Monday, November 18, 2013

Yoo 555 - Conferences and Comfort Zones

I have to go to a conference for work.

And maybe if I could be in an INVISIBLE bubble at the front of the rooms with a recliner and in pajamas also my dog is there and copious amounts of Brie and crackers are surrounding me, would I be truly excited about this impending event. 

But that's not the case. 

The case is that I'm going to have to interact with people for four (4!!!) days and act professional and like I do interesting things and know what I'm talking about. And also am ambitious and innovative and entrepreneurial and female power! Let's not forget there will be a million first impressions and I have to try to dress better than my normal jeans and a polo. And focus and remain still for long periods of time. 

(hint: the problem is i'm really bad at all of those things).

It's like work has no regard for my comfort zone since it's basically getting set up for a Hulk-type beating. 

Oh, but it's good to step out of your comfort zone! So many opportunities for growth!

Yes. In the same way it's good to take an aspirin but probably not the whole year's supply sitting in your bathroom cabinet.  

This conference might kill me. 

You know how service dogs get to wear those vests and then people aren't supposed to pet them or talk to them? I want a human version of that.

Like, "Hey, I'm just here to observe, maybe drop some cool schwag into my bag without making eye contact and let me be on my way."

I'm excited to learn and be inspired and all that jazz but networking? Just let me listen and not have to talk about myself ever. 

I had a bad experience. 

The last time I had to talk about what I do it was in front of a massive classroom filled with ambitious BYU students intent on scoring a summer internship. I was on a recruiting trip with my company and tasked with wetting their appetites for the buffet of possibilities an IT position with us could offer them in a couple short years. Only I remember my shirt suddenly felt too small and I started shaking uncontrollably right before they handed me the microphone and also I'd been working for 10 months but still didn't really know what I did.

I should have told them the two things I knew then to be true:

1) I get a sick paycheck every 2 weeks. 
2) I'm new and no one expects me to know anything or accomplish anything significant nor do they really care. This won't always be the case but I'm going to ride that wave as long as I can. 

Instead I painfully mumbled thru stuff about data and tried to sound technical and use big words that I didn't really know the meaning of and then sat down and waited for my free lunch. 

The floor didn't get opened up for questions. 

Even if I still can't explain it, I mostly know what I do now. And I'm not bad at it but I'm at least a million stages down the totem pole from the best so I prefer not to open my mouth too often. 

I'm like the scrappy volleyball player, corporately speaking. I'll throw myself across the floor to dig a spike and I'll run into the bleachers after your errant pass, but I'm not exactly watching the hitter's shoulder to predict where I should be beforehand and I don't really aspire to becoming the coach.

This is going nowhere. Basically I'm getting my expectations set as low and doomsday as possible so I'm destined to have a surprisingly decent time at this conference. 

Even if I won't be invisible, hanging out with my dog and eating Brie.

I really miss dork dog.

Have a great day :-)

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