When I had just finished my Graduate Gemology degree at the Gemological Institute of America, a prominent man within the industry took me aside and warned me that while starting my career, I should never be in a place where I am the smartest person in the room. This is the advice that landed him the job as my mentor.
Not too long after finishing at GIA, I got an incredible opportunity to work at Tiffany. Work as a trainer came in waves of rushing and working diligently as new products were being launched, countered by lulls after programs were released and documents were crafted. There were periods of time it felt like everyone in my office had vacation in the same week or other members of the team were busy in meetings with their launches and I sat at my desk at the end of a long hallway, seemingly alone. The thought would cross my mind frequently: How can I make sure I am not the smartest person in the room when I am the only person in the room?
Today, 6 months after leaving my job at Tiffany, I sit alone in my apartment with a To-Do list longer than the depth of my desk. I haven’t had time since I left my job to even consider what it means to be the only person in the room, but one thing is clear: As I face challenges and a mountain of tasks I have never attempted before, I continually realize how little I know and the breadth of opportunity there is to learn. I have encountered so many people with talents that are varied from my own throughout my education and career. I am humbled by the amount of support and guidance I have received from my community since I set out on the adventure of building my own brand.
I may be the smartest person in the room today, but as the only person in the room, I realize there is so much left to learn.
Here’s to 2017 and learning things we don’t know we don’t know!