About a month ago, I had the chance to really take in and assess the inventory that is my self worth as it relates to my current career path. This chance came about as I was recommended a position in a relatively new startup company, with a chance to make more money and advance faster than where I currently was. Despite the risks involved, the offer made to me was enough to move me out of my comfy spot at my big corporate spot.

The self assessment started to roll in the moment I submitted my two weeks’ notice in the form of a resignation letter, as at that point, I had to transition what I knew over to any and all those tasked to take over my position. What I knew versus what they knew was as clear as day and night, and the effort I put in to my work would be difficult to be matched. For the first time, I was seeing the fruits of my labor and starting to see how much of my presence was appreciated.

During that two week span, I was constantly looking back at all the knowledge I picked up in roughly 18 months of employment. I was the only one in the company handling performance marketing, and having stumbled into the industry back in early 2011,  I knew nothing going in. Within those 18 months, I came out with a very advanced level of mastery of the subject matter, the technology behind it, concepts and theories of all things related to display and direct response advertising, and even a collection of individual contacts within the industry. That’s what happens when you’re a one-man show, I guess.

So what does all this mean to you? It means that sometimes the little things you do are an investment in cultivating your skill sets to further advance your quality of life.

As with the current, younger generation, they have grown up with internet. I would fathom that at least 80% of them understand how to run a simple blog, with at least half of them understanding how to run their own web server as well as knowing how to program. I bring this up because I grew up figuring out websites and other digital media out of pure hobby, and that has helped me land jobs that I was never trained professionally to do. I never saw it as a career path due to my lack of patience and natural talent, but since I dabbled in the content so long, it is definitely paying off these days. Looking back at what I’ve learned, a majority of my skills came from both trial by fire and on-the-job self-training.

For me, I’ve always had a hard time assessing my own self worth. I’m a perfectionist, and I always see things as having room for improvement. Never satisfied. However, I will allow myself this small caveat experience of transitioning to a new job as a pat on the back for having made it this far over the years and continuing to add to my arsenal of personal skill sets and achievements. Perhaps one day, I’ll finally have picked up enough knowledge to be able to look back and call myself a web designer.