I disappeared from Twitter and my blog over the last few days because I was busy attending the Society of Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging Conference in downtown Vancouver. If that sounds super geeky, you’re right, it was. :) I haven’t talked much about my new job on this blog, but I work for a high tech company that makes particle accelerators called cyclotrons.
Here are a few pretty cool pictures I took from the trade show and over the last few days:
Working in this industry has been challenging over the last 5+ months. There’s a lot to learn, and it can be difficult at times – especially for someone like me, who didn’t take a single chemistry or physics class in high school. But over the past few months, I feel like I’ve really gotten comfortable with the things that I’m familiar with – coordinating trade shows, events, designing, and getting involved in video production.
But after this weekend, where I met dozens of people around the world, I realize that I really need to focus more on being less shy. I can be pretty terrible at approaching people, starting conversations, and making small talk in general – it’s my biggest weakness as an employee. And while I’ve done a little bit of speaking in front of bigger groups at work (and leading meetings), I’m still not comfortable presenting in front of management.
So what does this mean? I’m not sure. I want to say that I will start going to Toastmasters again, but I’m not sure that’s the best thing for me. Or maybe I need that, as well as something else. I think I just need to face my fears and go for it at work. Stop being afraid. Seize the chances that I’m given. Because if I don’t do it, I’m never going to become a better worker, and I’m never going to get to that level I want to get to.
I think it’s really important to know what your biggest weakness is. Not only is it super easy to answer that kind of question in an interview, but since you’ve identified it, you can say something like, “I think my biggest weakness is X, but I’m doing X, Y, Z in order to improve my skills in that particular area.” It shows initiative. And you can stop answering the biggest weakness question with the standard “I’m a perfectionalist” or “I work to hard.” Because really, come on. Nobody is good at everything, and it’s okay to admit what you’re really weak at. Just make sure to follow it up with how you’re going to turn that weakness around and make yourself better because of it. :)