July 23 marks my five-year anniversary at Taylor’d Ergo. Wow, time flies! I thought I’d share 5 things that I’ve learned to do over the past 5 years.
Gain technical know-how from the pros
It’s a given that everyone should develop their technical skills over the first few years of a career. Working for Taylor’d Ergonomics has provided me with the opportunity to stay up to date on the best analysis tools for each situation, and to practice using them enough to become confident and avoid pitfalls. I’ve been very fortunate to be mentored by some very experienced and knowledgeable ergonomists here at TEI. My technical skills wouldn’t be what they are today, if it weren’t for their generous feedback and constructive criticism 😉.
Lean on your team
Working for a consulting business can get a bit lonely sometimes. Aside from our bi-weekly team meetings where we can all catch up and feel like more of a “team”, one habit that we stick to is calling in at the end of each work day. This gives an opportunity to wrap up how the day went in a few sentences, bounce any concerns off someone else who understands your work, share successes and good news, and sometimes just to rant if you’ve had a tough day. I’ve found that this practice helps to keep work separate from home life. Once that call is made, I can switch over to my personal life in the evening without having work creep into my thoughts too much!
Trust that the process works, and trust yourself to follow it!
When working toward a deadline, the entire scope of the project can seem overwhelming. “How am I going to be able to answer that question by then?!” Of course, confidence to meet those deadlines comes with practice, but also requires time management skills and using the resources provided. I was lucky that my managers provided me with great resources and enough training to be able to tell early on if I was falling behind schedule (or ahead!), allowing time to make a plan to correct the course, or ask for help. This is key in being confident in trusting yourself to get the work done in the given time.
Push yourself (and allow yourself to be pushed)
Trusting in the process doesn’t mean that you should just stick to what works “fine”, or stay in your comfort zone. Taylor’d Ergo has provided me with opportunities to question, analyse and improve upon our processes, and speak up when I think we could be doing something better, or when I feel something isn’t working. Being asked to present at the Association of Canadian Ergonomists National Conference, and run full-day courses and workshops was way out of my comfort zone, but now… no big deal!
Pass it on
I’ve also been fortunate enough to work with some students from the Universities and Colleges, teaching them some of what I’ve learned so far, helping them gain hands-on skills, and passing on some “tips” for entering the workforce as a new ergonomist. It’s pretty rewarding to see how much they learn in an 8-week internship, and I’ve enjoyed helping them to navigate challenging data collection scenarios and provide quality reports to their internship supervisors.
Overall, it’s been a great 5 years, and I’m looking forward to what’s coming next!