Stranger in a Strange Land

It has been over six months since I moved into a completely new role and industry. Back in June of last year, I wrote about going through transition and how many people find it so intimidating and difficult. At that time, I was completely thrilled by the prospects of something new and challenging. Six months later, I am still thrilled and challenged.

In this new endeavor, I am always mindful of the fact that I am somewhat of a stranger in a strange land. I am learning the local language and customs through experiencing new situations. Sometimes, coming from a different world, I have insights and ideas that are new and immediately beneficial. Sometimes, well, to put it plainly, I step right in it. Oops. Well, it happens… so I wipe off my shoe and get moving again. That is part of the process, part of the learning, and part of the benefit to everyone involved. We are all getting better and, therefore, the business is getting better. Some days it happens in small ways, and some days in bigger ways. The important thing is to keep it all moving.

As time goes on, and I learn more about the business and the people, I am excited by the idea of helping even more directly in the work at hand. At times, I probably should have a bit more fear or reluctance at the thought of diving into the unknown, but my curiosity compels me. At some point down the line, I suppose I will eventually ‘go native’, feeling completely at home in this new world, but that still is a ways off. I am good with that. In fact, I think I like that better in some ways. It keeps me questioning our approaches, processes, reasons for the things we do. If you don’t question, you won’t ever discover a better way.

I guess this sounds a bit like a postcard home from an international exchange student: Hello, everything is going great over here. I speak enough of the language to be conversant, but it is slow sometimes. The food here is strange. I really miss Peanut M&Ms and everyone back there! Hope you are all doing well. I suppose the big difference is that this isn’t just a one semester trip.

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4 Responses to Stranger in a Strange Land

  1. Tom Artmann says:

    I believe the business world is all very similiar, but takes many shapes and throws us many different pitches(Must be getting Spring fever) along the way. The question is do we step up to the plate or retreat. I to have gained some powerful insight about 15 minutes ago as I munched on my month old fortune cookie. It reads,” Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently” Ah Grasshopper now that is something to ponder!!

    • jimhoefflin says:

      So very true Tom! I was talking to a friend yesterday who was trying to re-structure their career into something different than what they had previously been doing. It was well thought through, but not without risk. I listened and said, “You have to take the shot at what you want. Years from now, you won’t look back and regret taking the shot and failing, but if you don’t go after it, you probably will regret NOT taking the shot when you had the chance.”

  2. bb says:

    You fit right in! And it’s usually a good thing for natives to learn about outside customs as well. Helps with evolution. 🙂

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