At the end of January 2018, I got accepted into a program called Praxis. It is a year-long program that is split into two six-month sections: part one is an intense online boot camp, then the second part is an apprenticeship at a high-growth start-up. Some consider Praxis a launchpad for the early part of your career or an alternative to college. My case is more the former, as I started working back in 2011 and skipped out on going to college.

All that said, I’m having an incredible time so far in this program, and I want to document my journey! Going forward, I’m going to be writing one post after I finish each month to talk about my experience. You can check out all of the posts all together here: My Praxis Experience. 

Pre-Program
Before my official start date, I was considered to be in Pre-program. I was able to join the regular Praxis meetings, chat with other participants, see what they were working on, and even get started on some to-dos of my own. By the end of my pre-program, I had built my professional website, got a fancy new professional headshot, adequately updated my LinkedIn, wrote more than a handful of blog posts, and created an alternative to a resume.
Here are a few of my take-ways from pre-program:
1. The way we typically “sell” ourselves for new jobs does not work very well. Check out your LinkedIn profile and consider if you would want to hire yourself. Based on my LinkedIn profile before Praxis, I wouldn’t have wanted too.

2. I cannot overstate this: the Praxis community is unbelievably wonderful. Many people told me how great the community is, but I didn’t fully comprehend how true that was until I was able to begin interacting with others. Praxis participants and advisors are incredibly supportive and undeniably action-oriented.

3. Constructive criticism is vital, and so is knowing how to absorb it! It took me a moment to get used to hearing constructive criticism this frequently, but I quickly realize that I would only be better off if I took the criticism from others seriously. Now I get excited when I receive feedback because I know this community is about becoming better, more productive people and making each other think more deeply about the actions we take.

Module 1 – May
My official start date was May 1st, and it started off with a lot of content consumption. Many episodes of Forward Tilt (a highly suggested podcast), articles on what having a career means to me, and deepening my understanding of the things I believe in or strive towards. Week two of module 1 even helped me restructure how I handle my to-do list and calendar! I had to create or work on something every week to stay on top of my deliverables, be it a blog post, a video, or updating last months creations. The requirements were so demanding that each week felt like a month. Mind you, I loved seeing my results come together, so I see this as a good thing.
Here are a few of my take-ways from Module 1:
1. The content from this month made me think more about the why behind what I believe. I have been in an in-depth e-mail discussion with my Praxis advisor about why I thrive to be stable. She has challenged me on what this means and why I claim to want stability. That has pushed me to develop more intentional thoughts behind what I claim to believe. (If you’re interested in learning more, keep an eye out on laceylanzo.com for my upcoming post detailing the thought process.)

2. There are many benefits to track personal and professional accomplishments. I have learned that these things are much easier to track in real time VS looking back on your life. One of my goals with Praxis is to be able to express my skills more clearly, they’ve already helped me understand what steps I need to take to address this goal. This includes real-time achievement tracking.

3. Once I understood the breakdown of the primary positions of a company, it simplified business structures for me. Praxis teaches about four central roles in business. Though there may be other roles, these are the main ones that I think helped me understand the business model more.

My focus may have changed from deliverable to deliverable, but my excitement hasn’t withered.

My Praxis related journal entries can attest to this:
February 1st: “I couldn’t be more excited!”
March 4th: “I’m feeling stressed, excited, thankful, prepared & overwhelmed all at once!”
April 1st: “I’ve won a lot of battles last month and feel like I can handle so much more now.”
May 5th: “I officially started Praxis 5 days ago, and I’m more pumped than ever!”

Don’t let my excitement fool you; Praxis is not a cakewalk. I am only a few months into my Praxis experience, and I can already tell you that it is a demanding program from the start. Even with that said, I think it is more than worth the time, effort and money if you are willing to put in the work. So far, I’ve loved my time in Praxis and am thrilled to see what comes of the next year.

I can tell that this was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I hope that this will help others understand if Praxis is a good fit for them too!

I hope you enjoy! If you are interested in learning more about Praxis, check out DiscoverPraxis.com.

If you are already thinking about applying, then just jump in and apply! It helps you understand the program even more and there is nothing to lose. If you use my Personal Application Link, get accepted and confirm you will begin the program then you will get $100!

– Lacey Jade Lanzo

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