This afternoon I went to Anthropology to exchange some knobs for the dresser I recently gave a makeover to. It was a slightly complicated exchange as some of the original knobs were purchased in store and others online. I watched as the girl’s eyes grew a little bit as I explained my needs. She took a deep breath and looked down at the keyboard and began the process. She typed and scanned and finally reached for her ear piece, sighed, and called for assistance.
“I’m brand new” she said to me. “So everything I do is for the first time, and it’s a really vulnerable position to be in!”
Preach it, girl!
I have been in my new job for just over 3 months. It feels equally like 3 weeks and 3 years. It has been a whirlwind of new information as I jumped head first into this brand new profession. Most of it has been exciting. I have loved learning the intricacies of the world of social advertising and digital media. Some of it has come easily and the rest I have worked to make it look like is has come easily. I have read, asked questions, problem solved, explored, and asked more questions.
This week I took on an all new set of responsibilities. Big responsibilities. It was a whole new kind of intensity, and I felt like I was scrambling up the side of a cliff as fast as I could without any gear. Hell, I wasn’t even sure if I knew how to climb! But, I mustered all of my courage and confidence and went for it. I problem solved. I took risks. I learned in a few days about as much as I have learned in as many weeks. And I had to ask for a lot of help because at the end of the day, I have still only been in this profession for 3 months, and I don’t yet know all of the things.
By the time Friday rolled around, I was tired and frustrated, and it was harder to muster my courage and confidence. I felt so intensely worn out and small. Because Anthropology girl is right. Being new can be a really vulnerable position to be in. She felt bad and embarrassed for having to ask so many questions and I think of how often I still hold back some questions because I have asked so many already. I think of my students who must have found themselves in this same boat so many times and I have a new kind of empathy for them.
I am glad for Anthropology girl for being wonderful and helpful. I am grateful that she reminded me that I am not alone on this cliff and we newbies in whatever our fields will all make it up to the top eventually.