You only grow when you are uncomfortable and challenge yourself

techie2018techie2018 Member Posts: 41 ■■■□□□□□□□
How many on this forum live by that? I certainly have to an extent and it has worked out pretty well for me. What this mean is I usually take jobs that will be very challenging for me. Where quite honestly I may not have been ready for it. I guess some could say "in over your head" a bit.

But that's how you grow. That' true of anything. If you are a 14 year old basketball player you might get an ego boost by playing and beating a bunch of 9 year olds but it's highly unlikely you are getting better as a basketball player.

On the flip side if you are a 14 y/o player playing a bunch of 17 and 18 y/o players you may lose every time, maybe even in embarrassing fashion but you are likely getting much better as a player.

It's the same thing on the job. I've guys whose skill set never grew because they were afraid to step outside of their comfort zone. They wouldn't work on anything they didn't already know. Hence they never improved and learned the things they didn't know.

On the flip side I've seen guys come in and jump right in on things that were clearly above they skill level. And while it was bad at the beginning over time it paid off for them.

I even know someone who says he won't take a job unless it make him feel like a "fraud".

What do you guys think?

How do you guys balance this without coming off being incompetent and risk getting fired?

Comments

  • dave330idave330i Member Posts: 2,091 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I'll play. Why should the customer pay for you to learn your sh*t? What assurance does the customer have that you built it correctly?
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
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  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,774 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I think most people learn by being forced into a situation. Most people prefer to sit in their comfort zone. I would expect a scientific study would probably determine this is in fact common. On most days I fall into that category as well.

    I think on this site you might find a skewed result because many of the people here are pushing their own knowledge boundaries by choice outside of the work environment. So for some of us we might be challenging ourselves in a way that is not exactly uncomfortable and still be growing from it.

    In the end I personally think you will advance faster if you push the edges of your comfort zone. Most people can accomplish more then they do and pushing your boundaries a little will nudge you in the right direction. Going to the point of feeling like a fraud certainly runs the risk of being ineffective but a quick and dedicated learner can probably overcome that if the motivation is there.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,102 Mod
    I've never accepted a job offer that I was ready for.
    Goal: MBA, Jan 2021
  • shodownshodown Member Posts: 2,271
    Everything is a risk, but to me you don't earn the title "Senior, Architect" or whatever until you been tested. The only want to be tested is to be in a situation where you aren't ready for whats in front of you, but you somehow figure it out. It can be staying late, coming in early, or whatever. You have to consistantly throw yourself into the fire to get better. The scariest moments for me have been taking very senior level roles and not being 100 percent qualified. They all resulted in huge growth weather I failed or succeeded.
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  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Member Posts: 362 ■■■■□□□□□□
    dave330i wrote: »
    I'll play. Why should the customer pay for you to learn your sh*t? What assurance does the customer have that you built it correctly?
    1) No ones starts out knowing everything. In all likelihood the customer already pays for people to do things that they have to learn unless their jobs are extremely silo'd and never changes.
    2) There are no assurances. In my situation an Engineer (if we can call him that) setup a server environment, setup Windows Server Backups on only the file server, then never once checked back to see if it failed (which it did, since day one 4 months ago). Now I have to reconfigure the backups to make it work, backup the domain controllers as well, and I am unqualified to do so. Why isn't the Engineer who set it up the one fixing it? Who knows, that's a management decision. It evidently wasn't enough of a sticking point to cause the client to go elsewhere, hence I am now the one untangling that mess, qualified or not.

    When you're short an qualified talent, you either do it or the client can find someone else they trust more.
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  • Z0sickxZ0sickx Security+|CASP+|CISM|CISSP Member Posts: 163 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Interesting thread, for those of you that accepted positions you weren't ready for..does that mean you were dealing with technology or processes you've never touch before OR were these positions where you had a background with the tool/or process and you were expanding hence "not ready"
  • Neil86Neil86 Member Member Posts: 125 ■■■□□□□□□□
    In my current position, my first real IT-related title, there isn't much guidance or hierarchy. It's just me and another guy in the IT dept. I'm a self-starter and if I'm not looking for new things to learn or make better, I'm bored. I had no real-world experience with AD, so I started logging into the server and poking around and now I help manage it. Same thing with O365, our MDM, VoIP, security stuff, network equipment, etc. When I first started, I realized it was one of those roles where you were "thrown to the wolves" as some say. To some of you, that may be stuff you have many years of experience with, but to someone who switched careers, it was definitely outside of my comfort zone. But if you're not figuring things out and making progress, your just a warm body in the office.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Member Posts: 2,501 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Some really great responses.

    I completely agree, growth for me personally has come from being tossed into the fire and having to stay late or get in early, both usually. After a while things slow down you begin to learn and retain then stabilize.

    There are limits for everyone but you won't know unless you try.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,102 Mod
    Z0sickx wrote: »
    Interesting thread, for those of you that accepted positions you weren't ready for..does that mean you were dealing with technology or processes you've never touch before OR were these positions where you had a background with the tool/or process and you were expanding hence "not ready"

    Both. Sometimes both at the same time. As long as you're honest, upfront, confident, work hard, and self-study.
    Goal: MBA, Jan 2021
  • gespensterngespenstern Member Posts: 1,243 ■■■■■■■□□□
    The psychology of overachievement 101.

    Key factors:

    - everyday practice step by step;
    - the practice always involves new and untried moves that you didn't master yet;
    - the practice results are measured and quantified in order to avoid self-deception, everyday, there's a quantified diary of sorts;
    - the practice is conscious as if you burn it into your brain neurons so they memorize how you do every move down to every little detail.
    - if you don't hate it -- you are not trying hard enough;

    etc.

    In the end, challenging yourself with demanding jobs is helpful because it FORCES you to advance. At some point the competition becomes so intense that it becomes hard to land a challenging job quickly, at this point you have to rely on self-discipline to move forward and it's not as easy as it was when you were learning on the job.

    So, using jobs to trick yourself to advance is a) a dead end as it works only earlier in career b) ultimately, for the weak. Real overachievers do that under any conditions 24/7, no slacking off, no excuses, no self-deception!
  • TLeTourneauTLeTourneau Member Posts: 614 ■■■■■■■■□□
    When I contract I am always up front with a client if it is something that I need to get up to speed on, to do otherwise would be at best misleading them and at worst a lie. That being said there is a reason that there is E&O insurance and why it is a good idea to have it if you are contracting.

    As an employee, again be honest but seek out the things you are interested in if possible. Often times you will not have a choice about the tasks given and they may be unfamiliar but that leads to growth. That being said, I know several senior engineers that are happy in their silo's and have no desire to move on.
    Thanks, Tom

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  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Member Posts: 2,501 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I was just thinking of this thread. I was contacted by a corp recruiter and this is for a senior lead/manager role. At first I was apprehensive, but this thread inspired me to go forward.

    Thanks
  • Skyliinez92Skyliinez92 Level 99 Wizard Mod Posts: 863 Mod
    I can relate. I recently took a job as a Sysadmin in my company, being promoted from a 2nd Line engineer. I felt like I wasn't ready. I hadn't done my MCSA or been in a Server role for a few years. I was trying to study for my MCSA in my own time during my desktop role but I wasn't motivated enough. Thought I'd go for it and see what happens.


    They gave me the job, to my surprise. Now I'm fully focused and can honestly say it's given me the boost I needed. This is where I want to be, whether I'm ready or not, I want to do everything right and become 110% at this job. So yes, I am challenging myself now, and more motivated to grow and become better. I agree 100% with this post, but it can be different for others.
    2020 goals: Server 2016 MCSA/MCSE (70-740, 70-741, 70-742, 70-744), Powershell training
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  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,294 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I was just thinking of this thread. I was contacted by a corp recruiter and this is for a senior lead/manager role. At first I was apprehensive, but this thread inspired me to go forward.

    Thanks

    Good luck!!
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Member Posts: 2,501 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Good luck!!

    Thanks appreciate it!
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,102 Mod

    So, using jobs to trick yourself to advance is a) a dead end as it works only earlier in career b) ultimately, for the weak. Real overachievers do that under any conditions 24/7, no slacking off, no excuses, no self-deception!



    I've got two questions...


    Why doesn't work in higher level positions? Higher level positions come with broader responsibilities, it's more common that you start without knowing ALL the element of a new job

    Why are self-improvement & getting challenged by new jobs with new responsibilities mutually exclusive?
    Goal: MBA, Jan 2021
  • thedudeabidesthedudeabides Member Posts: 89 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I don't know. By this logic, one is better off skipping around in school. Why go from grade 9 to 10 when you can challenge yourself going directly from 9 to 12? Why take Calculus 1, 2, and 3, when you can just jump into Calculus 4 and learn on the fly? The premise essentially says foundation is unimportant, just make a radical jump and see what happens. I'm not sure I agree with that.
    2019 Goals: CCNP R&S
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,102 Mod
    I don't know. By this logic, one is better off skipping around in school. Why go from grade 9 to 10 when you can challenge yourself going directly from 9 to 12? Why take Calculus 1, 2, and 3, when you can just jump into Calculus 4 and learn on the fly? The premise essentially says foundation is unimportant, just make a radical jump and see what happens. I'm not sure I agree with that.

    We're not saying jump from an IT job to a brain surgeon job, but jump up within the same field. i.e. jump from System admin to system engineer or architect, for example.
    Goal: MBA, Jan 2021
  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 1,584 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Career, marriage, fatherhood - I'm in over my head in every aspect of my life. Still enjoying the ride though.
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  • dave330idave330i Member Posts: 2,091 ■■■■■■■■■■
    UnixGuy wrote: »
    We're not saying jump from an IT job to a brain surgeon job, but jump up within the same field. i.e. jump from System admin to system engineer or architect, for example.

    That's just natural career progression, not uncomfortable challenge. An uncomfortable challenge would be a Sys Admin becoming an enterprise DBA or Exchange admin.
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  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,102 Mod
    dave330i wrote: »
    That's just natural career progression, not uncomfortable challenge. An uncomfortable challenge would be a Sys Admin becoming an enterprise DBA or Exchange admin.



    sure, agreed. It is still within IT. Can be uncomfortable but it's not like moving from Accounting to Pharmacy - that's what I was trying to explain :)
    Goal: MBA, Jan 2021
  • SpetsRepairSpetsRepair Cisco/Fortinet/Meraki/Comptia Member Posts: 210 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Jon_Cisco wrote: »
    Most people prefer to sit in their comfort zone.

    I hate the comfort zone so much I need stress to keep me going
    Comfort zone is for the weak
  • SpetsRepairSpetsRepair Cisco/Fortinet/Meraki/Comptia Member Posts: 210 ■■■□□□□□□□
    UnixGuy wrote: »
    I've never accepted a job offer that I was ready for.

    I really like this one, I'm in the same boat. Every job is kind of different and something that helps you build on current skills. My current position I wasn't ready for this at all
  • clarsonclarson Member Posts: 899 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Shifu: If You only do what you can, You will never be more than you are now.


    kung fu panda 3



  • draughtdraught Member Posts: 229 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I had recruiter call me this week about what's essentially network engineer role. My first thought was I'm not good enough and I can't do this but those are just negative thoughts we all have.

    The recruiter liked the resume and I'll see if I hear back for an interview. I've own done network tech roles until now. I've set up switches and routers but there's always been an admin above me responsible though I've done some configuration.

    What matters is to go into an into an interview and demonstrate that you know what you're talking about.
  • nisti2nisti2 Member Posts: 495 ■■■■□□□□□□
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  • RinzlerRinzler Member Posts: 34 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Staying in your comfort zone is like wearing blinders. You will tell yourself that all you care about are the things that are already a part of your life. You will continually convince yourself that you dislike the things you've never tried. They just aren't for you. And with every such thought, you erect thicker walls between yourself and everything that makes you uncomfortable. Take some risks and the walls start coming down...

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/annlatham/2018/04/11/16-reasons-why-you-should-get-out-of-your-comfort-zone-now/#614b63f262e5

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