The following is a story of how I set out to tackle a new field in my consulting days.
At the beginning of the year, I drafted an email to my boss describing what I wanted to accomplish this year. I was in the middle of reading Lean In and was motivated to push myself in my career. I described how I wanted to challenge myself in project work and grow as a Project Manager. I wanted to be the type of PM who really understands how the work is done and how to use the systems in use.
The email sat in my “Drafts” folder. I never clicked Send. Even though I wanted to explore and grow I was afraid to actually ask for it. For the past five years, I have worked, for the most part, solely in Manufacturing Execution Systems. What if my wish came true and I actually got what I asked for? A challenge, something I hadn’t done before, I would have to concentrate and study something new!
Without knowing it, drafting that email put my challenge into motion. A few weeks ago I was asked to manage a Hybrid Cloud Initiative in ServiceNow. I have read a lot about the cloud in a broad sense and how it could be applied to manufacturing but this was a whole different beast. I have spent the last few weeks studying ITIL processes, reading the ServiceNow wiki and meeting new team members with deep expertise in the industry and software. My initial reservations have quickly subsided as I began to wrap my head around the project. The software development lifecycle is the same no matter which software is used. Testing is testing and defects are defects.
I am enjoying my role in this new field. I am able to apply my knowledge and skill set as an IT consultant while learning a powerful, new tool to add to my repertoire. Not only that, but I showed my boss that I am not afraid when it comes to tackling different types of work and stepping up to the plate.
Know that it is ok to have reservations but don’t let them stop you from continuing to grow. In the world today, it is overwhelming to think about the number of people we have to compete with, especially in IT. However, by acting on an individual level and taking personal initiative to grow, we can stay relevant and fulfilled.
Share if you’ve challenged yourself this year!