Today, May the 4th, is the International Star Wars Day. The reason is rather obvious: May the force be with you. It’s a day that I have always enjoyed and now it’s time to bring together two of the most prominent aspects of myself: a life-long shameless nerd and a 9-to-5 copywriter at jetdrops.
“The greatest teacher, failure is.”
You can sail through life without failing hard for many years. Then you turn 18, reality hits you with a lightsaber and, eventually, people start calling out your mistakes. If you are lucky as I were at jetdrops, this comes in the form of constructive criticism.
Yes, I have failed and there were moments when I could have delivered in a better way. My team was there to dedicate their time, knowledge and honesty to help me actually get better at my job and evolve. Even though my family and friends have been doing this since I was a young padawan, it was not something that I always expected in a workplace.
Hard days and failure will come; there is nothing to be done to help you to avoid them. The best thing you can do is to erase all the excuses from your mind (even if they are legit) and listen carefully to what the more experienced team members have to say. They will not be around forever and, even if they are, they will not be going over the same things again and again.
“Fear is the path to the dark side.”
I used to try to be a perfect robot and avoid being myself. Well, I was wrong and here’s a basic -yet invaluable- piece of advice I would have given my younger self: Don’t be afraid to be yourself.
Now, almost 3 years later after joining jetdrops, I prefer to speak my mind -regardless if it sounds stupid- than not talking at all. Being defined by the things I didn’t do or say, well, sucks.
For better or worse, I was hired to think, speak up and share my ideas.
There are still times that I am struggling to make it work but I can tell: this is by far the most important, difficult and rewarding behavioural change that I have experienced.
Being afraid to express yourself and take action leads to a dark place, where you just accept that this is normal. You need to fight this. Show people who you are without shame and let them decide if you are a perfect match for the circumstances.
“I find your lack of faith disturbing”
Some of your colleagues will become very important for your work-life and, eventually, your everyday life. You will admire them for their work ethic, their humour, their energy and their general view of life.
These people will not be sitting in the next office forever.
When this happened for the first time, it was really hard for me to say “goodbye”. It was very hard but this is how (business) life evolves. Every interaction we ever had was now mine and a part of myself. Something that made me better. The only thing I can do is honour their presence by showing faith in my own abilities as they once did.
As more and more people will come and go, don’t forget that this is a never-ending chain of awesomeness with you being the glue that keeps it together. Don’t let nostalgia break it.
“You were to bring balance to the force”
“It is easy to maintain a personal life while working.”
I have never been more wrong in my short life.
Finding the balance between work and personal time is hard. Actually, after 2.5 years working for jetdrops, reality taught me that work intervenes with my personal time and vice versa.
I have worked after leaving the office (you damn, account managers) but I have also had some great time between writing an article, working on a concept or during a brainstorming. Sounds strange but, trust me, it is not.
The sooner you accept this reality, the sooner you will master it.
“Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter”
I have been blessed and my life has been a beautiful trip in space and time where constant interactions with people take place. Every project, every deadline and every feedback I’ve experienced so far is a story full of interesting protagonists.
The last 2 and a half years at jetdrops I didn’t learn how to fight the bad guys using lightsabers, but I’ve learned how to be a part of a professional team. And this is epic in its own way.
May the 4th be with you!