New Beginnings

I got a new job!  Huzzah!  I am so excited.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed my old job but I got to the point where I felt like I had learned as much as I could and that I needed to take my skills to the next step.

My new job sounds like not just a next step though, it sounds like a BIG step.  It increases my responsibilities and also brings me into a territory where I don’t think I’m going to be knowing what I’m doing.  I have been getting this moment of panic where I wonder if I am overconfident in my abilities and applied for a job outside of my reach.

Don’t get me wrong – I think I will be able to do a lot of this job well 60% of the time.  But, for instance, they are giving me a Mac computer to use.  I have been completely PC oriented for the past 3.5 years.  The last time I used a Mac consistently was in college, and that feels like a long time ago now.

During the interview, I was also quizzed on my level of Excel knowledge.  Oh, easy, I thought.  And then the questions got harder and harder and before I knew it…my interviewer had said that he believed I was a novice in Excel.  Gulp.  I really thought I knew a lot about Excel, but clearly not to the level they were looking for.

So during this week off, I have this fear that I maybe am pulling an Anakin.  Maybe I think I know more than I actually do.  Maybe I thought I was ready, but in reality, I’m not at all.

Padme packingI am reminded  of the scene between Anakin and Padmé in Attack of the Clones when he is telling her that he is ready for the trials.  They are in his apartment and he just sounds like a whiney child.  He feels like he is prepared to take the trials and no one can see it but him.  Padmé is slightly condescending, but tries her best to be understanding.  Hearing Anakin talk, we – as an audience – feel that perhaps he is being too impatient.

Is that what I am doing now?  Was I too impatient?  When I was applying for jobs, I felt like the 3.5 years I had had at the place was good enough.  And, yes, I felt like I had outgrown my mentor.  Outgrowing your mentor is one thing, but taking a leap into the unknown is another thing.  But on the other end, if I don’t take a leap into the unknown, then how can I be pushed to the best of my ability?  Where is the balance?

We saw that Anakin got his butt beaten by Count Dooku in two seconds flat for his overconfidence.  So let’s hope that doesn’t happen to me.

 

Don’t get me wrong… Obi-Wan is a great mentor, as
wise as Master Yoda and as powerful as Master Windu. I am
truly thankful to be his apprentice. Only… although I’m a
Padawan learner, in some ways… a lot of ways… I’m ahead
of him. I’m ready for the trials. I know I am!

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10 thoughts on “New Beginnings

  1. Congratulations on your new job. If you buckle down and focus, you will soon the Excel Jedi Master, and surpass all Excel Jedi Masters before you.
    But, don’t rush into things too much, because you might end up dangling over a gas planet with your hand cut off by your greatest enemy who is really your father. That’s what I call a bad day.

    • Great article. I do know about the imposter syndrome and I sure am a victim of it.
      On a related note, it was actually Sandberg’s Lean In book that is the reason I applied for this job. She gave some kind of statistic in it saying (don’t quote me on this) that when women see a job description and feel that they cannot meet 100% of the criteria the company is asking for, they won’t apply. Whereas men will look at the description, and feel that if they can do at least 50% of what they are asking, they will apply, showing that they do not struggle near as much with the perfectionism women are always trying to attain.
      For some reason, that statistic really stuck in my mind because it was true. I was always applying for jobs I knew I could 100% do to my ability, and by doing that, I was applying to jobs that would have been a lateral move, not an upward move.
      This job that I got said it wanted someone with at least 5 years of experience (I have 3.5), experience with analytic and budget forecasting (uh oh), and highly proficient in Excel (as we saw, I was not as proficient as I believed I was). However, I still applied because I remembered what Sheryl Sandberg wrote regarding women applying for jobs. And look…4 interviews later, I was offered the job and accepted. So I kind of thank her Lean In book for inspiring me and helping me realize that I was falling into the trap that many women fall into.
      That said, I think your article also came at a good time because I am doing the Imposter Syndrome hard core right now. I’m a fast learner and I’m sure I can learn whatever they throw at me, but thanks for this double awareness.
      AND, one last thing, my favorite part from the article you linked: “Her piece ends with a heartening quote from a sociology professor at Notre Dame: ‘Researchers find that impostorism is most often found among extremely talented and capable individuals, not people who are true impostors.’ Those plagued by insecurity are paradoxically more likely to be high-achieving. Their doubt drives them to push themselves harder…”

      • “Their doubt drives them to push themselves harder…” That part really hit me too. I am a hardcore perfectionist.
        Your personal example is a great lesson for anyone job hunting…which is hopefully not me anytime soon!

  2. Woot! Congrats on the new job! One thing you’ve got on Anakin is that you’re willing to admit and face any perceived weaknesses. A wise Jedi once said, “Named must your fear be before banish it you can.”

    Now, just go forth and knock it out of the park!

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