Work presentations are mentally painful, especially if you've never done one.
I had the privilege of giving my first presentation a few months ago, right after our COVID-19 lockdown began.
Thus, my entire presentation had to be online. You'd think this was a win, but try giving a passionate speech with no one to validate your jokes and points was like talking to statues at a park.
Despite the many speeches I've done in my Toastmasters club, I was a nervous wreck.
For the most part, everything went well. I was enthusiastic, my slides were on point, and I was enjoying myself—all up until the very end.
At the end of my speech, I had a rather unenthusiastic reception from everyone (or so it seemed). No one gave a care in the world of what I created - a tool that automated 30% of my workload, working its way to 100% as a miniature CMS. Instead, they were more awestruck with the overall delivery of the presentation and the pictures in the slides.
Don't get me wrong, that's still good people listened, but the entire point of the presentation was to show that I'm a
"badass coder that they are underutilizing."
And this kind of thinking is where I've gone wrong.
After getting a little irritated and frustrated, I realized that this mindset to my approach at work is not healthy.
Sure, I couldn't control how others perceive what I did or what I created, but I can control my mindset over the love of the project I worked hard on.
Ultimately, I had to go back to my big WHY.
Why did I enjoy coding in the first place? Was it to gain approval from others? Was it to make people respect me?
No, it was because I LOVED creating things and solving problems for myself and other people.
Gaining approval and respect quickly phase out, especially in the workplace, leaving you wanting more. In contrast, continuously solving problems, building, and honing in your skills for the love of the craft is a never-ending satisfaction.
After my presentation, I still received a lot of praise from people. I'm grateful to have had an opportunity to make a presentation.
Presenting was something I wanted to do for a while to step out of my comfort zone and grow just a little bit more in my career. It was something I did for myself, and to make it about how good I wanted to look only defeated the purpose of why I created the tool in the first place.
Don't ever feel entitled to anything in your workplace. Don't ever expect things to turn out in your favor.
Always be grateful for what you have and where you are. Many folks would die to be in your position.
And if you didn't expect something to turn out the way you wanted to, then keep trekking on. Don't allow anyone or anything to discourage you from doing your best.
Consistently showing up and working hard with humility and gratitude will not only allow you to enjoy your work even more, but you'll feel much more at peace with where you are at work, which thus carries on to the rest of your life.