Great kid, now don’t get cocky
April 22, 2011
There's something to be said for getting more important and respected in your profession and at your work. You get noticed more, you notice people treat you with more respect and deference than they did before, you're a lot more high profile. There's good and bad to this, obviously the growing plague of more and more meetings and phone conferences being on the bad side. But sometimes you are cruising along like the cat who just ate the canary and someone turns on the vacuum cleaner.
Now you're a scared cat hiding in the corner. Your goofs and mistatements are a lot more high profile now too. You can't hide behind the "well I just work here" when you're supposed to be running a project. Or to quote Spiderman's uncle, with great power comes great responsibility.
And it's tough to take that slap in the face. To know that you, oh great rookie whom much is expected, can also fail and do wrong every now and then. It's a painful reminder of your own humanity. Or to quote from The Philadelphia Story, with the rich and mighty, always a little patience.
You can't let yourself blow up like a balloon just because you're a rising star. That balloon rubber is awfully thin material and punctures easily. You'll need a thick skin for when you get blamed for other people's mistakes as often as you get blamed for your own. I think it's easier getting yelled at for something you didn't do than for something you know you goofed on. Even if you think you didn't know any better at the time you keep telling yourself you should have known better. I had this same problem more than a year ago and I've apparently learned nothing since. I'm trying to tell myself that on the inside a little humility is a good thing. But on the outside, I need to put my shield up and be ready to take no prisoners.