10/02/2012 08:47 am ET Updated Dec 01, 2012

On Being a Rebel: UX to POPs @ HuffPost

Flickr: CircaSassy

I have always been a rebel. A rabble rouser. A troublemaker. A disrupter.

I don't like being told what to do, and I love sticking up for the underdog.

It's why I loved being a UX designer (sticking up for the user) for the Community & Social teams at HuffPost, and why I love my new role leading the charge for People Operations (POPs is like an advocate for people in an organization) for the HuffPost Tech team. POPs is like UX for the workplace: working on processes for recruiting, people development and culture.

Being a rebel means you are strong, passionate, and brave; however, a rebel isn't effective or powerful if the negative aspects (stubbornness, a hot temper, and impulsiveness) of the rebel outshine the positive. In this new role, I've had to tame the beast, so to speak, and curb the negative connotations of my rebelliousness. There have been some bumps along the way, which have helped me learn some very important things:

Change is scary.

I get push back everyday because people are afraid of change. People love change conceptually: it's new, fresh, fun, full of win! However, in reality, change is the unknown. It's like jumping off a cliff and not knowing if there's a safety net there to catch you.

Failure is good.

I am still, on some level, petrified of failure. I'm a perfectionist, and failure means losing control and letting go. Once I let go, though, I realize that failure opens up new ways of thinking and innovative new opportunities. I still have a lot to learn on how and when to pivot.

Not everything is about me.

I've always been the person who's loved to constantly learn and try new things. I'm the rebel who pushes for new things and the faster progression of such. So, it's hard for me to understand people who want to take their time and wait. My new role here is all about empathy: stepping into somebody else's shoes and seeing things as they do, so I'm not all like, "dude, WTF is that guy's problem?! This is going to be the best thing evAr!! Let's do this right now!" when someone doesn't want to participate in a new initiative.

Patience is a virtue.

If I had my way, I'd take the rip it off like a Band Aid approach to everything -- get it all done at once, in one fell swoop, and worry about consequences later. I'm a revolution type of gal. However, in this role, I've learned that sometimes baby step approaches work best so as to foster organic growth of initiatives; patience leads to broader ownership.

I say I have learned these things, but I still step back during the work week, reevaluate all the choices, decisions, and actions I have taken, and realize that I haven't followed any of these tips.

Being a rebel isn't a bad thing, and I'm proud to be one.

I just need to make sure I am keeping my emotions in check, so I can make the impact I want to make.

I'd love to hear what other rebels have to say about this.

What do other rebels out there do to tame the beast?