A few months ago I went out and invested in myself--I bought a Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera. It had been something that I wanted for a while, and I was finally in a position to take the plunge, so to speak.
|My new camera.|
- Humble yourself. Be realistic about your capabilities, commitment levels, and your goals. Come to terms with the idea that you will fall on your ass. Going back to my recently purchased camera, I'm doing my best not to get flustered when I take a bad shot (and I've been taking plenty of them!). I use them as examples of what's not working, and I adjust.
|An example of an awful picture taken with my camera.|
- Take note of your successes and failures. With my camera, I've been taking notes of the different settings I've tried, paying attention to which ones are resulting in good photos. In my professional work, I purchase a notebook whenever I start a new role or work with a client. I write everything in it, allowing me a place to store (in one place) all relevant information and thoughts. Not only does this method help me to stay organized, it allows me to note progress over time. This is important, because it helps to provide perspective, particularly when you (or clients) may believe that adequate progress isn't being made.
- Pace yourself. The temptation to work long hours in order to get acclimated to your new role is not uncommon. Be careful; something that was expected to be a temporary solution (working extra hours, taking work home, etc.) can turn into the norm if you're not mindful. My advice--create an action plan, one that factors in when and how long you may need to put in extra time and effort in order to accomplish a particular goal.
- Use your resources--digital, human, and other--to figure out how to get the most out of the role. To better learn how to use my DSLR camera, I'm turning to a variety of resources, which includes:
- Classes (e.g., YMCA)
- Discussion forums
- the camera's User's Manual
- This can be applied to learning a new job role, also. From a workplace point of view, you have colleagues, subject matter experts (SMEs), and groups (such as professional associations) which represent sources of information and support. Use them--that's what they're there for!
- Celebrate your successes. In spite your best efforts, it may seem as if progress isn't being made. Perhaps you're not making headway on a particular project. Or colleagues are frustrating. Whatever the case, when something does go right, acknowledge it! Sometimes it's the small wins that help to highlight progress, or that your work is having an impact. When it comes to my new camera, when I take a decent picture utilizing the manual settings, I get very excited!
|A photo I'm proud of.|