“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” – Ernest Hemingway
Many EHS pros worked in other fields before safety. Security, operations, construction, you name it. If we’re honest, we gained competency in those crafts much faster than in EHS. And when we chose safety (or it chose us), the lack of progress towards competency was frustrating (to put it mildly).
In EHS, I’ve watched this frustration lead to early plateaus (which looks like quitting at Year 1.) I’ve also seen 30 years of “experience”, which was really Year 1 repeated 30 times.
And I’ve seen true professionals gain experience, knowledge and wisdom year on year.
How do the professionals do it? They listen to Hemingway.
- They show up as apprentices.
- They work with an open mind.
- They go just outside known comfort zones to build on strengths.
- They know growth happens in the gap between known and unknown.