New Career, New City Part 4 – Learn Stuff!

Learn Stuff

Written by Mark Stevens

December 2, 2022

Resume Review for

CareerNet Nation Members

Learn stuff.  What am I talking about?  Don’t be ridiculous! Just learn stuff.

I’m in Seattle. I know almost zero people.  Not true, exactly.  I know people from work, great people. They want to know me. They want to hang out on the weekends.  But seriously, though.  I didn’t drive across the country to hang out with work people. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. They are all good people. They know their city and they know the business. It’s definitely a good starting point

Tough Boss

On My Own

I’m on my own.  A bit scared and a lot thrilled.

My boss was a bad ass. (Apologies for the language but it’s a good descriptive). When I interviewed he was relaxed an cool. Now,  seriously — he could look at you and you’d might want to run and jump through the window, down 20 floors.  That was his genius.  What’s yours?

Office Fight


You have it, too.  You, like me at the time, are learning how brilliant all of these people are, all of the time.   I had the Ivy League credentials.  I scoured the periodicals – that the news and business magazines that we all read on smartphones today.  I was so smart.  But not exactly.

Like I said, the people I worked with were brilliant. From the go getter tough guy to the intellectual nerdy smart guy — who would slam books on the table at each other BTW?!? They were smart (by the way, so funny.  The red faced anger.  Slamming books at each other.  Hysterical). Not smart  like the boss, but  certainly smarter than me.  The boss was brilliant—and he didn’t care.  Get your work done, leave me alone, but come have a martini after work. That is the work world I moved across the country for. Who knew?

What am I doing?

So what am I doing there? Like you, I’m figuring this out.  They’re smart.  I’m not really, but I love to learn.  That’s where you are.  You are on your own — you think you own everything in your life, but realize that you’re a little fish in a little work pond.

So learn things.  You have so much time — you might be working 12 hour days.  Then you exercise, do some laundry, etc.  But there’s still time.  Use the one hour you have every week.  Just the one hour.  Learn stuff.  You can’t unlearn, so there’s never a waste of time learning everything you can right now.  You’re on your own and you answer to you (and the boss, but that’s obvious).  So learn things.

At a cafe


Go to the library if you want.  Read things.  Sit in a café by yourself.  When I lived in New Jersey, I couldn’t just go out by myself —forgetabout it.

Who’s watching me?  Do they know me?  I can’t sit by myself in front of people.  That’s ridiculous.

But then you move across the country and nobody knows you.  You own the place now.  Enjoy it.  Sit alone with confidence.  That’s actually how I met my wife—but that’s another story.  Maybe in a future post. My point is, you can learn things.

Remember your career mission.

You moved away from everything you knew, for a career and for you.  So take the extra hour you have.  Hopefully, you have several hours, but even if it’s just an hour per week, you own that.  What can you learn to advance your career?

When you’re at work, on a phone call or in a meeting, you realize that everyone else seems smarter than you.  You hear them state things that you didn’t even imagine.

Hold that thought.  That’s something that you can learn.  Put it in your mind, or if your memory is like mine, just write it down on a pad or yellow poistit (that’s what we did before the Apple Notes app. Use that too). Then, when you have that extra hour, go learn.

Then after a while…a break through!

You’ll be at your next meeting—very important.  Serious, of course (and it is serious).  But then you hear in your mind what you’ve learned.  Then you say it. The clients and your colleagues are impressed and want to learn more about your thoughts, because they want to learn, too.

That’s called a break through. Recognize it. Embrace it. You did that.


It’s not that difficult — gain some knowledge and some skill and that’s where the conversations commence.  Watch a course on line (they didn’t really have many when I moved to Seattle, but now they’re at the edge of your keyboard and here at CareerNet Nation).

Open your mind.  Impress people, but more importantly impress yourself.

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