“Dude, sucking at something is the first
step to being sort of good at something.”
Jake the Dog, Adventure Time
If there’s one thing I have learnt from University, it’s the cliché of ‘nobody’s perfect’. Over the past four years, I have sought to develop and expand my skillset continuously, recognising gaps in my abilities and knowledge and seeking out ways to expand them. Uni taught me how to learn.
But you can’t learn everything. I pride myself on being able to do lots, whether it’s speaking, logo design, or eating more food than anyone else. But you still can’t do everything, and it’s important to know what you’re utterly terrible at so you can find a course of action to fix that. And the last year has taught me that there are somethings I suck at, and it taught me how to fix it.
Networking has formed a key part of my plans for the past year. I’ve sought to attend as much networking events as possible, whether BWMeet, MeetDraw, or Heart & Sole. Meeting new people has formed a core part of my time, and I love it. I love meeting new people and getting to know them and working out what they’re good at.
And some people are amazing at what they do. Far more amazing than I could be if I tried – whether it’s back-end development, security, mobile development, or tons more. These are all things I recognise I suck at and admire in others. And if I needed someone to work on a project, I know who I’d go to – and I hope they’d come to me if they wanted something I’m good at, such as being scarily tall.
Surround yourself with people that are better than you.
Always seek to put people around you that are better than you. It’ll drive you to be better, you’ll learn tons off them, and if people know that you appreciate their skills, they’ll be better off. It’s too easy to be stale and surround yourself with people that are worse than you – bad companies do this all the time, hiring people that won’t show the incompetencies of the hirer.
There’s always more to learn, and more people to learn from.
Aside: I’ve jumped on the Adventure Time wagon. It’s a fantastic show, beautifully drawn and full of heart. The jokes manage to be accessible to kids and adults alike, depending on your level of maturity. It’s a wonderful show and it makes me giggle like a child. Check it out.