I have a theory on learning. The days that are easy are not the days when you are learning. The days when you make a lot of mistakes and you go home ready to cry – those are the days when the learning is taking place. I have learned to embrace the bad days and weeks because they are the times when whatever I needed to absorb was getting absorbed.
This is in no way a correlation to elementary school. I am an adult and my learning processes have slowed. When I was a kid, I learned quickly and painlessly (except for New Math). My next homeschooling/anti-common core article will deal with that debacle and the similarities of common core. I lived one. My grandchildren are living the other.
Back to the subject at hand: I have had a “bad” week at work. It has been one of the most challenging weeks and I felt like I was going the proverbial one step back after having taken two steps forward. I anticipated this would happen when I switched jobs. I didn’t think – not for a moment – that leaving the old job would entirely remove stress and difficulty out of my life. I was giving up one sort of stress for an unknown factor of stress in a new position.
I have been through multiple software changes in the past 18 months. I am 57 years old and all of these changes have been changes from software to some sort of internet-based programming designed to make life easier for someone, not me. Every single change has been challenging, frustrating (usually because of the lack of online and real-life support and the lack of a hard copy manual). I have had very little training on any of the systems changes and sometimes had to just go in and figure it out for myself.
My change in employment means one more series of changes, all in software or online programs. The laws and rules of Real Estate remain static and I have that down pretty well, but the actual day-to-day working of the particular programs a particular company chooses to employ as tools… Add to that the frustration of language!
My previous coworker was from southern India. Her native language is Tamil. She speaks The Queen’s English (she loved it when I explained to her what that meant: not American English, like I speak, but British English, with its different pronunciations for common words). Her English, however British, is marred with a thick Tamil accent. She still thinks in Tamil.
My latest trainer was from Belgium. Her native language – the language in her head – is French. She thinks in French. Her English (which is considerably more Americanized than my Indian friend) is still punctuated with a heavy French accent.
So, in addition to learning new programs, I have had to be adept at understanding the accents and pronunciations of coworkers. It’s been interesting. (I happen to love languages. Can’t speak another language worth a darn, and I know just enough French, German, or Mexican to get into trouble. My Japanese really sucks: I can count to five.)
Today, I almost brought all my notes home so I could rewrite them on my own time and absorb them. Almost. I set them aside at five minutes to close and told myself: Don’t panic now. It’s only been six weeks. You are expecting too much of yourself. Allow the mistakes. Ask the questions. No one has screamed at you. Yet.
A couple people have strongly suggested I did something wrong, but they have been very patient with me. I apologize that I am stumbling through. I refuse to *not* ask questions, however. I will pester to death anyone willing to answer me (my Belgian trainer has been an Angel!). I am working on an office manual so the next person (a long time down the road because I am not leaving this job any time soon) will be able to step into my position and just open a book to follow the steps.
It’s not just real estate programs (who knew what a plethora of industry-specific programs were out there?!), but the supporting programs as well. The day-to-day processes of onboarding new agents. Understanding how the new company handles referrals. Remembering the steps to input new sales or listings. Emailing everyone about meetings and – gasp!! – picking up the phone to make calls to people.
One thing I love about this new job is that they subjected me to an EQ (Emotional Quotient) Test. They know – and understand – that I am an Introvert and that I operated best in a certain environment. That’s huge to me. My past employer never acknowledged that. They knew that (because I was rather outspoken on the subject – take that pun!), but they did not embrace that.
Tonight, I am tired and I wish the week was over. My brain is stretched. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I feel like I am not learning or comprehending the job.
Thankfully, I have learned that it is OK to feel that way. This is the week it all gets absorbed into my brain and I am learning the job.
Unlike New Math. I never did get New Math.