Embracing Your Crucible

Hi, I’m Natalie! I started at DevFacto the second week of September as a User Experience Researcher (UX) / Business Analyst (BA) who has been working in the product software space for the last few years.

Where most organizations will ease you in to your first week or so, my first week at DevFacto started out with a bang. My first morning, I was informed about DevFacto’s annual Quality Conference – a multi-day internal retreat – which was taking place at the end of the week (yahoo!) However, I was then informed that I would be delivering a Pecha Kucha (lightning) talk at the conference (a what!?)

If you don’t know what a Pecha Kucha talk is, don’t worry, I didn’t either. Simply put, it is a type of format for your presentation: 20 slides x 20 sec per slide. That gives you a total of 6m40s to deliver a message to your audience.

Now, I think most people would start to panic when they hear they’ve been volunteered for a presentation; I know I did. To stand up in front of 80+ “new-to-me” colleagues and deliver in an unfamiliar presentation format while they form their first impressions of me was daunting to say the least. What made it more terrifying? The subject of the talk: me. Yikes!

Before, I continue on with my story, I want to tell you about one of the Pecha Kucha talks that was presented the first day. It was named, “The Crucible.” No, it was not about dark magic like a lot of us thought. It was a talk about embracing your next challenge, even if you are afraid.

Crucible is defined as:

“A situation of severe trial, or in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new.”

Looking calm, cool and collected while I present my Pecha Kucha talk!

Hearing this talk triggered something in me; I felt like I had a new lens to look at the experience. Through this new lens emerged a new point of view. I would be lying if I said I didn’t think that talk was a lot to ask a new employee in their first week. I did and am sure many would agree. But, let’s look at it another way. DevFacto provided me with an opportunity I have never had been given before. An opportunity to practice a skill I have always wanted to improve upon, while being in a supportive environment. They signed me up because they saw a confidence in me during the interview process. A confidence that I may have not seen under the immediate anxiety that would have arisen in me if they asked if I wanted to talk.

So, thank you DevFacto for challenging me like that in my first week!

I embraced my crucible and I am now in my second month at DevFacto, feeling more confident about taking on the new challenges that lay ahead.

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