1. Entering a field you know nothing about is liberating
If you’re anything like me, it’s natural for us to gravitate towards activities we’re good at; jobs we think we can get, or friends that make us feel comfortable. It’s easy. So taking a chance at a job you’re not confident you’ll get - in a field I couldn’t have known less about anything is scary - and it’s hard. But eventually you have to get out of that really comfy body crevasse in your bed, that you’ve been working so hard on, and make a move.
When you take a step towards betterment, you may be pleasantly surprised like I was. Being in a new job, in a field I was unfamiliar with allowed me to explore and work on the deepest most undeveloped areas of my Self. Discovering things I never thought I’d be good at and weaknesses that were quickly, yet politely, brought to fruition. Starting a clean slate, with new people, the unique opportunity I had to bring a fresh perspective to a mature industry was, and still is, exciting and liberating.
2. An opportunity to get creative
Creativity was something I never imagined would be part of my first job. They usually have whole departments for that, but in this case I’m in the thick of it. Starting in my position on the cusp of a re-brand was an amazing opportunity to get my feet wet and use my creativity. I mean… I wrote this blog article and now it’s on the website! (never mind that I have write access to all the pages…)
I get to be part of important decision making processes and see conceptual buds of ideas blossom into real life works of functional art. It gives my team and I physical representations of the achievements we’ve managed and constantly reminds us of our customers, our brand, products, and company promises.
3. Succeeding just by being me
I have strengths to bring to my team that stem from my education, but I also have weaknesses. Insecurities rooted in taking chances with unfamiliar situations and failing. But a big one was the fear of not being able to keep my side of the bargain when a company took a chance to hire me. Generally speaking we want to please our superiors and give them what they ask for, but it’s not terribly easy to go above and beyond when you’re being asked to get coffee or file papers. Really not mind blowing revolutionary work there, right? But it’s where a lot of us start.
Well, luckily when you’re trusted from the get-go to do your job, the pressure is on to perform so you do, and you do it well. Giving people that little bit of autonomy, especially in my case, goes a long way. Feeling like my voice is being heard, my opinions valued, and my ideas taken into consideration, gives me the confidence to get up and do my job every day. Despite my reservations or weaknesses and despite the fact that my poorly formed university habits being as easy to revert to as a box of mac n’ cheese, I had been given real responsibilities and succeeded. I’m more me than I have ever been, demolishing insecurities and building strengths every day.
4. Culture – Canadian Energy
When you’re starting a new job in an industry you know little about I couldn’t imagine a worse scenario that being plopped in a cubicle and told “you’ll get it eventually”. Left to my own devices I would have twiddled my thumbs and gone home thirty minutes early but my first day didn’t happen like that. Despite being similarly plopped in a cubicle myself, I was soon introduced to a supportive, trusting team that quickly became an indispensable asset to have on my side.
A team of Canadians that work hard and play hard is a rare find in my opinion. Sorry guys, I mean any team that works hard and plays hard is a rare find. But what is even more rare, and quite frankly came as a surprise to me, was that this team was passionate about their work! Passionate… about batteries? Seriously? But the answer is yes. The passion and love my team has for their company and their jobs is unparalleled, which I think is a dang good recipe for success in my books.
With a year and a half under my belt, I haven’t downloaded all 25 years of our company’s history just yet, but I have learned a lot. Not only about batteries, but how culture affects the work you do, and how to get more out of your job than just another line on your resume.
So, my long-winded takeaway is this: try new things, meet new people, test yourself, improve yourself – what’s the worst that could happen? At the end of the day you’ll be better, or at least more experienced, than you started out.