I grew up watching Steve Martin —I was too young to really get him. I remember being fascinated by the arrow through his head and thinking, “Someone should take care of that. . .” It wasn’t until a Halloween night when I was about 6 that I saw how the trick was done. I was relieved and a bit disappointed. Like a little magic left my heart. He made my father laugh, a daunting feat, so I knew there was something talented and distinct about the man.
When I first started working for my company, my new corporate life, I felt that I was out of my league. I was the 40 year old who flipped the reset button. There were way younger people running laps around me. And I felt like I was trying out the new flavor of glue in the corner of the room with the pointy hat on my head.
Time travel, I researched, was not an option.
I’ve worked in my off time looking at our products, learning them, but nothing really helped. It’s like reading books on Spanish vocabulary—if you aren’t speaking the language live, nothing is sticking.
It is probably the most humbling experience to start at ground zero at a new career. No one really prepared me for that. I pride myself on being “in the know.” But I was getting smoked on a daily basis. I attempted to adapt as fast as I could, but I could not crack the code of how to get on the other side of achievement.
Like a kid on the edge of a diving board, wondering how he’ll appear to the masses watching I decided to follow my buddy Steve’s advice:
So I decided that I’d kick ass at my job. I’d say YES to everything they offered. I’d stay late, show up early and I’d absorb everything I could at the job. I grabbed that receipt; I helped out moving this or sending out that. EVERY TIME someone was teaching something, I stood behind them, not wanting to miss out.
I’m attempting to accelerate the learning curve, get on top of it. I’m trying to rapidly grow my knowledge, my experience and drink from the firehose.
I learned everyone’s names and just worked my butt off from the time that I started to the time they kicked me out. Because I couldn’t compete on the experience end; I couldn’t make the calendar pages flip faster. I just couldn’t.
But I could hustle. Sisters and brothers, I can hustle.
And that’s what I’ve been doing—hustling.
So I have to tell you, if you are brand new to your field, if you are in unfamiliar waters and needing to learn the territory—hustle. Because I’ll tell you, Steve was right. Keep turning up that hustle-dial and when you get noticed, turn it ever so slightly higher and lock it in. Good things will come and when they don’t, turn the dial up.