The summer took a toll on me this year. A break from this space wasn’t what I wanted, but when there are so many things in your life pulling you in so many directions, something’s got to give. I’m thankful this blog is here waiting for me whenever I’m ready. I’m ready now.
The last month or so has been a huge leaning experience and a professional growth arch for me.
Just when I was getting out of the ‘I need a nap everyday’ phase of pregnancy and starting to feel like a human again, I was thrown head first into a whirlwind at work. I don’t talk too much about my time at the theatre. I’m not sure why. I guess having that side of my time and life separate just makes sense to my creative endeavors. Although, I feel like I’m ready to place some perspective, sort through some feelings, and share some discoveries in professional and career development.
I’ve always thought of myself as ‘career-minded.’ There was never any doubt that was the path I wanted and I certainly found some identity in who I was professionally. Over the years, I’ve learned life lessons through those trials and frustrating times. For example, my long journey to a job I genuinely like, showed me that I’m so much more than what I do for a living and that lesson still resonates with me today. However, I still find joy and gratification in my role as a professional. I get to have great ideas and see them lived out in my work; something that never gets old to me.
Even though I show up to a job I’m excited about everyday, there are moments of hardship. The last month or two has really rocked me and reminded me that I’m still young and I still have years and years of growth in front of me. While it’s hard when you’re in it, I know that it is the fire that refines us and I’m grateful for those times for without them I’d be no better tomorrow than I am today. I never want to be stagnant.
Sometimes you learn and grow gradually over a period of time so that when you look back, no one certain moment stands out as defining. Other times you can pin point it exactly and say “because of today, I’ll be better at this tomorrow.”
Here are some things I’ve learned recently and hope to carry with me always.
1. Be cautious how you speak to others in a heated moment. How you handle pressure and an inappropriate response from someone else can speak loudly about who you are and how you handle things. You can make a huge impression on others by what you choose not to say.
2. Think about your career path and what this trial is teaching you in terms of skill set. Ask yourself, what am I learning from this? What skills am I acquiring that I will want or need in the future?
3. Give yourself permission to make mistakes. Allow yourself a revision or six. Sometimes things are a process and you need all those steps to get to the right place.
4. Sometimes you just have to pull the trigger and make a decision. Give yourself some credit. You’re better than you think.
5. Don’t take responsibility for things that aren’t your responsibility. Focus on your tasks. Sometimes it’s acceptable to ignore the big picture in an effort to get things done.
6. Think outside the box. Try something new. It’s hard to scrap an idea all together, but sometimes forcing something that isn’t working is going leave you disappointed again and again. Starting fresh is the best way to get out of a rut.
7. Stand up for yourself. Ask for what you want. Seems straight forward enough, but I still need a reminder from time to time.
8. Communication styles vary from person to person and relationships matter. Getting something done can hugely depend on your relationship with someone and your personal ability to speak openly and directly. If you’re not in a place to do that with a decision maker, find someone who is. Sometimes you need an advocate.
My work in this particular project is far from over, but I certainly feel better equipped to see it to the end. I’m confident moving forward and I’m excited to look back and feel proud of my success.