The profound Josie Geller once said that in order to write well, you must be able to write what you know.
As I type this at the back of yet again another Uber ride, I am sure of one thing: I am a 27 year old former publicist who has transitioned into the murky world of accounts management.
Transition is not a relatively new thing for me. In fact, my career from the moment I finished college at 19 has been a story of transitioning from one field to another.
As a child, one of my biggest dreams was to become a teacher and this dream was realized at the age of 21 after having a spent a few years in the field of what I have originally studied: Marketing.
I used to be seamless with transitions with a strong ability to adapt. In the nearly 10 years that I have been out of school, I have become a pre-school teacher, a college teacher, a special education teacher, a writer, a resource speaker, and eventually a publicist.
Transitions used to excite me, but today as I try to spin the words that would eventually shape this article, I can tell you one thing: transitions become more difficult with age.
And while I have always prided myself in inheriting my dad’s strong work ethic (my dad is always the first to tell me that personal issues could never be used as an excuse to not work—ever), I will be the first to admit that I have never worked as hard as I have in the past month. Tomorrow marks my first month in my new job post and in the first month alone I have been humbled enough to understand that despite working for almost a decade already, I simply do not know anything. The steep learning curve has left me sharp.
A seminar with the famed Vic Eduave made me realize the importance of humbling one’s self in order to grow as a person. The seminar talked about a specific advertising discipline but what I would forever remember is the impact of sitting in a room with probably one of the most brilliant minds in the country and realizing that you still have so much to learn. I may forget what was taught but that lightbulb moment will be immortalized forever.
As adults, we have the tendency to hide behind the façade of pretending to know everything thinking that this persona is what will make us great. But in reality and picked up from the many conversations I have been fortunate enough to have with the country’s top female executives, the true measure of a great leader/employee is one’s ability to reinvent one’s self and this can only be done through learning. And as we all know, the best way to learn is by first realizing that we don’t know all that we need to know.
On the most challenging of days, I do find myself questioning the switch I made especially since I have been so comfortable in the world of public relations and yet, the fact that there is so much for me to learn and grow from excites me about the numerous possibilities ahead of me.
My younger brother always tells me that it’s during the most challenging of times, the times when you’re almost pushed over the brink that you grow the most. I am grateful to be where I am now (and also because my working environment is one that fosters learning and doesn’t ostracize during mistakes) because it has given me another chance to see myself in a way I haven’t before.
Don’t get me wrong. It can be quite unnerving and often feels like going up for air when you’ve only just recovered from nearly drowning but at the end of the day, I put up my feet and celebrate because I’m adding a new dimension to who I am.
It’s amazing how much once can evolve in a month once the ego is stripped away and is replaced with a spirit that is unfazed by change and determined to learn no matter what the cost.
* * *