When Mike joined our team as an intern, I could immediately see “the glimmer” in his eyes. I hope you know what the glimmer is, cause I sure as hell don’t know how to explain it.
Seeing it in someone else’s eyes felt both intimately familiar and very distant. You see, I know the glimmer well. I had the glimmer in my eyes when I was starting out as well. Which isn’t to say I’m all blasé these days, but there’s a strong connection between the glimmer and the first few weeks of doing something you love for a living.
After a few weeks of this internship, I had no hesitation in recommending that we hire Mike.
If you come across someone like Mike and can afford it, you should absolutely hire them. You should also be prepared for some very challenging first weeks. And when I say you should be prepared, I’m kind of kidding myself. I knew how the first few weeks with Mike were going to go and I was still taken by surprise; the truth is you can never be prepared.
There’s this notion that’s used in cognitive psychology, the curse of knowledge. In this case, the curse of knowledge means that when someone experienced starts to work with a junior, it’s impossible for them to put all their knowledge aside. It’s impossible to walk in a junior’s shoes, even though you’ve been in those shoes.
Why this is so really doesn’t matter much. What matters is that the curse of knowledge is a thing and it will hit you over the head real hard when dealing with juniors. All I can do is offer something to help with the pain. No, not Advil, just some advice:
Above all, bringing a junior into your team is an exercise in empathy. Empathy’s something you need to bring to work each day, juniors simply require a double serving.
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