For the first time in many years I am mentoring junior staff at work. I was really flattered yesterday when my colleague asked if he could sit in on my training with the junior staff member so that he could also learn something from me. This colleague I think of as my equal, even though I am more senior to him in our job titles. And in some ways, he knows a LOT more than I do. We can all learn from each other and we all carry certain strengths.
They/the company really looks to me as though I am some sort of expert though in one particular area of my work. Funny thing is I've never considered myself an expert. I am continuously learning how to do things the right way, I am always experimenting and tweaking my strategies, and I don't feel as though I know what I am doing half the time, but I suppose I do or else I wouldn't be successful in my job right now.
I don't give myself enough credit for what I DO know. I suppose I am super humble? That cannot be a bad thing. I believe that humility is a very positive quality to own -- I am naturally humble, but I also have trouble having full confidence in my abilities. But I know I am intelligent, I do figure out complex issues, I overcome most - if not all - stumbling blocks, and I achieve top rankings for my clients, so maybe it wouldn't hurt me to feel a bit more proud of my accomplishments and confident in my abilities.
I guess I don't have a big ego -- I never have. And I cannot stand people who do -- it's the bane of my existence -- egomaniacs. Many need to be taken down several pegs, down to reality about themselves. But me? I am pretty realistic. In my field there's SO much to know, and SO much to be learning AT ALL TIMES, that all ego must be put aside and humility embraced instead.
It's a VAST field that requires a suite of skills and knowledge. It's a continuously shifting arena as well that requires constant learning. What worked yesterday no longer works today, so you have to adapt and learn new strategies at all times. So my field requires humility and a constant willingness to learn. I cannot imagine anyone being brazen enough to be egotistical in this field. And it's a highly technical field as well. Not all marketers are technical, like myself. I get by because I am intelligent enough and can figure it out as I go along, but technical is my weakest area and I am fully aware of that.
So... therein lies the humility. I know my weaknesses. I also know my strengths, or I am learning more about my strengths, in my current role. They tell me I know "core SEO", whatever that means. I asked my boss what he meant by that because I had never heard that term before. He said it means that I know how to get Web pages to rank in Google based on keywords and keyword research. That is the essence of my field, I suppose, and our ultimate goal. And yes, I do achieve top rankings and ultimately, I bring in more revenue and leads for my clients, another top goal.
But I leave ego at the door because I know I need to learn SO much more in my work in order to truly be an expert. I am eight years into this field, but I cannot say that I am truly an expert. It's kind of analogous to being a very good skier, nearly expert level, without mastering the moguls yet. That's how I think of myself at work-- I am no mogul master, but I can get down the black diamond trails just fine.
Anyways, so I should have more confidence and feel good about my achievements, but I have NO ego when it comes to my work. And that's a good thing.