Time flies when you’re having fun, and this has never been more apparent to me than right now, on my 3rd work anniversary here at Embryo! Just under one year ago I wrote a post called “What I’ve Learned in 2 Years at Embryo”, so this time I’m Billie Eilish-ing it and dropping some new things I’ve learned in both the last year, and the last three!
I’m not afraid to say that the last year has been quite a monumental one for me, both in and out of work, and I’m certainly not sat where I thought I would be when I wrote this post last year, but I’m incredibly proud of where I’ve ended up, and incredibly grateful to all of the people who have helped me get here. And by “here”, I don’t mean a place in my life where everything is perfect, but a place where I’m happy for myself, proud of my accomplishments (even if they might seem small to someone else), and comfortable with the person I am, despite all the insanity going on in the world at large! And for me at least, I think that has had a positive impact on my work life as well as everything else. Incidentally, “here” also seems to be a place where I’ll take any opportunity to wax poetic like a wet blanket on the company blog. For what it’s worth, I’m currently going insane in COVID isolation, so that may also be a contributing factor. You’re welcome.
You Don’t Need to Have it All Figured Out
If I had a pound for every time I say this, I’d be rich enough to treat the whole office to a Domino’s (without any discount codes!!!). But it’s true! There’s so much emphasis from the media at large that at X point in your life, you have Y thing accomplished, and by A age you should be doing B thing, and if I’m perfectly honest, it’s all a pile of 💩. It can be infuriating and frustrating and demotivating when you see people around you accomplishing certain things that you’ve not done yet, but the fact is that not having those things almost always means you have something else instead.
The “we’ve all got 24 hours in the day” rhetoric is, in my humble opinion, one of the most damaging cultural messages we have to contend with today. “Hustle” culture might work for you, in which case GET IT QUEEN, but honestly, some of us don’t want to hustle! We want jobs we love and lives we love and growth and progression at our own pace and not to be shamed for living for ourselves, and that’s something that we should be just as proud of as the hustlers out there.
However, Figuring it Out is Easier Than You Might Think
When it comes to the idea of “figuring it out”, particularly in regards to my career, I was always very intimidated. It’s only in the last year or so that I’ve found myself turning a corner when it comes to my career progression and personal development, and I think a lot of that has come down to a fairly simple realisation, and that’s that “figuring it out” doesn’t actually need to be precise to be productive.
The idea of setting a goal for myself like “I want to have X job by the time I’m Y age” has always been a terrifying prospect for me, as I find it an incredibly restrictive way of thinking, but for the longest time, I thought that it was the only way to really set long-term professional goals. Maybe this time next year I’ll have a goal like that, but for now, I’ve realised that my goals don’t have to be so narrow in order to be useful.
Right now, I’ve got enough experience to understand the things I love about my job and why I love them, as well as the things I could take or leave, and why I’m not too bothered about them. I’m also much better at identifying my own strengths and weaknesses, and how to develop both of those things. For me, “figuring it out” has consisted of taking these realisations and applying them, giving me more of the stuff I love in my regular workday and spending less time with the things I don’t get excited about. Having a very lovely team who cares about my development as much as I do has, of course, been the key factor here, and is one of the main reasons I feel comfortable asking for more responsibility in areas of my work I love and want to grow in.
You Learn Something New Literally Every Day
To finish, I said this last year and I’ll say it again – the sheer amount of knowledge you can gain just by being around talented people is INSANE. In the content team, we see it with every single new team member and just how quickly they adapt to Embryo’s style and why we write this way, as well as all of us learning new things about both content and the other services in the business simply by being around people who know these things! Coming into this environment is something I imagine to be so intimidating, just based on the sheer amount of knowledge there is, but in the last three years I’ve seen so many people pick up this knowledge almost instantly and start running with it quicker than they ever thought they would on day one! And of course, it’s not just newbies, I still pick up some nugget of information from someone at Embryo almost every day at work. With a bit of luck, this time next year I’ll be reiterating the exact same point again!
Fingers crossed that 2022 will be a slightly less tumultuous one for us all, but the last year has laid a lot of exciting foundations, so I can’t wait to see what it brings 💖