Zack Vayda and Making the Most of it
Last week I wrote about how I was finally able to transition out of an exhausting job that didn't play off any of my skills, only to learn the job I was transitioning into is equally as exhausting, just for the opposite reasons. This was a tough pill to swallow, and I mentioned how defeated I felt. I traded the frying pan for the fire.
I need to keep this job, at least for the time being, so I knew I had to work with it. I had two choices, to do the bare minimum and get the job done, or use the time as efficiently and productively as one can. I've had difficult transitions before where I've chosen the former and I vividly remember how miserable I was, so this time around I wanted to do things differently.
I came prepared the second day. My phone was fully charged, I had several podcasts and playlists downloaded, I brought snacks to break up the day and (most importantly) my thermos was full of warm coffee. I also brought with me an essential question; What am I meant to learn here? What is it that I can gain from this experience?
I love this question because it's self-fulfilling. If I go into a situation without asking, "What am I meant to learn here?" there is a very good chance nothing will be learned. If anything is learned, it's completely happenstance. On the other hand, if I search for an answer to that question throughout a transition, there is a 100% chance I will learn something new. Simply by asking the question, I will get an answer. It's kind of a "you'll miss 100% of the shots you don't take," kind of situation. You won't get an answer to 100% of the questions you don't ask.
You may be skeptical, which I understand. And maybe it's not foolproof, but I can speak to my own experiences. I went into Day 2 of this "terrible" job asking this question, and I've already learned several things about myself:
1. I really love podcasts because for the most part, they're the opposite of social media: it's all very professional and thought out.
2. The older retired men I work with still come to work simply to get out of the house once or twice a week, so I imagine I'll feel similarly at their age.
3. An extreme extrovert can really help make a new person feel welcome, even an introvert.
4. I don't have any Somalian friends. I need to fix that.
5. Not having to deal with customers is absolutely wonderful.
That's just from one day. I'm looking forward to using this difficult time to learn more about myself.
What are you meant to learn here? What is it that you can gain from your current situation?