In previous jobs, I’ve had the liberty to complete tasks whichever way I saw fit; there was no better way for me to provide career counseling to students other than my own way. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration. Of course I couldn’t do whatever I wanted, but I did have some significant creative freedom in my work. Now? Not so much. There is a very specific order, a specific hierarchy, a set protocol and everything must be handled accordingly. Needless to say, in my nearly 2 months of being in my new role I’ve made some mistakes. Nothing major (hopefully) but enough of a blunder to make me stop and say, “Okay Rayna, don’t ever do that again.” The problem is that there has been a little more to that internal conversation. Sometimes it’s more like, “Omg, why’d you do that? Omg, omg, omg! Omg, Rayna. Why?!” and then some sulking, some regret, and some more panic. I’ve had to remind myself that: A. I’m human, B. I’m new to this, and C. It’s not the end of the world. These facts are harder to grasp but very necessary reminders for myself.
For one reason or another, I’m very hard on myself (and others) about mistakes so transitioning into this completely new role has really challenged me to be nicer to myself (and others). As many times as you’ve heard it, you have to start separating what you do from who you are. Making a mistake doesn’t mean that you are a mistake or that failing means you’re a failure. Every opportunity to mess up is an opportunity to learn and grow. Every successful person that you see and every know-it-all was once a know-nothing. Learning is a never-ending process so look at your mishaps as a new challenge to up your awesome.