On the Privilege of Being an Eternal Rookie

Aga Bajer
4 min readJun 23, 2020

Last Thursday, I did something for the first time in my life. I welcomed a filming crew at my home, and we shot videos for a 9-episode video series. We also did two video interviews, and one LinkedIn Live — all in one day.

While I’m used to interviewing others, I’m entirely new to sitting in front of the camera and talking to the lens for the whole day. It felt exciting but also uncomfortable and mildly nauseating.

After shooting the video series, we moved to the interviews. My guest and I switched around — we both got to be the interviewee and the interviewer. While I was being interviewed, my interviewer asked me a powerful question:

“If you were to pick an object that connects your past with your future, what would it be?”

I scanned the shelves of my bookcase and found a little figurine of a Cycladic Idol.

This statuette was an award I’d gotten during my first year at Hay Group (now Korn Ferry). It was Rookie of the Year Award.

The moment I saw it, I knew that this was the linchpin connecting my past with my future.

I realized that I’ve been a rookie countless times in my life. Sometimes wholeheartedly, sometimes fearfully. Sometimes proudly, sometimes in shame and embarrassment.

But a rookie I’ve been — and that’s all that matters to me.

Being a rookie is one of the few things that fill me with genuine pride — and I hope I have the privilege to be one, every year, and every day of my life.

A rookie is someone new to something — an absolute beginner, a greenhorn, a novice. To be a rookie means to be humble, to know that there are things you don’t know, to follow your curiosity, to experiment, to mess up, and to learn from your mistakes and failures. To be a rookie means to live expansively and bravely even when you feel fearful and

Aga Bajer

I write about how to unlock the power of your company culture. Founder of CultureBrained™️+ The CultureLab Podcast Host — agabajer.com/podcast