends her weekend saving lives at North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club. We recently interviewed Lucy on what drives her to do this incredible work and what she thinks mental toughness is.
We encountered Lucy Schott at the She Leads International Women’s Day event earlier this year. Her tenacity, compassion and intellect were so impressive, that we weren’t surprised to discover that outside of work she spends her time, energy and focus on saving lives as a Vice Captain of Patrols at North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club and as a crew member of the rescue boat team. Read below to find out more about her work, life, thoughts and insights on Mental Toughness.
“Being a surf lifesaver is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. I am honoured to be able to contribute and serve society.”
Tell me about your career journey?
My career development has taken me from a small rural primary school in Thailand, a public school in Sydney, training groups of teachers in the Department of Education, working as an eLearning Developer at Macquarie University to my current role as an Organisational Capability Specialist at Domain Group.
In my current role at Domain Group, I coordinate the National Onboarding Program; ensuring that new starters have a positive experience within their first six months with us. I also design online learning materials to help support our sales teams develop their product knowledge at a time and place that suits them.
My uncle always used to say to me: “Your career is all about taking the next step to move forward. Ask yourself before you make the next step, will this move me forwards or backwards?”
What drew you to Surf Life Saving and what does it involve?
I became a surf lifesaver three years ago to conquer my fears. I was afraid of ocean and waves, having almost drowned as a child in the surf. Another reason was to learn how to conduct CPR. Someone in my immediate family died and was not given CPR effectively, for which I was a witness. This memory has always stayed in my mind and I wanted to learn what to do in case I ever had to do this again.
Now that I have conquered my fears and run towards big waves rather than away from them, being a surf lifesaver is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. I am honoured to be able to contribute and serve society.
Now I teach others how to do CPR and give first aid. I am now a vice captain of two patrols at North Bondi Surf life saving Club. Last year, my patrol won National Rescue of the month, having rescued a group of approximately 15 swimmers in rough conditions. For this we were awarded the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia Personal Sigil Medal.
What does Mental Toughness mean to you?
Mental toughness for me all about resilience and self confidence. It is about knowing who you are in the face of adversity and being able to challenge yourself and others to step up and do what is necessary to complete the task and beat the odds.
But it also important to consider that mental toughness is not just about fighting and resisting, but remaining calm, balanced and being a positive example to others in the face of challenging situations.
How does your work in Surf Life Saving impact on your day job at Domain?
I have always valued working towards a higher purpose, helping to support people. Being a lifesaver gives me confidence in who I am and my values and I would like to think that this translates at work. I enjoy helping others around the office, in the same way that I do on the beach.
I like to be able to use my skills as a lifesaver at work, as a fire warden and first aid officer, two responsibilities which may seem trivial for some but I take seriously.
I think being a lifesaver also helps you remain calm during stressful work situations and maintain perspective on the bigger picture of things.
You have had some tough challenges in your life, what advice do you have for others in challenging situations?
Life is all about perspective. Challenging situations occur on a daily basis whether that be missing the bus, having a difficult conversation at work or a fight with your partner. But it is all about the way you view the situation. I believe everything happens for a reason and any challenging situation is here for us to learn something. This is something I always try to remember. It is also important to remember who you are and remember what you believe in.