From Expert to N00b

ninja-kickToday I’m changing jobs. I have to admit, it’s pretty scary and intimidating. So far, I’ve always been the WordPress expert in the companies and NGOs I worked for. I know how to set-up WP and do a little bit of tweaking in CSS and HTML, but that’s about it. The fact that I was considered an “expert” says more about the lack of WP skills of my former colleagues than about how good I am.

Today that all changes. I’m going from expert to n00b. As said above, it’s scary and intimidating, but I look forward to it. Why am I happy to be at this place?

Respect Increases Humility

Acknowledging the skills of your co-workers will result in respect for what they do. It will also result in you becoming more and more aware of what you cannot do. It is not good to wallow in your shortcomings, but let’s face it; no one likes that guy who thinks he’s the best at everything.

Working with skilled people teaches you humility and that is a great characteristic to have. I’d like to have a lot more of it and I believe WooThemes will be a humbling environment to work at.

Challenge Develops Skills

Working with people who are better at something than you are also creates a challenging environment, but the type of challenge that can help you grow in skills. I might not know that much about WP at the moment, but I’m sure that if you would ask me in a year, I’ll know a lot more than now.

A working environment that offers a lot of inviting problems which require solving is by definition a learning environment. As you work, you learn. And that is a good thing. I want to develop my WP skills. Drastically.

Accountability Creates Experts

At the same time, at WooThemes I will not be expected to become a developer or a designer. Yes, my WP skills set will grow, but I have been hired as education and training manager and that is a field I already know quite well. I have been involved with all sorts of training and education and I feel comfortable in that area.

Working with people who are great in their respective fields, is an invitation to also become better at your field and specialise even more in your area of expertise. I may already know the field of education and training quite well, but there are endless ways to increase my expertise. I’m happy to be working with experts, because that will make me more accountable to my role in the company; the education and training section of WooThemes, and ensuring that it will not become the company’s weak link. (At least, that’s the plan.)

In Sum

Change is a good thing. Challenge is a good thing too. So are humility and accountability. All of them are ingredients for a working environment to be an inviting learning environment. I look forward to starting my new job, in big part because I want to learn.