One of the most notable drawbacks of gaining experience in any field, is the risk of work getting monotonous, uninteresting, rote.
There seems to be no new challenge, no new imprint, and since things are going on the way they have always been going, you keep doing the regular things, in the self-same regular way. When this is the case and we become too familiar with our jobs, there is a higher tendency of passing up unique opportunities, and mainly due to the fact that we have stopped stimulating our brains.
Today’s post is a particularly serious one and its aim is to get us on our toes, to inspire us (myself included).It is only a matter of time before your experience becomes outdated.
You ask, ‘Isn’t experience the best teacher?’ And in the spirit of respect for personal views and opinions, I would say that although experience can be a good teacher, we can gain newer, more relevant experiences with each passing moment, if we choose to. You know, there are some jobs for which to properly handle them, we really (emphasis on really) have to leave our comfort zones.
Like, we might literally have to fold up our comfort zones as if they were mattresses and probably dispose of them – because that phase, is simply over. I have found, that these are the jobs that afford me the best opportunities to learn. Sometimes I might be lazy about it, but I almost always know when I have to go the extra mile, even when pay ain’t gonna be extra (tell me about it). They are challenging, fresh, exciting and different from what we are used to doing.
That is it. What are you doing with that opportunity to learn? I know, you might have to read over five thousand words on the subject matter to effectively capture what you ought to say in less than a thousand words, and it seems like, you would be paid only a minute fraction for the pain you’ve had to go through crafting that piece, but passing up this opportunity may bear much dire consequences.
Life is funny, in the sense that everything seems to be inter-related. So inter-related, that passing up an opportunity might be tantamount to passing up 5 more opportunities linked to that, and 10 more linked to this next one, and 20 more linked to that one (you get the drift?).
And so, once again, dear freelancer, which opportunities are you passing up? What are you learning, and what aren’t you learning?
Here are a few tips to help you take up more of the opportunities which come your way.
Doing something new is hard? Tell me about it.
It’s so hard, you know you couldn’t possibly get paid in tandem with the amount of work you have put into it. Worse still, what if you screw it up? Isn’t it just better to pass up that opportunity, than to screw it up, you ask. The answer? Do.it.afraid. Just do it anyway. If you screw up, well, you can always stand up.. Don’t let the fear of failure keep you perpetually on the floor. Those whom you see standing today, once failed at those things they succeed so effortlessly at today. You don’t believe me? Well…now I can’t do anything about that (sorry).
2. Ignore the pay…at least, for now
Yeah, that’s right. When it comes to weighing a learning opportunity against pay, except in dire circumstances, I would always advocate going for the learning opportunity. More likely than not, if you choose to be paid ‘well’ today, you might remain on that same spot and someone else who chose to learn will meet you and leave you there. If you have to ignore the peanuts being paid to be able to do the job with utter satisfaction and with a strong sense of purpose, do just that.
It’s surprising how much more responsibility (and of course, much more money) is involved when we finally decide in favor of upping our skill sets as opposed to simply looking for money. Work with your heart, ignore the pay.
3. Incorporate diligence
The fastest way to learn something is to absolutely focus on learning that thing. If your aim is to grow in knowledge or in technicality about a particular subject matter or a skill, you’ve got to be ready to work hard at it. The period of learning isn’t one for accommodating frivolities or uncertainties or fear.
You need now, more than ever, to focus on learning and on growing and of course, on kicking ass at it! One way, in which we can achieve this, is by sweating (or thinking, or writing…etc.) our way through to the heights we had previously thought impossible.
Dear Freelancer, don’t forget, someone is rooting for you! Learn, excel, and make me proud!