Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Learning Curve


“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” ~ Alan Watts


You know the worst thing about a new(ish) job?  Not knowing what you’re doing.  That never happened at my old job.  I mean, sure, sometimes I’d run into something with a new twist to keep things sort of interesting, but after thirteen years, nothing was going to come my way that would completely throw me for a loop, nothing that I couldn’t figure out.

Today began my second full week working on my own, and I’ve already lost track of the number of times I’ve wondered how long it will be before I feel like I really know what I’m doing.  Oh, I can get through most of the tasks okay, but a lot of the reasoning behind the tasks is still something of a mystery to me, so it leaves me being very reactive rather than proactive.  I can honestly say I’m not particularly fond of that feeling.  And I’m certainly not fond of the mistakes I make, or the painfully slow pace with which I do so many things.  And knowing that it’s all part of the learning process isn’t really helping me.

It’s strange the way some things make you really examine yourself.  For instance, I don’t consider myself particularly competitive, or much of a perfectionist, but when I’m making stupid little mistakes multiple times throughout the day, or constantly dropping into someone’s office to ask another question, it really starts to weigh me down.  Maybe I’m more competitive than I typically believe. 

On the other hand, even as lost as I’ve felt this past week or so, and even with the ridiculous mistakes I’ve made, I’ve managed to get through quite a few “firsts”, things that I managed to do for the first time on my own.  And, one of the other assistants has come to me several times looking for help to do some things that she had never done before.  I like that.  Even though I know she’s only been there maybe three or four months longer than I have, I still like the idea that there’s something I can do to help, rather than just being a constant drain on resources.  And, who knows?  Maybe tomorrow will by my first mistake-free, question-free day.