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Teaching old dogs new tricks, a journey in personal growth

I always felt learning was like riding a bike. You might have needed some time years ago to learn how to do it finally. The more you practice, the better and freer you get. At times, you might not have the chance to do it for a sustained period of time. But the skill is here and always available to start again whenever you are ready.

I have had a great chance to learn new skills and knowledge constantly. This is clearly one of the key factors in all the professional moves I have made. I remember having shared that with a recruiter, who seemed slightly unpleased. I quickly found out why. That company was pushing people to comply with strict, predefined parameters. There was no room for personal growth. You have to fit in a box and never leave. I left in a few months and learned to be way more selective.

That’s also a massive trigger for when to leave a job. When you’re done learning, or you are refused the training that could help you grow, or worse, help you do the job you. There is no time to lose; you must be ready to move on. What’s next?

That’s also the argument of “Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away” by Annie Duke. People tend to leave way too late and lose time. We have seen so many great athletes or performers who tried to constantly push their careers further, up to the point where they left the spotlight diminished and a mere shadow of what they once were.

It’s the same in a career. People tend to stick too long, even when all opportunity windows are closed, simply because they are reluctant to go through the burden of job hunting or because they keep believing the promises that things will finally get better soon in a timeframe that keeps slipping.

I’m not saying I haven’t been in a similar situation. Yet, I’ll always try to overcome my circumstances to achieve personal growth, even in the slightest way.

Roughly five years ago, I envisioned moving to an international career. I was working for a French ticketing company. It was the kindest and safest work environment I have ever been in.

When I joined, I was already on my journey towards Product. They were pretty engineering-driven and demanding. I had to pass a pretty tricky challenge that only a few people finished. It allowed me to secure a first transition from design to engineering. The next hops should (or could) be advocacy -> advocacy management -> product leadership.

As nice as this experience was, there was no room for me to grow towards Product. The company was then too small. The seat was already filled. It was time for me to pack my things.

I knew my English level would be a blocker or a pass to an international company, so I took an English lesson with a private teacher. I delve even more into the English language and storytelling, trying to understand the language, its dynamics, rhythm, and mechanics. I still have so much to learn.

One thing led to another, and I became a Developer Advocate for Blackfire, a product of which I’m still the voice today. I’m convinced this weekly one-hour chat with this great teacher enabled my career move. It was only one hour every week, and the love of reading books in their original voice made it possible.

While investing more largely in learning Product Marketing, Activation, and Growth, I’m still about the little things. I subscribed to the New York Times. This helps me practice my English and better understand the country a big chunk of my colleagues live in. I very recently started playing their famous puzzles (Wordle, Spelling Bee.)… They are brain teasers that help me take a break while increasing my vocabulary.

Learning is always possible in the smallest of things or at scale. There is always room for personal growth, even when you’re crushed by the day-to-day. One small step at a time, and you’ll build a better future for yourself.

To desirable futures,


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