March/April 2022 - 106

investment in your future. After all,
your membership attests to your
interest, and is often interpreted as a
sign of your expertise in the subject
matter, so it's a good résumé builder.
However, all that advice comes with
caveats. There are many variations of
the quote, " You don't learn anything
with your mouth open, " and just as
many claims to authorship, some going
as far back as Buddha. Another oftrepeated
quote goes something like,
" Better to remain silent and be thought
a fool, than to speak and remove all
doubt. " No matter who said either
aphorism, they are both very good
advice for anyone joining a society or
committee that is new to them. Take
the time to listen to committee discussions,
so that you begin to understand
the level of expertise of your
fellow committee members and the
matters concerning them. That way
you might avoid the embarrassment of
raising a topic, only to be told " Oh, we
discussed that at the last meeting, and
decided that it wasn't relevant, " or
some similar scenario.
Valuing Feedback
A lot of the lessons learned in my career
changes involved cultural adjustments.
Being a half-German schoolkid in postwar
Britain certainly added some spice
to my life! Cultures also fascinated me
because my work took me to several
different countries over the years, some
where I could speak the language
reasonably well, and some where I
couldn't. As any immigrant will tell you,
working in a new country and culture is
a lot more intense than simply visiting.
As a tourist, the locals expect you to
make mistakes, and may even applaud
your efforts; but if you are there to work,
the locals will probably hold you to a
higher standard. Don't let it put you off,
but be prepared for it, and make the
most of any mentoring that comes your
way. Learn to accept constructive
criticism, cultural and otherwise, in the
spirit that was intended.
In general, keep in mind that very
few people become successful entirely
by their own efforts. Most had some
help, whether it was simply friendly
advice, a good partner, financial
assistance or a formal mentoring
program. You are probably already
familiar with phrases like " Paying it
forward " or " Sending the elevator back
down. " As your career develops, no
matter how straightforward or tortuous
the path, remember that it is never too
early to start mentoring those junior to
you, or new to your business. Just as
others helped elevate you, it helps
everyone if you look for ways to lift
someone else up while sending the
elevator back down.
106 * DEEP FOUNDATIONS * MAR/APR 2022
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March/April 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of March/April 2022

TOC
March/April 2022 - Intro
March/April 2022 - 1
March/April 2022 - 2
March/April 2022 - TOC
March/April 2022 - 4
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