#4 First mistake I made at the job

So, it’s been four weeks, and I finally made my first mistake. The takeaway is: “what you thought was useful might not be that useful in reality”

Basically, I am trying to automate a write up document using dynamic field in word document, because I believe that there are some steps that we can automate, so that in the future, it takes us less time to write, and we can spend more time to error check.

I had this idea and told my manager about it. She agreed and I spent some time into developing it. It takes me couple hours to make the template, and I did not finish it.

My manager asked me how was the process, and I said I am still working on it. I believe it might be better for her to see the actual stuff, so I asked her if I can work on it for another while and show her my idea.

She asked me to explain what I idea was, and I did so. However, after our conversation, we found out that it might be better to edit the write up manually, because the document’s formats changes frequently, so the template that I set up might be useless if the formats are changed. I shall not keep working on that idea.

Therefore, my takeaway for this experience is that “what you thought was useful might not be that useful in reality”, and it’s very important to communicate your idea before you start, to make sure what you are going to do will be valuable to others. Don’t assume.




Originally from Shanghai, China, who spent couple years in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Macau, and the USA, I will be an Actuarial Consulting intern at Milliman's Chicago Health Practice for Summer 2017.

One thought on “#4 First mistake I made at the job

  • August 30, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Hi Qishen,

    My name is DeMario Bell, information services coordinator, at the LSA Opportunity Hub. Thank you for sharing this post! I’m happy to read you’re already contributing to the team by ideating ways to streamline business processes. Moreover, I wouldn’t call your idea a ‘mistake’. It was a great idea to propose and regrettably, it may not have been practical for business needs now. However, that doesn’t mean you have to stop working on your project. Had I read this blog post earlier, I would have encouraged you to continue developing the template for future use. Sometimes, it may take a couple tries to get our manager’s complete buy-in. But never give up! You’re human and part of being human is trial and error. We strive for progress, not perfection! Thanks for posting!

    Go Blue!


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