My brain is a tad fried right about now. I have a new position within my company. I applied four or five times, the last being granted acceptance. I am now a Systems Analyst. It is my third position within my company. Who I work for isn’t relevant, but my journey with it is relevant.
In each position that I have had, I got very comfortable. I knew it like the back of my hand. ROTE! There were bumps and hiccups, but I knew the outcome and what to do when.
Each new position once fully lodged firmly in, is fantastic. The New Guy Label firmly planted on my forehead. There is a small license that comes with that label. It’s like a shield of invincibility when you spawn into HALO/DOOM or Minecraft. You can take a direct shot, but it will not hurt you because “I’m the NEW GUY!”
Onboarding or Onramping or Training or On the Job Training. There is a lot.
In my last position, I routinely got to help those new to their position understand it and the equipment my company makes. This includes all the boorish administrative stuff like ordering supplies. I knew it. Now, I do not.
I have gone on several installs/networkings as a Systems Analyst. Nervous and wide-eyed I went. Lord Alfred Tennyson’s poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade comes to mind when I am doing something new. “‘Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns’ he said: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. “ Each time I went in, I realized, understood and learned something new. Sometimes blindsided by something that was/is known by the well seasoned Systems Analysts.
My new colleagues are there for me, as is my new Manager. All very supportive and ready to answer all the easy questions. You could say that I have Mentors.
I knew going into this position that I would have a steep learning curve and that it would get easier as I got deeper into the position. For the past 14 days I have been taking 13 online classes. They are required for my position. They are also required as prerequisites for a two week class for my position. I just finished them. Some where easy, others long and arduous. However, earlier this morning I sat down and started again. ONE LAST CLASS and TEST! I had thought I was done the other day, but found this one. However, after awhile I got through it and took the test. About three times. I needed a 80% and finally got 81%. Such the overachiever that I am.
So, what does this have to do with anything Scouting related?
Onboarding brand new volunteers and changing your position within the Scout Unit, District or Council can be difficult. If your fresh off the street, there is a lot to know. If you’re a seasoned volunteer, change is easier but still learning is needed and required. We as the season Scouter’s that we are, tend to not see how the new people see Scouting. Outsiders see Scouting as : Blue/Tan Uniforms with patches, building fires, hiking, camping,Pinewood Derby, Songs,Tree lots, helping people and loud/noisy Meetings. We, as seasoned Scouters see all the dots connected from Bobcat to Arrow of Light to Scout to Eagle with a lot of fun and frustration thrown in.
It is our job to help those new to the position and those who do not have the vision to understand it. It takes the willingness to find training, make time in our schedule to take training, to physically go to in-person training and to understand how to create the vision.
As Scouters, we are not paid to take training. We do not get a 401k or healthcare from Scouting. We might earn a patch, get a certificate or a spaghetti dinner for our efforts. But there are payments beyond all things physical. My employment brings my family and myself the things we need to have a good life. Hence, the reason I went for this new position. To help better myself and provide for my family and to keep my knowledge current so I have a job.
But, as a Scouter, the payment does not always happen that fast. It might take years to payoff. That is what Scouting is. An investment in the youth. This investment helps the youth understand the pitfalls, builds character and instills the common sense we want to. That training is there so when they are faced with adversity, they have the tools and understanding to take the correct path. So, take the training. Avail yourself to finding and learning something new. What you learn isn’t contained to just Scouting. Bring it home to your family. Yes, it might be all about crafts, but you could help out in your kid’s classroom and teach it. Even if you have to teach yourself about First Aid, so you can teach Readyman to the Webelos, you will know it for yourself and others you work with.
Understand that the time you put into bettering yourself, your family, your village and those around you will come back to you in ways not known to you now. Take the time to help others understand the why you do what you do, so they can understand and get started on their own journey. That is why I took 13 courses in 14 days. It is also the reason I take all the Scout Training I can. So I can learn more to help others.