How did you get to where you are today?

When we’re talking about careers, we are often encouraged to view success at the top of a ladder — always aiming higher in what is essentially a straight line. But a few years ago, during a business gathering, instead of a ladder, someone used the example of scaffolding to illustrate the way some career trajectories play out. That image resonated with me because, when it comes to my career, I have twisted and turned, stood still at times, and then gone backwards to move forward.

Even when it was uncomfortable — sometimes brutally! — I’ve never been afraid to step into the unknown and take a position that I might not feel fully qualified for or study for another degree or work to acquire a new skill or make a phone call to network with someone I’d like to know.

Honestly, what is the worst thing that can happen if you step out in support of yourself and your passions? Failure? Rejection? Yes! And that’s what often stops us from following a path we really want to explore. No one WANTS to fail, but for the record, I have failed many, many (many!) times. I can assure you that most of my biggest and (and most public) failures have taught me great lessons and made me even better — personally and professionally.

In some cases, they’ve even landed me some awesome gigs that I never would have landed if I hadn’t taken a chance on something that gave me a new skill or challenge.

Continue reading “Catching up with … Andrea Griffith-Girtz”

The spiders are out in force this month. Every morning when I walk out to the carport, I see another 8-legged opportunist trying to start a web between the recycling bin and my car’s mirror. Webs have formed under the gutters around the house that require weekly sweeping.

Spider webs also abound on the trails, and as the first person to arrive at the State Botanical Garden a couple of days a week, I run into more than I’d like. Being a morning hiker during spider season requires an extra level of focus on the trail ahead, looking for signs of spider activity — perhaps a floating leaf or a slither of web caught in the rising sunlight. 

The webs (and their makers) are just the latest hazard that trips me up on my morning walks through the woods. Oftentimes, I’ll literally trip over a tree root or roll my ankle on an unforeseen rock. 

Continue reading “Taking a moment”