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What was your biggest challenge from the beginning of your start in this career up until this very moment ? How did you accomplish this or accommodate ?

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Alejandra’s Answer

What was your biggest challenge from the beginning of your start in this career up until this very moment ? How did you accomplish this or accommodate ?

Hi Dejah,

My biggest challenge was getting people to believe that my background applied to my job. I studied neuroscience and philosophy and am obsessed with branding and human behavior. I believe branding, neuroscience, and philosophy are all intertwined and brand experts are truly knowledgeable of human perception and influence. At the beginning of my career, very few people saw the connection and even less understood why I would want to jump into branding as a neuroscience major.

To overcome this I had to ask myself some serious questions: Do I actually believe in the science meets branding relationship? If so, how do I convince others? Lastly, does it matter if others believe me? The bottom line is I had to believe in myself and take all the knowledge I had acquired and apply it to marketing lingo. It took me about two internships to finally feel like I could explain myself in a way marketing experts would understand, but now I'm lucky to say people really understand and see the connection.

Believing that I could become an expert in marketing, that I deserved to get a job in marketing, and that one day I could become an expert was a huge challenge for me. But I was able to do it with a mentor that believed in my talent and my ability to accomplish my goals. If I could give any advice on how to take on career challenges, it's surrounding yourself with 1 or 2 or 3 people that believe in you and will push you to challenge yourself and grow. These mentors will help you build your own confidence, and hopefully one day you can give back and mentor as well.

I hope that was helpful!
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Karla’s Answer

At every stage in our careers, we face challenges. They are always different! The good thing is that once you learned something and you accomplished a goal, remember the recipe and steps to make it happen next time. Learning does not me that you will be successful every time or that you will have the answers to everything, it means that you solved a problem either by making a mistake and then learning what to change or simply by trying something you think can work. You do not have to feel alone when there are challenges, talk to people at work, find ideas, suggestions, and recommendations from others. In the end, do it the way you feel will be better.

The challenges I had when I just started working were more related to - learning new products and processes and then creating a project and making them work. The first time that I made a mistake, it was due to a lack of knowledge. I simply did not know that the product I designed and sold was not the best one for that industry and that I should have chosen another one (which to be honest I was not even aware of). I had a very supportive manager and he helped me understand the mistake, we work on a solution for our customer, and then guess what!!!!! I learned something. I learned about that new product, and that specific industries require particular solutions. I also made sure to explain this to other new employees to make sure they did not struggle with the mistakes I did.

My advice is: do not be worried about upcoming challenges. There will always be there. But challenges are the ones that make us learn and be better at the activities we do.
When you are dealing with a challenge, take time to think about several alternatives on how to solve it, ask for advice, and follow your instincts. Also do not blame you to hard after a mistake, learn from the mistakes and help others.
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Bob’s Answer

As indicated by Sarbpreet and Karla, you will undoubtedly make mistakes and learn. However I believe the best approach, with the greatest short term and long term benefit, is to focus upon the context of what it is you are tasked to do. First, you must clearly understand, not only the task itself, but also how success is to be measured in terms of you completing your task.
Then, do your best to ask/understand what problem or group of issues fostered the need for what it is you are tasked to accomplish. In addition, attempt to determine/ask what other tasks, beyond yours, are moving ahead to focus upon this same problem or issues. Finally, use conjecture or theorize and then ask if your theory is correct in terms of how all of the tasks are integrated and measured for success.
You will be learning critical thinking as well as a series of questions that will assist you to determine what multiple tasks are under way, how they are integrated to solve a problem(s) or issue(s) and what criteria is employed to gauge success. You will be growing in knowledge and skills, developing a series of questions that will cut through the noise of issues and allow you to be able to think strategically (broadly relative to understanding complex issues) and to think tactically (hone in and focus upon short term actions/solutions.)
These capabilities will significantly increase the potential for your success in whatever career you pursue.

Bob recommends the following next steps:

When working in a team, listen carefully to the series of questions the leaders ask. Try to determine how they think.
Purchase sets of cards such as "THINKPAK" that help you to broaden your perspective and brainstorming in a broader context
Focus upon what series of questions best suit your success in understanding complex issues and how to divide and integrate tasks to move to the best solution.
Be paranoid and constantly as yourself, why is someone asking that question? Why asking a series of questions in that order?
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Sarbpreet’s Answer

Hi Dejah, throughout your professional and personal life you will face many challenges, the most important lessons will be learned when you overcome them. Never give up on your goals or let anyone tell you it's not possible. Maintaining a growth mindset and having an intellectual curiosity to solve problems will go a long way. Always remember it is ok to fail, and learn from your mistakes, these are vital building blocks that will contribute to your success. There will be times where you will feel overcoming the challenge is impossible, but stay true to your process, ask for help, and remember you're always learning. Mastery in your career takes time, so be patient.
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