In our EHS roles, we’re asked for forecasts and advice. For hazard controls and the best way forward.
In the beginning of our careers we lack certainty. We hesitate and research more. We validate and validate again. We drive out ignorance through self-improvement.
And one day we stop.
We’ve gained enough experience. We no longer read professional material. We do not make time for continuing education. We base decisions on experience and are sure of ourselves. After all, we are professionals. Professionals don’t doubt. They don’t sit in OSHA 30-hours. They “network” and scoff at a younger demographic which still struggles to balance a hierarchy of controls against culture.
Growth requires space. That space contains doubt, ignorance, and potential.
You cannot grow if you’ve filled that same space with certainty, tightly held opinions, rationalizations, and ego.
How do we push back against certainty?
Question more. When everyone agrees, hesitate. Ask why.
And don’t stop.