One of the most common talking points I have with other young professionals is in regards to what is expected of us as many of us have received very little training from our employers. Yet we are expected to wear multiple hats and get everything done, with deadlines of yesterday, while keeping up with our colleagues who have years of experience and training already under their belts.
This growing trend has been a frustration for me and the many other young professionals who just want to make the world better than it is. Plus, it is incredibly terrifying to be thrown a handful of projects with no idea on how to conquer them before their deadlines.
To me the feeling is like being thrown overboard in the middle of the ocean with a lifesaver and asked to get to shore with only the ability to swim. Sure, you’ve got a great foundation and a tool that can prepare you for the challenges ahead but: How can you find the shoreline? What resources will you have and/or find along the way? What obstacles will you encounter? How will you survive?
In my opinion, April from Parks and Recreation (video) said it best to her partner-in-crime, Andy:
“I’m going to tell you a secret about everyone else’s job: No one knows what they’re doing. Deep down everyone is just faking it until they figure it out. And you will, too, because you are awesome and everyone else sucks.”
I can’t think of anyone that hasn’t had a moment similar to Andy’s at least once in their career. We are all just fish swimming in an ocean navigating through rough waters, tidal waves, and at times, even hurricanes. These moments and hardships help define and guide us throughout our careers.
But, while I am still in the beginning stage of my career I am doubtful this feeling will ever go away; even if we do receive adequate training and support from our colleagues. There is no way to know everything as there will always be something new to learn and even a new, seemingly impossible project on the horizon.
So let’s navigate some rough waters together and make the world a better place. What say you?