My Scrumulicious blog focuses on my exciting journey of being a Scrum Master. The ups, downs, and the many experiences that I hope to share with new Scrum masters and my colleagues. As a growing Scrum master, I want to encourage others in this beautiful journey of Agile. So that they can use it in various stages of their personal and professional lives.
Welcome to my imperfect journey

Part 5 – My journey towards becoming a Scrum Master

I got the job. The pay was incredible. Now what. I could not mess this up. Full time job, opportunities to grow, learn and build a better life for myself and my family. I cannot ruin this. I had two weeks to my start day. I studied day and night.

I asked questions constantly. I paid to learn how to use Jira. I was having a tough time grasping Jira. But giving up was not an option. I prayed all day and all night. I counted down the days and finally the day arrived. I met with so many people on my first day that I could not keep up with names or titles. I knew I just had to be polite and respectful. I took notes. I was filled with anxiety. I was certain that there was no way they could not tell that I was anxious. Thankfully, the expectations the first week was to observe another Scrum master. I found out that not a lot of people get that opportunity. Boy, was I grateful. I observed like my life depended on it. Unfortunately, everyone was so busy that there was no time to meet with people aside from the group meetings we had. I could not really ask a lot of questions or get guidance. However, I sent emails and messages asking for links and information that I could read relating to the company, the project and the people I would be connecting with. With two teams and a total of 21
people, I struggled with remembering names. Very challenging if you are the Scrum Master. So, I reached out via email to each person setting a time to meet and introduce myself. This made it so much easier to connect faces to names and know their personalities. Best thing I did the first week.

Jira was also where I struggled. I thought I could learn it on the job, but it was more challenging than I thought because it was used in the middle of meetings where I had to participate and everything was so fast. I wish I had learned it before my job offer. It was nerve racking to struggle with Jira infront of your audience. My PO had to come to my rescue a few times. Not a good feeling at all. The first 6 weeks were overwhelming. I cried because the expectations were high and I felt like I could not deliver and my confidence was low. Low because I did not know what I was doing. I thought I did because I had the Scrum guide. There is a huge gap BETWEEN THEORY AND PRATICAL. I LEARNED THE HARD WAY THAT THE SCRUM GUIDE AND A 2-DAY COURSE IS NOT ENOUGH TO BE SUCCESSFUL. I am certain that the only reason why my manager had patience with me was because I was a full-time employee. My nights were stressful and I could barely sleep. My lack of confidence kept me awake. I was struggling and needed help. My mentor was out on the country on a family emergency, so I had no one to turn to. Again, it dawned on me that I had missed a lot and needed more coaching. You see this confidence. It is what gives you hope, and helps you succeed. I did not have confidence. None. I could not even pretend. A Scrum Master’s role is a leadership role. A mature role. You have to teach, lead, guide, ask right questions, advocate and promote. How could I promote what I did not grasp. As bad as it was, I was gradually learning. It was slow, but I was picking up a thing or two. I just wished I had prevented the frustration by knowing more.

But picking a thing or two was not enough. Eventually, my senior peers started increasing their demands. They were not wrong, it was expected. I signed up for a job and I knew the longer I stayed on the job, the more the demands would be and their patience would run thin. And it did. I was being sent demanding emails; I was asked tough questions. My mental health was suffering. I was scared to go to work. I decided to take some time off to learn some more. I knew I had to if I wanted to be successful. I took stock of all the areas that I lack confidence. I took two weeks off and connected to a mentor. My new mentor was an older lady who had retired years ago. I have been seeing around on social media but I could not afford her even with my new salary. However, I had to do something different to get me to where I wanted to be. I took my two weeks’ pay, called her up and set a time to connect daily for two weeks. After a few days, I realized that to BE A SCRUM MASTER, YOU HAVE TO BE PATIENT. YOU CANNNOT RUSH THE PROCESS. YOU HAVE TO BE DEDICATED. YOU GET WHAT YOU PUT IN. I returned to work a different person. I did not crawl anymore. I ran and it felt so good.

Check out Part 6

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