This is part of the daily blogging prompts suggested by the Jetpack plugin.
You may have seen that trend on TikTok:
A person in their 30s looks at the camera.
On-screen text: “Heading to work since the world didn’t end when <one thing or another> didn’t happen when I was 20.”
And so goes perspective and the collection of life experiences. Certainly there are things we can learn by reading about other experiences or watching a video.
But the experience of personally being in a situation – good or bad – certainly has a different level of impact.
With that, how has that looked for me in my marketing career?
Understanding your work style
It’s hard to understand your style truly until you actually hop in and work on a marketing team and see how things mesh – or don’t mesh.
Sometimes, time needs to pass to truly learn the lesson or understand that certain relationships were more toxic than helpful.
Finding your niche
Sometimes we stumble into the future. Heck, I wanted to go into journalism because of some random journalist who had the best stories and who lifted at my gym in Germany in the early 1990s.
Without that influence who knows which path I would have taken or tried to take.
Journalism was certainly good to me in the early stages of my career.
Then journalism evolved into content marketing roles. And I still use many of my journalistic skills – just in a different capacity.
Learning the lessons along the way
Sometimes it’s hard to see the good times when you are actually in the good times. Sad, but yes people may not recognize how good it’s going in the moment.
The same goes with negative experiences. It can take time to draw perspective, learn and apply what can be applied to the future.
We may learn or take one thing or another from the even in the moment and then later – maybe years later – we realize a completely different lesson.
The key here is to learn something and try to apply that lesson going forward.
Read next: Walking on eggshells at work?
Sometimes the lesson may very well be that you are in the wrong situation or on the wrong team for you! It happens and can be hard or impossible to realize ahead of time.
And sometimes people don’t know what their limits are. For example, take the Peter Principle where high performers get promoted until they fail. After all, being a strong performer doesn’t necessarily make them a strong people manager or leader.
In case of the Peter Principle, direct reports are likely to notice it way before the manager or their boss will.
The only way is forward
Whatever the lessons are, the importance is to learn, and apply what needs to be applied to present and future decisions.
The lessons we’ve learned can influence how we approach the hopes and realistic expectations for the future.
And to do that, sometimes we need some distance between what happened and what we actually learned from it.