Aug 2, 2019 · by Ana Bandas

Challenge Accepted!

During the Iasi Codecamp spring edition, Community Manager Ana Bandas, gathered tips on how to take on new opportunities at work.

Benjamin Disraeli once said, “The secret of success is to be ready when your opportunity comes.” You may say that it’s just not possible – that you can never be 100% ready for anything, but, I believe that there are a few things that can get us closer to that state.

Get out of your comfort zone. Even though it’s nice and cosy staying in our comfort zone, this limits us to a certain number of skills that we can practice, and we find ourselves in the same situations and doing the same tasks over and over again. Most of the times the real magic happens outside of our comfort zone and we all need some magic in our lives!

Evaluate yourself on a regular basis. Whether evaluation is done on a monthly, weekly or daily basis, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s done! Our personal growth depends on how well we use our strengths, but most importantly, how we improve our weaknesses. Take advantage of every opportunity that requires you to learn something new or challenges your blind spots. Take a step back from time to time and evaluate the things that went well, the mistakes you’ve made and what you’ve learned from them.

Attitude is everything. A task is only as hard as you want it to be. Handling difficult tasks with a positive attitude gives us extra strength to fulfill what needs to be done.

Don’t wait for opportunity. Create It. Standing out in a positive way and always trying to find out how things can be improved at work might put you on the map for a new challenge. If you have an idea that can bring more business to your company or your clients, speak up! Creativity is still one of the few things that will be almost impossible to be automated in the future and a great skill for a valuable employee. Strive to be the best version of yourself every day and do more than what’s expected of you.

“Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them” Ann Landers.

When you are given a new challenge, like taking on a new role in a company, a lot of questions usually come to mind: Why me? Do I want to do this? Can I do this? Will I have support? How will this impact me? Answering these questions will help you take the best decision for yourself.

For me, the answer was “challenge accepted” and I got to do this several times during my career. The first days in a new role are often crazy, with panic mode on all the time and questions like, “Did I make the right decision?” cross one’s mind. The road to feeling confident in the new position and having a life after work can be bumpy, but the end result is definitely worth it.

A few things that can help you during this journey.

Make a game plan. Take a step back and analyze the situation. Try to visualize what you want to achieve. Write down a few strategies that will help you get there and start with the things that you are best at. Some small wins in the beginning will give you confidence for the long road ahead. Be realistic with the expectations that you are setting for yourself. Rushing things usually involves making mistakes that may cost you later.

Be calm. Be nice. Be kind. As I stated before, the first days and weeks of starting a new role are pretty hectic and not acting crazy can be very difficult. It’s important to keep calm through these situations in order to think clearly and find solutions. Being nice, having a smile on your face, being kind to your team members and colleagues will get you through the day. This way people will feel comfortable in approaching you and offer their support.

Ask an expert. If you are stepping into a new role, you’re probably not the first one doing this job. Others have shined in this role and others have failed gracefully. Try to learn from the mistakes others have made and find a mentor among the ones you feel are excelling in their roles. Smart people ask for help so when in doubt, just go and seek advice from a mentor or another colleague that you feel comfortable with sharing ideas.

Feel confident about your work. There will be moments when things will not go as we planned or as expected, and maybe we will even regret accepting the opportunity. You must remember why you said yes in the first place – what motivated you in the beginning? Be proud of the work that you do. Remember that if it was easy, everyone would do it.

We are the drivers of our career so it’s up to us in what direction we head and how far we go. I always keep the words of Richard Branson in mind: “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity, but you aren’t sure you can do it, say yes, then learn how to do it later.” Hopefully, the next time you are in a similar position, you’ll take it as an opportunity to say, “challenge accepted!”

More about Ana and her colleagues experience at Codecamp spring edition at Iasi:

Ana Bandas

Community Manager
I've started my journey in the IT industry 13 years ago as a developer. I joined the management path in 2014 and it took me through different roles, challenges and opportunities. At the end of the day I realized that it all comes down to this: "If you want to be successful, it's just this simple: Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. Believe in what you are doing.”

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