the middles p. kim bui 1
the middles p. kim bui 1

The Middles: What 2017 Has Taught Me

By P. Kim Bui It’s about that time of year where we start looking backward and forward at the same time. Here are a few things 2017 has taught me.

These things I have learned.

I try not to present myself as an expert. I’m far from it. And the whole purpose of this semi-regular newsletter is to have a space for myself and others (I’d love for guest writers!) to share what we’re learning as Middles.

It’s about that time of year where we start looking backward and forward at the same time. I’m at SRCCON: WORK this week, and found myself on the plane pondering what is different now.

A few things 2017 has taught me:

When you’re a manager, speaking up is different. I’ve talked to other new managers about how to deal with #MeToo as a boss. There is a lot I think about the movement, and a lot that I’ve said about it myself, but when it comes to internal, work communications, I’ve learned that there is what you feel, and there is what you say. As you rise up the ladder, the two increasingly become a little separated. And that must be OK.

Leading takes brain space. You have to read and you have to process to lead. You can’t get better, and you can’t help others get better, if you don’t have any space to come up with and work through ideas and issues. It is hard to shift to just thinking when you’re used to production all the time, but it really does help.

Circle back. All the time. I started making a list of people that I am trying to help/mentor/talk to at work about different things. Conversations are part of the gig, and they are easily lost, so I need to make sure they have the same prominence on my to-do list.

Have you learned something you want to share this year? Tell me in the comment section and I’ll share lessons next time around.

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About the author

P. Kim Bui

P. Kim Bui is the editor-at-large for NowThis News, focusing on original, social reporting and breaking news. Prior to NowThis, she was deputy managing editor for, a digital media startup specializing in social journalism. Her career has focused on leading breaking news initiatives and new storytelling forms for local, national and global audiences.

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