Recently, I was asked to speak at a career seminar for Latin American Studies. I felt honoured to be asked but at the same time a little scared and unsure. What to tell these soon-to-be graduates about life after graduation. I really don’t feel like I got where I wanted to be yet. In the end, what I told them is to follow your own path. To take what advice you find interesting and then walk to your own beat. Now, a few days later, I’d like to add to that “always keep your childish innocence, quoting the movie Under the Tuscan Sun.” By that I mean to say, be a N00B.

I’ve always believed, do good in school. Get the good grades. Graduate from University and get THAT job. Be the expert and feel successful. But I never seem to get there. So at first glance, giving you the career advice of being a “n00b” might seem counter-intuitive.

Be a N00B? Shouldn’t we all strive to be the expert in our career?

You have worked hard for around 4-8 (sometimes more) years to get your degree or sufficient work-experience. So isn’t achieving “Expert-status” something you should want? Something you deserve?

I don’t know anymore…

After years of striving towards the vague and elusive goal of “SUCCESS”, I just don’t know if this is something I want to pursue in the way I’ve been pursuing it the last couple of years.

Having to be an “Expert”, to be “Successful”, creates  a huge pressure to be perfect

I’ve been waiting to start a lot of stuff because I felt like I wasn’t ready. Like I wasn’t expert material. Because you feel like you need to know everything before you start something.

But, uhmmm, when do you know enough?…. When is that magical moment when you deem yourself ready? I’m guessing (not really, because you can read it in every personal development book ever published) that you’ll never believe you’re ready. You just keep on feeling like where you are at right now, isn’t good enough.

The classic “I don’t have enough experience!?

The word ‘expert’ becomes equivalent to the metaphorical “stamp of approval”.

What if you could look at success differently?

To quote Einstein, because – why not, everyone does:

 “Strive not to be a success, strive to be of value!”

Imposter Syndrome

In reality, you suffer from imposter syndrom – scared of being called a fraud. But that’s just a lie you tell yourself, because, being the person that you are and having the life experiences that you have right now, you can already be of value to anyone.

Sometimes it’s even better not to have that much experience in a particular field because it can limit your view, your creativity, your ability to think outside the box and be innovative.

On being valuable: “It Takes a New Pair of Eyes to Spot the Pain.”

“Experts Won’t Risk Their Expert Status to Find a Solution. That job goes to someone whose risk-reward ratio is different; someone who stands to gain more than they might lose by innovating.

That someone is often a newbie [n00b] – a person looking at the problem with a fresh pair of eyes. That someone… is perhaps you!”

Source: You Don’t Need to be an Expert to Innovate in Your Field.

Following this line of thought, a N00B  is someone who has fresh ideas and can look at a project or problem from the outside in and come up with innovative and revolutionary solutions.

You already know enough to start your dream.

You have unique talents, ways of seeing things, which you can start using today. In fact, you have probably been doing it all along. Think about all the things you’ve accomplished so far. Don’t discount those wins.

If you are stuck right now, whatever your dreams might be, strive to be of value: be a N00B!

Have any career advice to share? Or are you stuck? Do you think you suck? Are you too scared to walk to your own beat? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment down below.

The Mangrove Concept