We’ve all been rookies at least once in our lives. The definition of rookie is the new, unexperienced, pioneer who starts something new and is in the process of learning how to do it well.
When we start a new job, an internship, or a new career, we start out nervous, curious, we ask questions, normally the wrong ones, but this leads to learning. Every single person who finds themselves at the stage of being a rookie would say that they can’t wait to know it all and escalate their way to a higher and better paid position, or at least wish that they could become professionals at what they do.
Being a rookie has different benefits, that is why every organisation needs them, whether through an intern, or hiring fresh and young faces. On the other hand, what happens to the rest of us? Is being a rookie only a season in life that once we overcome it we should simply forget about?
I would like to suggest that being a rookie is an attitude, a lifestyle and a point to which we should all eventually come back to every now and then.
Seeing the old with new eyes
Have you ever realised that when you go to a place for the first time it looks different than when you get used to it? My School building , for example, seemed so big, impressive, and beautiful the first time I came in, I could barely find the class rooms and even got lost a couple of times. This completely changed after a few years and the building became my home, where I felt comfortable and most of the details I used to admire simply became invisible to my eyes. I stopped being a rookie.
I love watching new students come to College, there is something about them that communicates wonder and amazement. They are grateful for absolutely everything they get to be a part of and they do not take anything for granted. They are rookies, newbies or freshmen who still live on a cloud of dreams and expectations of what University will be like.
I wonder what would happen in our business or organisation if we woke up one day and decided to go to work with a rookie mindset? Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean acting irresponsibly or not doing your job well, but instead it means choosing to approach what you do as a blank canvas. It means allowing you to remove filters like experience, mistakes, boundaries, rules and expectations that if you are not careful can shut down your creativity and hinder what you do.
Having a rookie attitude implies approaching the same task in a different way, it implies seeing the old with new eyes.
The gold in questioning
Another characteristic of being a rookie is that at that stage you are not afraid of making questions. You want to learn as much as possible and ask the questions that will help you find what you think is important to learn. One of the disadvantages of experience is that as we grow and learn more, some things just become obvious or seem irrelevant, while the next great idea of the company or the next improvement for a product or service could be only one simple question away.
Get back that curiosity and willingness to learn, the revival of your job or the next promotion for you could be simply another perspective away, but it is up to you to position yourself and ask questions, which don’t always have to be the right ones.
Keeping the passion alive
It is easy to loose the passion for what you do once you get familiar with it, this is why having a rookie attitude will help you revive the wonder and the love for what you do. Take the time to think what is it that you loved about what you do in the first place? How did yo feel the first time you did it? How did you see yourself at the beginner stages of your job? Did you think you could do anything and carried confidence with you? What do you think of yourself now?
Loosing the passion for what you do is usually accompanied by low self esteem and the thought of your capacity to give being empty. You come to this dangerous place of believing that you have nothing new to offer and get stuck in a cycle of frustration.
Remembering why you do what you do will help you not only get a boost of excitement but if you do the process right, you will end up encouraged and with a vision and mission engraved in your heart that will allow you to translate the love for what you do into who you are today. Remember that going back to being a rookies doesn’t simply mean throwing away the experience, but changing the attitude towards what you do considering who you are in the present, someone who has learned the lessons but is looking for new lessons to learn.
Tell us, what else does being a rookie look like?