[…] we spend an inordinate amount of time in after-hours experimentation, blogging and productivity optimisation, with the unspoken assumption that the weight of this combined experience will necessarily and always lead to a sustained, continuous improvement in knowledge and chops. But it won’t.
I’ve spoken a number of times about how I’ve got this constant mindset of needing to improve. I do feel that way and I try to spend my time wisely in pursuit of that. I’ve also mentioned (time and time again) about how lacking so many areas of my job feel. You’d think I’d have been discouraged enough to stop chasing a goal of getting better by now, it seems a bit fruitless. This article outlines a number of reasons behind that, and it’s worth a read both if you’re determined to do your job better or if you’ve become complacent.
It’s important to know that once you’ve reached a certain point in your skill set, the ‘improvements’ are going to become much less Lightbulb Moments and more of an erosion of preconceived notions or sub-par approaches over the course of years. If you’re in it for the long haul, I do believe that keeping high spirits about a goal of ‘getting better’ is still realistic. You’re still learning, you’re hopefully still applying those lessons to the next project, or the one after that. There’s more to having a lofty goal so large as “getting better at your job” but I think the other big part of it is accurately analyzing not only what’s possible in that goal in a given amount of time, but also taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture to see if anything is in fact taking hold.