As mentioned in my recent post, one of my goals this year is to be more purposeful with my time and life outside of work, and spend more time to learn, read, and write about the topics I’m interested in. Recently, I came across some learning opportunities that address how we can pivot our mindset at work (especially as junior members on the team) to help us succeed–and feel happier.
One challenge that I sometimes face at work is how to feel motivated, accomplished and valued, when I work with people who are evidently more experienced than I am. Most of the time, I feel grateful and inspired to work with many smart individuals (this might sound silly, sometimes I even feel my eye light up just observing how brilliant some of my co-workers are…). But I have to admit, it does get to me sometimes and makes me doubt myself. The below tips are inspiring to me, and I’d like to continue to remind myself throughout my career:
- Use it to your advantage as you rise to the top: Instead of thinking your time at the bottom of the corporate ladder as an insult, know that what you learn at the bottom could help you greatly on your rise to the top. Learning the nuts and bolts of the company could later give you a big advantage. All of the top growth-mindset CEOs know their companies from top to bottom, inside out, and upside down. So, think about what you are learning/observing that the higher management may not know, and how you can use this experience to help add value.
- You’re getting paid to learn: It’s common to feel less valued when you’re still green in your career. And inevitably–regardless of your title–there will be times when you feel frustrated at work. But think of it this way: not only is your company paying you, but it is also giving you great opportunities to learn (whether that’s learning new skills, or learning how to deal with difficult people). So essentially, you’re getting paid to learn. That’s a pretty good deal when you compare with any class/degree tuition fees!
- You’re hired as a specialist: Even though you may be more junior, you’re hired because the hiring manager saw that you have skill sets that the organization is lacking. So even when you’re around people who have been in the corporate world longer, there are certain areas where you have more expertise in. Own it, hone your expertise, and eventually people will come to you when you’ve proven yourself.
- Embrace the growth mindset (vs. fixed mindset): Those with the growth mindset find success in doing their best, in learning and improving. They also find setbacks motivating, because setbacks are informative and are wake-up calls that you have room for improvement. So, don’t worry about being a “nobody”. If you go for it with all you have, you will already be a “somebody”–Somebodies are not determined by whether they won or lost. Somebodies are people embrace challenge and lead with a desire to learn.
I hope you find at least one tip here helpful, and my promise to myself is that when I look back at this post in a few years, I will see the improvements I’ve made from these learnings.