Learning As I Go
I’ve worked in Medical Technology for over 22 years now.
I have been told I’ll be promoted. I’ve been told I am in a non-promotion pathway with my career, and I’ve walked into rooms and been told on the spot that my boss no longer works at the company.
Every day and every job have been different and they’ve been learning experiences. I’m grateful for the amazing managers along the way, and in hindsight, grateful for the ones who were not so amazing.
Please, allow me to share a few bits and pieces I’ve learned along the way.
There is no defined promotion pathway — if you don’t see where your career is going, no one will do it for you.
I say this as I actively struggle with the question ‘Am I in the right role for me right now?’, and as someone who worked the bulk of her career at one of the largest Medical Technology businesses in the world.
But, what I can say is that I’ve had the most success in my career when I have a clear vision of where I want to go and how I want to get there. Then, my role is to take people on the journey with me and I enjoy doing that.
My enthusiasm for achieving the goal of changing the way medical corporations educate people is contagious. They’ll either come along and we’ll succeed, or it's time for me to move on as I’ve also learned not everyone is genuinely looking for a change.
No one has it all together and figured out.
I head a podcast with Rob Lowe and Mike Myers the other day and they advised not to compare your insides with everyone else’s outsides. I like this advice.
From my experience in the professional world, I can advise that whomever you are looking at is almost certainly just trying to figure it all out just like you.
No one knows what you are thinking on the inside unless you tell them. Adam Grant, in his phenomenal writings, has great data about loud confident people getting more airtime. But, because someone is loud, doesn’t mean they are right.
So, if you feel overwhelmed and moving forward is a struggle, I don’t have easy advice for you. I can tell you what one of my most trusted friends told me a few weeks ago: Put on your big girl pants and take it one step at a time.
And maybe you’ll get it right and maybe you won’t. But, you will learn more about yourself, and what you can and can’t manage. That growth, for me, is a win.
Even the best teams and best managers must evolve.
I have had the pleasure to work with some of the best managers in the business. And they’ve been promoted and moved on. I was on a team that I loved so much for a little while that we used to have cookouts at each other’s homes in the summertime. But, we all were promoted or found other opportunities and moved on.
So, make the most of it when you are on an awesome team and have the support of a fantastic manager. And take a breath and learn from it when you join a new team and haven’t earned that level of trust yet. I assure you that level of trust cannot be forced — it will just take time.
All these experiences make us who we are and shape us into the people we will become. When we are learning, even the tough lessons, we are growing and that is the best outcome at work.
It’s been 22 years and if I’m lucky it will be another 22 years in an industry I love. But, after 22 years I can tell you it’s ok if any of us need to move on and we will be ok. Because growth, at any age, is possible and important.
This blog contribution was made by Kelly Stacey.
Kelly Stacey has been in the medical industry for over 20 years and particularly Medical Education for the past 13 years. She has learned a lot along the way and would be the first to admit there is a lot more to learn. An American living in England for the past two decades, she is a full-time working mother of two teenagers, two dachshunds and married to a wonderful and eternally patient man. In her free time, she enjoys walking, gardening, and yoga.
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