Being Comfortable in Unfamiliar Territory

Charles Garrett

Engineering Manager at Percolate



"It is often difficult to take advantage of growth opportunities which require that you step into uncomfortable territory."

Actions taken

"Become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Similar to a comedian that needs to build up a thick skin to be able to perform in front of unknown audiences, as an IC or new manager you need to cultivate a fearless quality so you can jump on challenging opportunities."

Lessons learned

"You have to accept the fact that you are in control of the direction of your career, and in order to be capable of taking advantage of opportunities as they come up one needs to become comfortable stepping into the unknown. Feeling out of place is normal. Everyone experiences imposter syndrome at some point, don't let it overcome you – know that you should be there. Exercise a regular practice of studying, communicating appropriately, prototyping, testing hypotheses, and making data-driven decisions, and this will become the foundation upon which you can find your path to feeling empowered and working confidently in many situations." "The key to being comfortable in unfamiliar territory is not about demonstrating unfounded confidence, rather it's about knowing that you can apply a pragmatic approach to create the artifacts which you need in order to become comfortable. For me, those artifacts are an evolving understanding of whatever problem I'm trying to solve and an accurate mental-model of the space in which I'm working."

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Charles Garrett

Engineering Manager at Percolate

Leadership DevelopmentCommunicationOrganizational StrategyDecision MakingFeedback TechniquesTechnical SkillsCareer GrowthCareer ProgressionSkill DevelopmentIndividual Contributor Roles

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