No substitution for experience

It simply annoys me when someone did not put the time in, but expects the same results as someone who did put the time in.  I understand we all learn at different rates.  Some people are naturally good at certain things.  Some people pick up things faster than others.  These are all true and very-real scenarios, but you still need to put the time in.  There is no substitution for experience.  Much of what I know today was learned from experience.  Another portion was learned from books.  I suppose you could argue everything is learned from experience, if you consider reading and studying from books an experience.

As you may notice, my blogs are somewhat random, but I do my best to focus on ‘Civil Accomplishment’ type topics such as money management, goal setting, and self-improvement.  One of the things I figured out along the way was networking is extremely important.  As you climb the ladder to success, you will find people become more and more important for you to get to the next level.  A key person to help you along the way is a mentor.  Mentor is defined by google.com as an experienced and trusted adviser.  I have had several mentors who have helped me out.  Do not expect them to provide you an easy promotion, but expect them to vouch for you (if you are worthy).

Another key person in your career is your manager.  It incredibly important to have a good relationship with your manager and be completely transparent.  This transparency should flow both ways and not just upwards (you to him/her).  Good managers will allow you to share your work with the high-ups.  Good managers will praise you and give you constructive feedback.  A good manager does not hold you back, even if it means letting you go to another greater opportunity.

Peers are also important to your career.  You do not have to be liked by everyone, but the majority of people should respect you.  Getting coffee or lunch with a peer, manager, mentor, or other co-workers can be a nice way to build a relationship.  

One of the big pieces to growing in my career was what I call random meetings with miscellaneous people.  Nobody ever told me- go setup a meeting with ‘x, y, x’ to understand their perspective.  This is something I figured out by myself because I realized I had some gaps.  For example, I did not always know what procurement did or supply chain.  I had some ideas, but did not have the whole story behind what they did.  Understanding what cross-functional partners do will help you better leverage them and build a better relationship with them.  If I went to procurement with some wild request to solve quality issues for me, they would not be very happy with me.  I would most likely need to talk with the quality department for this request.

By having random meetings with miscellaneous people, building relationships with managers, mentors, peers, and co-workers, and working in various departments in the field, I have learned a significant amount.  When someone comes in fresh with no experience and no time put in, and expects the world, this simply annoys me.  We all need to plan ahead with direction that makes sense for our personal goals.  We cannot expect results immediately if we have not put any effort in.  Begin putting the effort in as quickly as you can for faster returns on that investment.  This is very similar to a 401K or any other investment you make.  Your career experiences are an investment for your career.

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