Have you ever had a job where you were really busy but bored?
At one point, when I worked for the biggest ad agency in London, I found myself standing too long in the ladies’ room, having to will myself to walk out the door.
I’d been working on the same account for eight years. I had seen endless junior brand managers come and go. If I could get myself to leave the bathroom, I was headed to my client’s office to have the same tedious discussion, about the size of their logo on a poster, that I’d had repeatedly over the years.
I was so bored with it.
I knew I needed to do something else.
Give me something new
Fast forward several years to my current role as a coach, helping other people figure out what they want.
Some clients hire a coach because they want a change and can’t see the way forward. They’re adamant, saying “I need to do something different, really different – like a whole new industry kind of different.”
I understand the sentiment. Learning something new is motivating. It’s great to figure things out that you have never done before. It’s exciting to see yourself getting better at something, understanding how or why it works. Building your experience is a joy in itself.
Oddly, when we’ve absolutely dominated a skill or ability, it no longer holds a challenge. It’s just repetition and repetition is dull.
That makes it easy to understand the pleasure of learning. If you take up a new activity, golf, dance, meditation, skiing, there is an immediate satisfaction as you learn and improve.
Equally, when you change jobs and have to figure everything out, you feel like all your senses are on alert and you can’t afford to do anything on automatic, it’s exhilarating.
So why do we dread being in that learning seat?
Give kids a chance to learn something new and they leap on it. They are quick to give it a go. They laugh, concentrate and often point to what they’ve done with pride, they just learned it. Continue reading