Angry Man

Lessons a Baby Boomer Learned While Dealing with New Career Creation Under Duress (Thank you COVID-19)

Originally posted on June 26, 2020 @ 8:22 pm

Angry ManI am astounded by how many lessons I’ve learned all in one day through the vehicle of making many, enormous mistakes.  It’s certainly true that expertise is earned through trial and error, small successes and huge failures.

Despite the title of this post, I’m not really changing careers.  Actually, I’m tweaking my career to accommodate the challenges put on it by the coronavirus.  To accomplish this tweak, I have to get a whole lot better at technologies I’ve always used but not in the same manner and I have to do it quickly.  This tweak is also requiring that I learn to work with my husband/career partner in new ways and I have to do it quickly.

So here are the lessons I learned from the mistakes I’ve made while delivering my very first project under this new scenario:

  1. Even if you think you’ve already done this thing a million times, DON’T WAIT UNTIL ANYWHERE NEAR DEADLINE DAY TO START.  You’re probably shaking your head and saying, “Duh, who doesn’t know that?”  The fact is, to do this project I had to do something I’ve been doing, literally, for years!  I didn’t realize until the attempted deployment of this project that I hadn’t been doing this exact thing for years, just something like it.  This threw me into a blind tizzy as I realized I wasn’t actually prepared to do what I was about to do.
  2. Even if you think you’ve understood your relationship with your business partners (such as vendors), DON’T WAIT UNTIL ANYWHERE NEAR DEADLINE DAY TO START working with them in a different manner.  See number 1 for what you’re probably saying right now.  I didn’t realize until the attempted deployment of this project that I had never worked with this business partner in this way and therefore I didn’t know the policies and limitations and legalities involved.
  3. Even if you think you’ve been working with your spouse/partner for years in this career, DON’T WAIT UNTIL ANYWHERE NEAR DEADLINE DAY TO DISCUSS how this new project will affect your respective roles.  This was a bad way to learn about shortcomings I didn’t know I had and strengths that I didn’t know he had.  One bright side of this, the reverse was also true.
  4. NEVER EVER ASSUME (we all already knew this, right!) you know the answer to a question/challenge without actually talking to your clients.  Guess what, they know many things about their capabilities that you don’t know.  This item alone could have saved me, literally, two days of work!
  5. And this is the biggest takeaway from my almost complete fail:  DON’T GIVE UP.  Walk away for a while.  Think.  Discuss.  Reach out and revisit items 1-4 above and then come back, armed with new knowledge and, most likely, solutions to your problems.

The start of today was a fail.  Now it’s a WIN.

I hope this helps you through the challenges you are undoubtedly being forced to face during this COVID-19 debacle.  Hang on in there!

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