I realized the other day that the new role will be in a building that I am actually familiar with! The building is named after a corporation that was majority owned by my first employer (who was located two blocks downtown). For orientation, all these companies are in midtown manhattan. But the familiarity of the building makes me smile. What small details sneak back around in our lives? Like an old friend who we meet randomly at a night market in another country. Familiarity gives way to fondness.

I know this building. The facade is under construction, so I hadn’t quite recognized it all those work day evenings of meeting a friend outside. I know this building! My brain lights up with dopamine at the familiarity and fondness at the artificiality of such familiarity.

Why do we like what is familiar to us?

When I encounter novel problems at work, I feel anxious and apprehensive. Unsure if I have the fortitude and resources to rise up to meet the challenge. Do I know what I am doing? Will I be able to succeed and complete this assignment? Or, will I fail?

Reflecting on my brief career – I know that competence breeds confidence but only through practice and lived experience can we develop that competence in the first place.

You don’t learn to swim by never being in the water. You have to get in and do it.

How does the familiar affect how you think about your career? How does it make you feel – good or bad, confident or otherwise?