Sanna Kramsi - Blog A peek into my life

Value your own skills

August 13, 2020 | Life

I don't think there is a single person who is good at everything. Someone might be an amazing developer with the knowledge of probably several coding languages and seems to be just a wizard in general. Someone is fantastic at frontend development, someone at backend development, and then there are people who do both quite comfortably but can often lack some of the superb skills someone who specializes in one more specific area might have. Someone might be a great communicator with no difficulties in communicating with people. Someone might be superb at organizing things, like tasks and priorities. Someone might be an excellent documentation writer. Someone likes to mastermind the solution architecture, while someone else might be more comfortable with someone else making those kinds of decisions. Someone might have great ideas but have difficulties in putting them to technical solutions. Someone might have amazing technical ideas but have difficulties in "selling" them to their marketing team. I could go on for days with examples, but I think you get the idea. We all have things we excel at, things we're great at, good at, ok at... etc.

Trying to excel at everything can be exhausting. This is where teams come in and why teams are such a good thing. If the teams are constructed in a way that comprises people with different skill sets and abilities, the results can be amazing. Where one person lacks a skill, someone else on the team has that skill and fills in. With teams, it's also possible to let someone skip doing some tasks they don't like, especially if there is someone else who enjoys doing those tasks. Forcing everyone to do everything is really not that smart. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, preferences, and dislikes. Taking advantage of each team member's strengths is crucial. It might not be possible to have everyone only do things they love, but if we know what each member likes and dislikes, it's a lot easier to make sure everyone gets to do the things they like on a more frequent basis.

I've worked both alone and as a part of a team, and I prefer working as a team. We get to decide together how we want to do things, and I think it's good that we have more people, because more people means different ideas and perspectives. It's easier to be more inclusive when you have more diversity. Each team member brings something important to the table.

Value yourself

I used to think I was worth much less than someone who has 10 more years of experience than me. Especially when this was also more or less implied by other people. But I'm glad I've come to realize that that simply is not true. I have a lot of skills this other person doesn't have. We both are valuable workers, just in a little different way. This realization has improved my mental health a lot, it has reduced the constant nagging in my head that I'm not worth enough. It's easy to say that don't compare yourself to other people, it's a whole another thing to actually not do it. I admit I still do it sometimes, but nowadays I have a more healthy approach to it. For example, I think about a colleague that wow this person is so much better at x than I am. I can learn so much from this person just by watching them work, and I wonder if they would be willing to even teach me at some point. So I'm doing the comparison from the perspective from my growth possibilities, not from the perspective that I'm worth less than them for not knowing something.

Having a negative self-image professionally can make it harder to improve your skills and find your own path. If you are in an environment where you aren't valued for who you are, try to find a safer place for you to grow. And always remember to value your own skills! There most likely aren't many people who have the same skillset you have, which makes you quite unique.

Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash