Think for Yourself#

No one knows how to do your job. Look for answers from within, not without.

In highly dynamic environments (tech, startups, zombie apocalypse) there is no historical set of rules that “just work”. Your best bet is to question everything, apply rational thought, and course correct shamelessly.


If you don’t feel like an imposter then you’re not trying hard enough

When I’m placed into a new role I feel lost. I search around for a set of common practices that I can lean on and at least pretend I know what I’m doing. Typically I do a lot of web searches, read many articles, and reach out to people who have done this job before to get their advice. Learning to do new things is hard. I feel a lot of responsibility and a lot of stress when I don’t know how to do my job.

If you’re growing as a person then you maybe find yourself in this situation too. The more quickly you grow, the more frequently you find yourself unsure of how to act. It makes sense to research and ask for advice, but my experience is that you shouldn’t weigh historical advice too heavily.

Advice is often wrong#

Trust me, I’ve done this before and know what I’m doing

Wisdom learned years ago may not transfer well to today, especially in highly dynamic environments (tech, startups, zombie apocalypse).

This is bad, because people can’t help you as much as you would want.

This is also good, because it frees you to trust your gut and think more. Knowing that there isn’t a well-troden path gives you permission to blaze your own trail without hesitation.

Said differently, you’re suffering imposter syndrome. That’s appropriate. You are under-qualified and you don’t know how to do your job. However, neither does anyone else! Your job is new! No one has ever done what you’re tasked with in your current environment. You might as well do the best you can, knowing that no else is likely to do a better job.

Knowing that others are wrong can remove paralysis and free you to think more clearly.

Observe, Think, Change#

You’re smart. You have a brain. Use it.

Instead, question your situation, make a rational decision, and start moving forward. Assess frequently, own up to being wrong, and course correct shamelessly.

This is hard work! This is also your job.