Since my last post here, I’ve spent a lot of time working on a variety of projects for Rackspace. A couple of partnerships with huge co-branding potential, a completely new team that focuses on building customer loyalty very early, and, of course – finding more ways for us to interact with our customers and share stories about the exciting work they’re doing.
For the most part, I have been in learning mode. My background in Software Development did not entirely (or even hardly!) prepare me for my current role in Corporate Communications – running social media and managing building43.com.
I am fortunate though. I work with an amazing team that has the experience I need for growth. That growth comes in two forms – observing and doing. Few of my co-workers realize that I am learning from them every day. The truth is, I don’t ask for a lot of help – I never have. But, I do GET a lot of help just by watching. Talented people are amazing teachers, even if they don’t realize it.
It takes me back to when I started to learn and create code. Over time, I picked up a dozen languages by looking at examples, emulating and trying it on my own. Eventually, I turned those experiments into new code – something unique – something that had my vision in it.
I am doing the same thing in my role now – I watch the pros and I emulate what they’re doing until I get good at it (or think I am good at it!). Then I try to extend it by creating a cocktail of my past experiences with new knowledge. I try to take the best of what my co-workers add, stir in a little bit of what I add, and see if the result is palatable. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t – that’s part of the fun.
The fact that I am encouraged when I “get it” and also encouraged when I “blow it” is something I like. I can screw up. It is not the end of the world, or the end of my career. I am just expected to learn from it, and trusted to try again.
The point is, it’s rewarding to master a function over time, but I find it much more fulfilling to push the envelope. I like to experiment and learn. I love working in an environment where that is not only accepted… it’s expected.
The ability to learn – the ability to learn from failure. The ability to circle the wagons and try again. NOT being forced to always be right the first time, or think I am risking my position. The ability to start down a path without completely understanding where it will take us, or me personally. I like that. I am a life long learner, but I learn by taking risks, and just trying new stuff. Knowing how to fail fast is a key part of what I do here.
My coworkers help me fail fast. And they help me succeed. And until now, they probably didn’t realize it. So – much thanks to the Rackspace Corporate Communications team – we are tasked with a lot, and deliver more. I’m really proud of my teachers here.
Rob now heads up social media efforts at Rackspace. His passion is taking care of customers and he goes to great lengths to do so. From passing out his home telephone number on Twitter, to working around the clock to find customer solutions – Rob is what Fanatical Support is all about!
Connect with Rob on Twitter by clicking here!Category: Rackers Tags: Building43.com, Career development, Corporate Communications, Learning on the job, Rob La Gesse, Software Development