Growth Is Painful

Your job won’t be easy. But it won’t be challenging in the way a difficult test is. It is messy, without a clearly defined problem, much less an easily identifiable solution. It will feel like you are spinning your wheels, wasting time. It will feel like you aren’t good at your job. This is how it should be. Because this is why a robot can’t do your job.

Look back a day, a week, a month. Has progress been made? It may not have been pretty, but the job got done. Most importantly, a replicable job got done. You are now the person that knows how to handle this particular challenge. You’ve learned. You’ve grown. It was painful.

These are the building blocks to a career. We learn through experience, which is why employers place such a premium on it. The only way to grow, to gain quality experience is to embrace the slog. Embrace the messy, painful, difficult situations that make you want to bang your head against the wall. Dive into the problems that shouldn’t be there, the ones that make everyone throw their hands in the air in frustration. Volunteer to figure out how to navigate politics, antiquated systems, difficult supplier or clients.

We aren’t all Nobel prize winners discovering game theory on a white board. This is how most of us will figure out what we are good at and establish our place in the world. It’s painful, but it’s worth it.

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