Keep Iterating

Adulthood after business school was tough for me. I was hit in the face with everything new – new job, new city, new expectations held for myself, etc… In moments of despair, I wondered to myself, I wish I could have my life back before business school, I was so at ease navigating life back then. I have analyzed what has contributed to such an overwhelming feeling to some challenges, hoping to come up with solutions of how I can overcome it.

New Job

In my old job working as a financial analyst, I can say with confidence whether I can manage it or not before diving into the details. I know who to reach out to, what systems to use, what analysis/approach I need to take. Because the tasks usually come with some repetitions, I can keep perfecting the process. My new job is so different. When I start a project, I don’t know what the process and results can be. My old habit kicked in and I would be trying to come up with the perfect solution on the first go while letting precious time pass. As I learn over time, no one expects you to have the perfect answer – I just need to get it to be ‘good enough’. The mentality is always ‘keep iterating’. The other major challenge is to be comfortable making many decisions on a daily basis, including prioritization. As I juggle multiple projects, I need to come up with a set of work principles on how I approach product development, product design, customers’ requests, etc. I need to develop my own point of view.

New City

Rather than titling my second challenge new city, maybe new life is a better choice. Seattle is the fourth city I’ve lived in, so I was not a rookie to starting all over in a new place. Plus, it has brought me the pleasant surprise of hiking as a newly developed interest than initially expected. Thus, I have no trouble living in this new city. The challenge is more associated with I having doubts and questions on ‘Now that you make your job switch, now what?’

I was asked recently ‘what do you do to relax?’. Because I felt engulfed by the work, nothing seemed to pique my interest (Covid-19 quarantine also didn’t help) and I struggled with coming up with an answer. I recalled my life before the new job and found that I always had goals that I was working towards – promotion, MBA application, 10k/half marathon race, reading goals, etc. I also remembered that writing and mentoring were two things I considered my passion, but have not done any in the past one year. I suspected that a big reason is that I did not feel that I had anything valuable to contribute. I started this blog five years ago with the intention of sharing my learnings, of which professional growth playing a big part. This past one year was hard for me that I did not feel confident writing. What value would I bring if I could not get my own act together?

When I started writing this post, I was reminded of the confidence I once had in taking a risk to switch a role and how I expressed the pride and happiness in my past posts after I successfully navigated the challenges. I remain hopeful that I’ve made the right decision to switch role and industry and even more optimistic that all the stress shall pass and everything will be ok. After all, the process of writing might still have the magic of helping me. It might not all come across in the words, but the process does bring me some assurance and clarity.

I initially planned to document this year of learning and not post on the blog. It failed my old blogging standard that it only described the problem but not the action steps I will take to overcome it. Starting to write again in my opinion is already a good first step. Sharing this post unfinished could be what I consider my action towards developing the ‘keep iterating’ mentality and cut myself some slacks of being a perfectionist. Someday, I will return and finish the rest.  

1 thought on “Keep Iterating

  1. Emilie S.

    Much needed post – thank you for the insight about dealing with life changes and the mentality that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be right. I think we’ve all done a lot of self-reflection this year as we navigate new waters. Great encouragement!!

    Reply

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