Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Embrace the Unknown and Imperfection

I'm finally linking up with Alyssa and the Back to Blogging Challenge! If you haven't heard about it, yet, go check it out right now!

The prompt I am using today is:

One thing about today that you wish you knew a year ago. 

A year ago, I was just a few months into a career change. I went from being a sales manager with a team of 6-10 employees that were selling internet to a training and development manager for a transportation company - holy wow. Not only that, but I work for my dream brand now: Coca Cola.

Needless to say, the stakes were high and I felt like a fish out of water. This was a new industry, a completely new job that I had no experience in but for my dream company. I didn't want to mess this up but I felt like the odds were kind of against me.

I had 5 days of training about the general transportation industry and then I was off and running. Keep in mind, I was there to create the training so the "training" I had wasn't the most in depth or effective so that was my starting point - how do I improve on this? But first, I had to figure out what in the world a training program should look like.

All of this backstory to just explain that I felt like I was drowning a little bit. Every single day I learned a new word, a new function in the industry,  a new training tactic and on and on. And I wish I had learned to just embrace the unknown sooner.  

The unknown is where you learn, grow, change, and develop yourself. By getting out of that comfort zone, you learned who you really are as a person, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and what you're truly passionate about.

A year ago, if I could have told myself that now I would be the Training and Development manager for the entire company instead of just one department, I don't think I would have believed me. If I told myself that people come to me all day long asking for advice and help and want little ole me to help them better themselves and their teams, I really don't think I would have believed myself.

I've done so much in the last year that I never could have imagined doing when I began this journey and I think it would have been a lot easier had I just embraced the unknown from the beginning.

I was too caught up in "is this the perfect way to train?" "what if I forgot a topic?" "I don't want to bother them by asking questions" "Is this the perfect font?" and on and on and on. I was so worried about the little details, that when I was complimented or thanked for my work, I was still too concerned that it wasn't perfect. So, the other lesson I would give myself would be embrace imperfection. 

I'm working on both of these things every day, but I've gotten so much better about asking for help, asking for clarification and managing expectations of my work (both to myself and to the teams I work with). By finally learning that the unknown is OKAY and I don't have to know everything about everything to be successful and the first time doesn't have to be perfect. And honestly, neither does the second or third or fourth - we're always growing and evolving!

Have you had any experiences like this that pushed you out of your comfort zone?


Anonymous said...

Embrace the unknown—so key! We often get caught up in having to know everything and launch ourselves ahead of the curve or scramble to the front of the line on some things, but taking it day by day and marveling at all that you learn and all that changes day to day is worth something (a lot!) too. That John Steinbeck is a powerful one—definitely something I need to remember.

So glad you joined the challenge!

StephTheBookworm said...

So, so scary to face the unknown but sometimes it just works out wonderfully! So glad you landed in a role that seems to really fit you!

Donna said...

I just wrote this prompt today and I love how eloquently you wrote about your experience. I am currently in a season where I need to embrace the unknown and it is HARD! So far I'm still working on embracing the idea that things don't go as planned. Happy to hear that you've landed in such a happy place!

Mattie @ Northwest Native said...

I definitely need to work on embracing the unknown! This is such a great reminder. I'm glad you've been able to learn these things in the past year.

Erin of TexErin-in-SydneyLand said...

"Embracing the unknown" is something relevant for me personally right now. Long story, but my husband and I are small business owners. We are closing our store in exactly one month's time. We have a wide variety of options and opportunities in our path, but there is still a lot of risk and unknown. Embracing that unknown is key to making this transition exciting!