My new beginning
If you had told me 9 months ago that an image posted in a facebook messenger group of friends would inspire me to an entirely new career, I would have laughed directly in your face.
I have been a Product Manager for the last 10 years of my career – and I’ve enjoyed it most of the time.
Product managing allowed me to make people’s lives a bit better – even if it was just the software engineers that I kept our stakeholders from bothering constantly, and I got to help others solve problems, even if that was our auditors trying to get sued less over incorrect sales tax calculations.
I’ve always been driven by helping people and solving problems. Maybe it’s the eternal Girl Scout in my soul, but it makes work a little less dull to see peoples shoulders un-slump when you can help them to fix a problem they’ve had for months or even years, sometimes.
Being an expert in the field has allowed me to see that happen many, many times.
That’s what ultimately drove me to my current career as an instructor – helping others get their toes into product management and feel that same thrill of ‘I did it, I fixed a thing’ or the resolve of ‘Okay, that sucked this time, let’s do it better’. Teaching people that it’s okay to fail and change directions when the numbers don’t add up is one of the toughest and most rewarding parts of my career.
Instructing has also been the most challenging part of my career.
It has been an uphill struggle ever since I started to prove myself to stakeholders over and over and over again, that I am the expert on Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) that I say I am, and that yes, 10 years in this industry makes me VERY good at what I do. It was as if becoming an instructor voided all the years of experience I put into this field.
Needless to say, having to do that if not daily, weekly for years has worn me down. It scares me that a job I once looked at as a fun challenge has become a groundhog day of the same meetings trying to convince people that yes – our team knows what we’re doing, and this is why.
Enter the Facebook Message.
(Names hidden not for privacy but because they are nicknames that make no sense to anyone outside our friends)
I took the last statement as a personal affront.
(I’m kidding, but I did take it as a challenge)
After about 3-4 hours of learning way more about google image search and barcodes than I ever wanted to in my entire life – I did in fact solve the puzzle, and it was actually pretty fun.
Somehow my friend who posted the facebook message conned both Rae and Espen, the two company founders, to let me be a part of their first beta test, and it was there I turned and took my first large step into the darkness of a field I knew absolutely nothing about.
Luckily though, googling is highly recommended here.