My Career, Sans Ladder

March 12, 2006

Some career thoughts from Malcom Gladwell

via a Bill Simmons interview:

I really love writing, in a totally uncomplicated way. I'm happy writing anywhere and under any circumstances and in fact I'm now to the point where I'm suspicious of people who don't love what they do in the same way.

it's really risky to work hard, because then if you fail you can no longer say that you failed because you didn't work hard. It's a form of self-protection. To me, this is what Peyton Manning's problem is. He has the work habits and dedication and obsessiveness of Jordan and Tiger Woods. But he can't deal with the accompanying preparation anxiety. The Manning face is the look of someone who has just faced up to a sobering fact: I am in complete control of this offense. I prepare for games like no other quarterback in the NFL. I am in the best shape of my life. I have done everything I can to succeed -- and I'm losing.

I think I'm currently dealing with this whole "self-protection" thing right now. Previously when work got too difficult I was able to hide a bit due to some of the co-workers around me (and also the general inefficiency that is big-company life).

This time around I'm trying to face any problems head-on, and so far it's lead to a good amount of me looking (and feeling) like a complete idiot (luckily only to a select group of people). I haven't felt this stupid since college but I've decided that I'm just going to try and fight thru it until I either figure things out or re-position myself in a job that more naturally fits my strengths - which I'm still working on understanding


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