I’ve always been a short arse; I think I missed the days when they were handing out the growth pill or something. For a long time, I thought that I would never succeed because I was too short. I believed, rather foolishly, that only way to truly get somewhere in life was to be tall. In hindsight I was entirely wrong. But, when your lacking in self-confidence, your own brain and thoughts become your worst enemy.
When I first started to progress though my chosen career path, I thought I had all the skills required to undertake almost any role. And while I had some skills, my knowledge was very limited. Granted, it was a lot more than some of those around me, but it wasn’t anywhere near what it is now. At the time, I thought I knew it all. In truth, I know stuff all.
For the longest time I persisted on a professional pattern that soon became the norm and it went something like this:
Get new the job > learnt all about the job > do the job for a while >
try for a new job > get new the job > repeat.
This technique was enough to get me into several quality roles and even payed the way for our family to eventually move to Melbourne, before another move to Brisbane. So, I can’t really mock the process, but I will anyway.
The problem with this process is eventually what you have isn’t enough. The skills you’ve gathered going role to role give you knowledge, but little in the way of actionable skills.
At some point you need to commit to learning a broader set of actionable skills that compliment all that knowledge and the most effective way of doing that is becoming a lifelong learner.
This isn’t about learning all you need to get the next role or the one after that. This about being on an evolutionary path that has no end. There’s always more stuff to learn, more information to take in.
At the end of the day, your never as good as you think you are; there’s always opportunity to learn more, be proven wrong, make mistakes, completely fuck something up and learn what it like to operate in conflict.
The first step is the most difficult one to take and the second isn’t that far behind it, the third isn’t possible without the first two. So, the three steps are:
Admitting you’re not perfect.
Yes, I know, were all perfect snowflakes, the problems are never ours; it’s always someone else’s problem; they can’t see your worth. Sadly, my deluded friend, the reality it quite the opposite. Everyone else can see the truth, it is you that is blinded. Maybe it’s your ego (and no that’s not a dirty word, just ask Skyhooks!), may it’s your confirmation bias, maybe it’s Maybelline!
Whatever it is, you don’t stand a chance if you can’t take a real critical look at yourself. Its not going to be comfortable, but you need to sit down all by yourself and take note of all the skills your missing, all the things you thought you knew but didn’t and all the things you’ve let yourself down on.
You wont fix anything by blaming everyone else for your current state. Your history may the reason you are where you are, but it has fuck all to do with where you go from here.
It’s a hard thing to get your head around and your ego won’t want you to do it but ignore that little fucker and put it back into its box.
If you want to be better and do more with your life, then own that shit and get to work.
Get to work.
There is a variety of free and inexpensive options to start building skills quickly. Below is a small list of free things that are available. There are no links in the below list, I’m not doing all the work for you!
Google Digital Garage, also known as Learn Digital with Google
This rather basic collection of courses is free to anyone and has some really helpful ‘courses’ to complete. There’s nothing mind-blowing here, but you will learn a thing or two.
No, not the movie, although you may learn a thing or two from him too! TED is a great resource to both challenge what you think and get you some knowledge at the same time. On occasion, you’ll also learn something actionable at the same time.
I know this one, LinkedIn is for when you are looking for a job right? Sure, most us it for that, but if you follow the right people, you’ll also learn something. A key example, for those that manage people, is David Burkus who regularly posts insightful videos on managing people.
Ok, so this one isn’t strictly free. But if you have free time on the bus or in the car each day to work, then audiobooks are for you. It beats whatever shit is on the radio, seriously, how often can you listen to My Sharona before it starts causing brain damage!
So, there you have it, simple, actionable stuff that isn’t going to really consume to much extra time in your day.
The only person standing in your way is you, I can say…. or write whatever I want here, but you’re the only one who can take the action, so stop stuffing around and get going. Get learning.
Now, if you don’t mind, I can feel something coming on and hopefully it’s a growth spurt!
‘til next time….. Cheers!