Learnings from my life (and journey) as a Prof

Or how non-challenging jobs killed my creativity and motivation — and how I got it back

Storytelling mode: on.

Learnings from my time before graduation

  1. You are not defined by decisions made early on. There’s always time, and potential to change.
  2. You are not your parents! This means just because they didn’t study, doesn’t mean you won’t study. Just because they went to school A doesn’t mean you can’t go to school B, and so on.
  3. If you want something. You’ll find a way to do it.

Learnings from my time in the military

  1. You CAN work together with about just anyone if you really need (want) too. We had bullies in our team, guys who would have kicked my ass in school, guys who were stronger, guys who had weird (right wing) believes, but we all put that aside and worked together to make the best of it.
  2. You got way more ‘cojones’ (google that) than you think. When called upon, you will be able to ‘man up’ (women up) and rise to the occasion. Trust yourself.

Learnings from my time as a trainee in a Bank

  1. While it sounds easy to do non challenging, uncreative work, it, actually, is very difficult to not lose your mind and kills your creativity
  2. Having ones curiosity and creativity is crucial to keep ones sanity and motivation alive
  3. Don’t compromise on what others expect you to do — find your own way as it’s your own happiness, not the happiness of others that you should be concerned about. At least in this case.

Learnings from my time at University

  1. Dedication can set you apart. It’s not necessarily always talent that makes the difference, it’s your dedication that does.
  2. Endurance matters. There are a million motivational quotes out there a la ‘if you believe it, you can achieve it’ — and while they all are vomit inducing, they also hit the core — because you actually really can.
  3. Being good to/with people matters. All those group work assignments, meeting new people, making connections, etc. helped us a lot in getting where we wanted to go. Be good to/with people. It’ll pay off!

Learnings my from time in agencies

  1. There’s no better way to learn than to actually do things right away. Don’t play in the children’s pool. If you know how to swim, jump into the deep end.
  2. You got to be confident in your skills and stand up for it. If you’re good at what you do, make it known. That doesn’t mean you got to show off or be condescending — it means take charge when appropriate, help when need, and inspire when possible.
  3. (lots of clients, even big companies, don’t really know what they are doing. So if they don’t know what they’re doing, there’s no reason for you to be impressed by big names, job titles, and so on)

Learnings from my time ‘off’ as a volunteer

  1. Pressure, if positive, works wonders. Don’t fear pressure, embrace it.
  2. Purpose matters. If you know WHY you are doing what you are doing, you will enjoy it and you will be good at it.
  3. The opinions of others, don’t matter.

Learnings from my time in higher education

  1. Believing in yourself gets more important as time goes by.
  2. If someone gives your their time and patience, embrace and value it.
  3. If something is worth it, you will go through hell to defend/keep/reach it.

Learnings from my time as start-up founder

  1. Don’t rely on anyone to help you. If you want something, you need to get it.
  2. If you feel mistreated, don’t sulk. Get up and get things done. This will ‘show them’.
  3. Finding the right people is important — as is trusting them, and them trusting you. Trust matters!

Learnings from my time as conference / professional speaker

  1. Nobody is perfect. Nobody thinks they are perfect (well a few people might) and that’s ok. That’s your fuel!
  2. You are not alone. If you struggle, ask for help. Others usually gladly share their experiences and help.
  3. Facing your fears helps. If you face your fears they won’t just go away, but you will be able to channel your fears and use them as motivation.



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Sascha Funk

Uni lecturer in #BKK. New Media & ED #Volleyball, #MuayThai. https://saschafunk.com — @mythaiorg, hosting @FunkItPod| it’s not rain, it’s liquid sunshine