Last night I went to cooking class. It was something that has been on my bucket list forever, and cooking class was November’s bucket list item to scratch off. I had so much fun, and I also learned some new techniques and dishes. It made me think about how similar some things were relevant to my approach to my career.
There is Always A Better Way to Do Things
I thought I had a pretty good understanding on how to hold a knife and cut with it. The chef taught us the best way to hold the knife, so that you decrease the chances of slicing your fingers. So much better! I felt like firm grip I had on the knife compared to the way I had held it before. It’s the same in technical writing. You might think the way you have been doing it for years is the best way to approach something. However, it might not be. Be open to the new opportunities.
Be Open to Working with Others
I went to cooking class by myself, and I knew that more than likely I was going to be cooking on my own because everyone will arrive in pairs. I was wrong. There was another person there alone, and we decided to pair up. I learned a bit from her, and she learned from me. There are times that you will want to approach things solo. If there is an opportunity to collaborate with someone, go for it. You never know what you are going to learn.
Follow the Standard, and then Adjust
We followed the directions that the chef gave us. After everything was 90% done, the chef told us that it was time to taste our food and make any adjustments that we felt were needed. My cooking partner and I added a bit more salt, some crème to the butternut bisque, and didn’t put as much beer in the sauce. We didn’t leave a bite. There are standards in any career field you pursue. However, what sets you apart from the rest are the personal touches that you add. Do not be afraid to do so.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
I asked questions whenever I didn’t understand anything. I wanted to make sure that I made delicious food, and so I asked. Yes, maybe one or two would have been perceived as a dumb question, but I didn’t care. I felt my food came out great. If you really want to grasp technical writing, ask away. If someone gets annoyed by the questions you’re asking, then go ask someone else. Never let anyone deter you from learning.
Even if You Consider Yourself an Expert, You Can Always Learn One More Thing
I’m a pretty good cook, but I learned so much during the cooking class. There is always room to learn, so don’t close yourself up because you think “I have over ten years experience. I’m the man.” Those thoughts will make you remain stagnant, so don’t do it. Learn and keep learning.
I had so much fun at cooking class, and I already made plans to take the kids.