The name we give our mistakes

This just proves my theory that there really is a Carrie Underwood song for every situation.

Today I had a reminder about how far I’ve come since I got my first job (almost 7 years ago!).

I got a call from my supervisor that revealed that I had made a mistake on several of the e-mails I’ve sent in the last week. I realized that I did not have a firm understanding of the task that I had been assigned and I cringed at the mistake.

Fortunately, my supervisor was very nice about it and apologized herself for not explaining it to me better. Despite this, I knew that it had been my responsibility to clarify the task and I spent the next 45 minutes fixing my mistake.

Not to long ago, a mistake like this would have bothered me for the whole day. I would have tripped over myself to apologize and then become highly paranoid that everything else I was doing was incorrect.

Example: Last summer I got a warning from the system administrator that I had been using an unusually high amount of data, and that my internet use would be investigated if I did not clarify that the use was in support of departmental work. I panicked, hard-core. I was SO worried that if I were investigated, the department would find a way to make a problem out of the fact that I left my Facebook open in the background and listened to YouTube videos while I was working.

My supervisor was in Paris at the time, so I fretted in silence for several hours before I finally responded to the e-mail and told them I would keep my usage down. When my supervisor returned, I told her what happened, terrified that I would be admonished for not working hard enough. She just laughed and turned her screen to show me she was listening to YouTube videos as well.

All of this is to say that you can’t be perfect all the time, especially when you are learning. This is something I have to remind myself of all. the. time. Today I apologized, fixed my mistake, and got on with my day.

As I work my way through my 3rd student job in two years, it can feel as though I am moving laterally along, rather than up, the career ladder. It’s moments like these that remind me that every experience is worth something. I am getting prepared for larger responsibilities, which will come with the potential for larger mistakes. Big or small, it’s important to be able to correct and move on—otherwise those mistakes remain errors, rather than lessons.

New job! New province!

Ohh boy, I haven’t updated in quite a while. I have a good reason—I got a job! And I moved! Two very big things, and getting settled in has taken up all of my time.

I am working for the Red Cross in British Columbia. The position is related to Disaster Management, and I was so unbelievably excited when I got the job that I literally skipped around my house in glee. Quite the professional, I am!

I found out about the job on a Friday, and by Monday I was driving across the country with my best friend and a mutual friend of ours. Just the drive itself was an amazing experience, and I will probably post pictures in the next couple of weeks.

I’ve been working for about 3 weeks now, and I love it. The job is a contract, just for the summer, but I don’t mind. The experience I’m getting—not to mention the opportunity to live in this beautiful place!—is totally worth it.

 Another reason for the lack of updates is that I’ve been debating the future of this blog. I still believe emergency management is my passion, but I also firmly believe you should write the kind of things you would want to read. Looking back, I’m not sure I would read this blog if I came across it. I would really like to keep updating while I figure it out—but the posts might be more varied or inconsistent in the meantime.

Thanks for reading!

Alex