Monday, January 25, 2016

Time for a change

We own our careers. There are tools to help and people to support us but, ultimately, the choices and decisions are ours.

It may not always feel that way when trying to prove something to a new manager/sponsor/peer about what we can/cannot do. It definitely is harder to remember who holds the power during year end reviews, requests for promotions/increases/assignments.

Motivation comes from us... ourselves... Other folks can put tools in our path but ultimately, those tools only matter if it strikes the right chord for the time/place/mindset in which we find ourselves at certain points in our careers.

Money, recognition, and challenge are the three common buckets from which we can draw to motivate ourselves. We have all made decisions about joining/staying/leaving based on these factors. These offers from our jobs mesh (or don't) with our own work ethic, sense of self (at the time) and drive (which also can fluctuate).

I spent a lot of time reflecting on the above during the holidays. It's time for me to challenge myself to get the piece I've always been the most reluctant to request. It's time to be honest with myself about what I want to do and how. It's time to go out into the world and find my next job that will shape the coming decade.

I love what I do. It's time to say it proudly, publicly and go big!

Scary? Absolutely. Necessary? Maybe. Exciting? Yes. Gets me thinking and feeling proud of my attitude?  Totally.

If I say this to mentorees, then I should walk my talk. If we can say the above about ourselves and our careers, then that's a great place to start the search!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Jumping to solution?

"Sometimes an answer/approach/tactic is not enough. It's best to explain the question before requesting execution of the resolution..."

So said me at a meeting last week. At which point I was shouted down and told the deadline was too tight for discussion and we had to get 'er done! 

Which is ok - because we can ask the questions while executing. Iterative approach and discussion do not mean waiting unless we have mapped all the routes before we start the journey. 

It's just never ok to not ask questions and clarify the problem we're trying to solve - at any stage!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Who can keep up?

Emails, blog posts, shows on my PVR, voicemail, texts, coffees and conversations... the day is filled with interruptions, information and urgent-things-that-aren't-urgent-really. Who can keep up?

For every filing system (electronic or not), every way to organize our day and the messages coming at us, there is an underlying assumption that, when we're not working, we're constantly preparing to work or clearing the way for productivity.

By the end of the day, I usually just sit and stare at the wall. In my head, I'm getting organized but, really, I'm just staring at the wall.

I follow several bloggers because I truly enjoy their writing. Yet even in my organized 'new posts to read' system I fall horribly behind. I just found a "merry xmas" email from my best friend from early in Dec. which I missed reading (and responding). I cleared voicemail from November... yesterday. I was ok with the little red light on for two months...

Many articles and studies focus on how much information bombards us daily - which is probably true. The other side of the coin is how much time and attention North American jobs demand of us so that sometimes it feels like a call from my mother is an interruption when really work has taken over even my private moments.

There is probably no one answer to this dilemma faced by so many of us. It is probably a grassroots thing... we have to start saying "no" in multiple spaces/places/circumstances on both sides of the equation.

So it's January 11 and I'm going to say "no" this month to whatever is eating up my attention whenever my mom has a moment to call. It's a place to start....

Monday, January 4, 2016

It's the new year and I’m trying to make a resolution around change. Do you have any recommendations as to how I could better myself?


Dear Naked,
You’re already perfect, Naked; it’s the world that’s rough around the edges. Here’s my resolutions for 2016; I hope they help!

1 – Be kind to those who still believe change is the exception and that one day everything will revert to “normal”.

2 – In the ongoing saga of resources vs  time vs money, I will simply remind people there are no extras of any of these things and cheer everyone up by singing something from “Annie”.

3 – When the glass looks half empty, I will pour what we have into a smaller glass. 

4 – I will not give into the urge to panic that work is well into the first quarter already.

5 – I will cut my food into smaller pieces and chew more slowly. This can also be called "chunking projects".

6 – I will strive for genius as per the words of Churchill: "True genius resides in the capacity for the evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information."

Happy New Year!