The Learning Curve

Voicing your ideas, concerns, and questions is helpful to everyone involved in a task. Voicing your ideas, concerns, and questions is helpful to everyone involved in a task.

After you’ve been doing the 9 to 5 for some years, you learn a good deal about yourself, others and the working culture. Here are a few of those learned lessons to keep in mind for the daily grind:

Learning to be proactive

There is nothing worse than discovering problems with a project at the last minute. While it can’t always be avoided, in some cases you can nip things in the bud before they even have a chance to cause an issue. If it is a new project you are working on, make sure you have all of the details you need: the purpose, the client’s wishes, when they expect to see it at different phases, etc. It can be helpful to jot down a list to have this information handy and remember to look at a project from all angles to minimize the risk of unexpected problems.

Learning to ask for help

This one can be difficult to do at times, as being in control of all aspects of an assignment is a hard thing to give up. But, you will realize you are not superhuman, and need to delegate a task now and then to someone else. It doesn’t mean that you can’t handle it all; rather, it means you have enough sense to realize either the project or you will suffer if you try and do it all on your own.

Learning to offer suggestions/ask questions

Voicing your ideas, concerns, and questions is necessary and helpful to everyone involved in a task. Your thoughts are valid and you have the right to ask questions and give an opinion. So speak up at that next meeting, and you may be surprised how beneficial it can be to you as well as your coworkers.

Learning when to let it go

As mentioned above, offering suggestions and opinions is always useful in projects. However, what you believe is a great idea may not always end up as the right direction for the final product. Ultimately, either a majority decision or manager’s decision has the final say, and you need to accept it.

Learning to work as a team

Working with others is vital to a successful project, but working with different personalities isn’t always easy. It’s important to recognize your differences, but to make an effort to accept them and keep the project as the center of your focus. If a disagreement does come up, set time aside to address it openly, come up with a solution or compromise, and move on.

Learning to accept that we all make mistakes

Yes, even you, who may have a perfect track record or think you will never make a mistake. We are all imperfect and occasionally things happen that make us wish we had a rewind button. It’s important to own up to your mistake and then learn from it. Whether it’s being more careful proofreading in the future or taking your time to ensure all pieces are included in an email. Don’t beat yourself up too much over it, and just keep it in mind for future projects.

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