We’ve both been here about a year as full-time permanent employees. (That’s not counting Katherine’s earlier Lift internship.) Our colleagues, Jacey and Nicole, recently wrote a blog about their learnings during their first “real world” jobs in marketing, so we wanted to do the same for our RevOps positions.
If you’re just starting out or you’re mentoring a recent grad, here are our six “real world” lessons. We hope they help!
1. Suck less
When I came to Lift, I was a perfectionist in all aspects of my life—and while I still am, a “real” job has helped me realize that I cannot do everything perfectly. I had already worked at Lift as an intern before I came on full-time, so in my head, I had the idea that “I'll just be perfect when I’m a full-time employee.” I quickly learned that is in no way realistic. I’m learning every day, which means making mistakes and making course corrections based on those mistakes. My biggest lesson is that the only thing I can really control every day is to just suck less than I did the day before. - Katherine
2. Get comfortable being uncomfortable
Like Katherine, I’ve learned that a lot of things are outside of your control—whether because you’re waiting on a client to get you what you need or other factors. That means that I really have to focus on what I can control and what I can do to get the desired outcome without getting lost in the plot. I’ve learned I need to keep that desired outcome clear and concise. That helps me accept the reality of the situation, the control I have (and don’t), and what I need to do to get what I need to move forward. - Dylan
3. Slow down to go faster
While I would like to say this was my own realization, I feel like this phrase was ingrained into us by Doug and Jess and just working at Lift. That doesn’t mean slowing down just to slow down, but to take a breath and think about what you’re doing to see if you’re going about it the right way. In other words, it’s about velocity over speed. You want to be sure you’re making efficient decisions and everyone is moving in alignment. - Dylan
4. Learning to bounce back from mistakes
To add onto Katherine’s earlier observation of “Suck less,” whenever something goes wrong, I realize I not only have to learn from it because I don’t want it to happen again, but I also have to learn to bounce back. For example, I was doing a migration using a client’s tool and what is very simple in HubSpot was very complicated in their tool. I spent two hours getting help from the tool’s support staff and the next time, I remembered the process and everything was much faster. - Dylan
5. Get in the arena
At Lift, we talk a lot about getting in the arena and doing things that scare you. Doug called me out for being right on the edge of the arena—so it looked like I was in the arena to people from the outside looking in. But I wasn’t and I knew that I wasn’t; I was mentally holding myself back because it was scary to be on a client call all by myself for the first time. I still don’t love to be on calls by myself, but I’m much more comfortable because I know I have the capability. - Katherine
6. Focus on purposeful action
It's good to have a bias to action but it has to be purposeful action. My colleague Sam and I were talking about this, which helped us both define it. Purposeful action needs to be something that actually gets momentum going. It’s definitely related to my earlier point of slowing down so you can be sure your next action is purposeful and not just a kneejerk rush to get stuff and check it off. - Dylan
We’ve learned a lot this first year and we know we have a lot more to learn. We’re both trying to focus on continuous improvement and making ourselves a little better every day—or as Katherine says, “Sucking less.”
We constantly remind ourselves that learning is a sometimes uncomfortable process and mistakes are inevitable, especially over the course of a long career. If you’re just starting out, we’d urge you to push yourself beyond your fear. It’s not easy, but it is worthwhile!