I am, Therefore I am

A first and important step in being successful at almost any job or task is understanding oneself. This is true for engineers, modelers, or even architects. Do you know how to perform your tasks? Are you faster or slower than others doing the same tasks? Do you have more or less errors in your output than others? It seems that a rising number of people are so uncomfortable with competing that they may even avoid asking these kinds of questions of themselves; but this is not about competition, it is about understanding oneself, it is about being responsible, it is about holding oneself accountable. If one is unclear on any task, one needs to bring about clarity. Achieving clarity may involve finding sources to better learn about the elements involved or asking questions of peers or managers. As one is learning, asking questions should always be encouraged. However, again with understanding oneself, if you find yourself asking the same question repeatedly, maybe you need to change your approach.

Taking notes is a good thing; and when you take notes, then hopefully you can review and study them so that the basics may be better understood and easily recalled. Once you understand what you are to do, then how do you compare to your peers in terms of speed and accuracy? If one person can do a task quickly, others may follow and be just as quick and accurate. It might be worth asking more questions, or maybe just asking to observe. How do your peers proceed when you may be floundering? Are there additional pieces of information they are gathering that you have not? Is there something about how your peers order their steps that improves their results?  What can you do to be more like your peers?

Some employers ask their staff to be superheroes at times in order to address a crisis. Hopefully, these are very rare circumstances. If such requests become frequent, then it’s likely there are bigger organizational problems to solve; perhaps that employer is a bit toxic. Sometimes people paint themselves into a corner by asking themselves to become a superhero. When one does this to themselves, the first question might be, when is/was the appropriate time to start asking for help?  Everyone likes to feel like a hero, but falling asleep while trying to pull an all-nighter doesn’t get you there. Knowing oneself includes knowing when to ask for help. If one does not feel safe asking for help, then that may be a good conversation to start with one’s manager.

Successful people are responsible for understanding the tasks they are to perform, be it ETL, data modeling, or anything else. Successful people are accountable for getting tasks done accurately and in a timely fashion. Showing up for work is merely a bare bone start to doing one’s job. Thinking becomes the next critical step. Being successful means knowing yourself, that you have made yourself comfortable with what needs to be done, and how it needs to be done. You are as fast at a task as others; you are as accurate as others. Teams rely on each other to get work done at an expected pace and everyone contributes to that effort. Certainly, everyone starts at differing skill levels; but over time each person needs to put forward the efforts necessary to improve and become a successful team member. Getting up to speed to understand how to do the functions within one’s job is not magic, and generally does not arise like osmosis as being absorbed by simply being present. Effort is necessary, and ideally, that effort is rewarded by success.