4 Cringe-Worthy Career Moments (And What I Learned)

By Maren Hogan

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The other day I was looking through a bunch of old photos in my attic. I cringed at my poofy short 80s hair and laughed when I looked at my first pair of bifocals (yes, I had bifocals at 10, like a weirdo). It’s sort of a given, those cringe-worthy moments. You thought you were so cool, but when you see photographic evidence that you so patently were NOT cool, well it stings a little.

Even so, those memories are fantastic to wade through. Recently my friend Laurie Ruettimann posted a blog article about an experience she had as a young recruiter with her boss. In short, over time, the boss she thought was a jerk actually provided Laurie with valuable self-reflection. Reflection she didn’t really come to until much later.

I appreciated the article and said as much because just like those photos in the attic, we all have professional moments that are a touch cringe-worthy. I spend so much time teaching and trying to lead my team now, I often forget that once I was young and trying to figure out this whole “career” thing. While today’s young women and men have bloggers and media like The Muse and Ask a Manager, there are still a lot of potential pitfalls. When Laurie and I (and pretty much anyone who leads and manages people) dig into the archives of our former career selves, it can be really useful for people who are learning themselves. And obviously, for us!

So here are my most cringe-worthy career moments (in order of embarrassing-ness):

The time I realized my state school j-degree was not the same as a decade of experience at a major US pub.

Pride is a funny thing and I have it in SPADES. I was working my rear end off as the staff writer, ad salesperson, distribution coordinator and photographer for a local paper, which as you can imagine, did not have that many people in it. The publisher and I were drowning in work and needed someone else. When the publisher found that person; an accomplished woman with over 10 years of experience at a national newspaper, I was thrilled. When I learned she would be in a position of authority over me, I was NOT thrilled. After all, we both had our journalism degrees, weren’t we the same? Looking back at that moment, I honestly want to smack 23-year-old me. Of course, experience matters. Of course, my state school degree couldn’t compare to this much swankier one. Of course, they weren’t going to have a 23-year-old manage a woman in her 40s! But then? Then I railed at my husband for weeks over the injustice of it all. Ah, youth. Lesson: Experience beats youth.

When I was passed over for a promotion after four months with a company and I threw a fit and cried at work.

Holy balls. I had Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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