“What do you want to be when you grow up, Maryanne?”
When I was aged five, I wanted to be a painter, when I was eight a vet, at 10 I was a dancer, by 14 a marine biologist, and at 18 I wanted to be a marketing manager.
Do you remember when you were a kid and everything was possible? There were no limitations. You approached life with curiosity and confidence.
Sure, some roles take a lot more effort than others to learn, however, I am yet to be in a role where I haven’t been able to figure it out. I have taken on all sorts of roles that use very different parts of my brain.
People ask me how I’ve managed such a diverse career across Marketing, Products, Strategy and Operations.
My answer is simple.
I approach my career with the same curiosity and confidence of a child – anything is possible and can be learned.
I am a strong believer that we are capable of doing anything as long as you are willing to put in the effort to learn and grow.
As humans we are born learners, with a natural curiosity to figure out how the world works. Curiosity is the desire to learn. But it’s more often than not the fear of failure that kills curiosity.
I recently took members of my team to the National Gallery of Victoria to awaken their inner-child. To prove that they are capable of achieving things they previously may have thought impossible.
The task was to draw an object in the gallery. Some members were excited, some were skeptical: “I can’t draw”, “I am hopeless at drawing”.
We picked a very difficult object, a glass ball reindeer and sat around like budding artists with stools, sketch pads and artist pencils.
Can you guess what happened?
Every single person could draw, and the drawings were impressive. So impressive that we even attracted a crowd of spectators who “oohed and aahed” at our skills.
OK, I am exaggerating a little, but there was a lot of peeking over our shoulders.
So, here’s my ask. Next time you are thinking about your career and what is your next role, project or challenge. Put aside the fear and remember you were born with the ability to do anything and to be anyone. You just need to rediscover your inner-child. If you don’t believe me, pick an object and draw it.
I bet you will surprise yourself.
Maryanne is a member of Telstra’s Brilliant Connected Women (BCW) network, and wrote this story to share her experiences with colleagues across the organisation.
One of the ways we empower our people to champion workplace diversity is through BCW where our people can come together, support each other and work toward improving gender diversity in our workplace. Our BCW network is just one of many initiatives our people can take part of as part of their career at Telstra.