Fit for purpose

I have started a new job almost 2 month ago ant it has been great.

However this time I am more aware than ever than the novelty will wear off soon and the last thing I want is to wake up one morning realizing it actually sucks and dreading to go to the office.

So in a proactive way I have been trying to keep in mind the big picture aka it’s not so much about the job (the tasks) itself but how it helps me develop myself personally and professionally. I am also trying to get input from people about situation where I am uncertain of what I should be doing. And doing so trying to avoid the trap: ‘Well, I will just do what I am told and not think about it’.

One of these mentors pointed out a very important aspect of my job and I think of everybody’s job:

No matter what you have been asked to do and the output you got related to it: before asking yourself if it’s good, first ask if this is fit for purpose.

Well in my head it just made ¨dinga dinga ding!¨.

You see am not often satisfied with my outputs. While producing it, I usually rationalize that it’s because of time pressure. Afterwards, I am still unsatisfied and promised myself that next time I will  do better OR worse I just self-depreciate myself (I suck and I hope nobody will notice it). But truth is my output ALWAYS is fit to purpose. I just happen to have very high standard…

‘Dinga dinga ding’

You know all this times, where I find that other people’s output is ‘a joke’. Like it’s of so bad quality and they get away with it… And more, they actually are confident about their performance (and I’m not talking about fake confidence although that certainly gets onto the mix): maybe they just have figured it out. They know what is expected from them. And this is to produce fit to purpose contents. Sure once in a while they will produce better material and that will be their time to shine. But the rest of the time they just cut themselves a break. Hell, they might even decide NOT to go the extra mile once they reach the level of quality they wish for.

This, my friends, has been liberating to me.

It’s actually not what my mentor said but that the conclusion I have drowned from it and this is so valuable.

In any case if you have had similar insights, please share them in the comments. I would love to hear from you and get all ‘dinga dinga ding’ again!

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I HAVE SO MUCH TO SAY

Corollary

you?

photo by Carbon NYC

photo by Carbon NYC

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DATING OR HUNTING

photo by Dell's Official Flickr

photo by Dell’s Official Flickr

I might just have had a haha moment.

I have been thinking for a few weeks now, how I am single for the first time in 8 years and that I will need to start dating again.

Well this is daunting…

But tonight it hit me that dating has a lot of similarities with some very particular aspects of job hunting on which I am an expert:

  • Networking– I made a quick mental check in my head and it turns out I will most probably need to meet new people to have a chance to find a date-able candidate. Luckily through professional networking I am very at ease at starting small talks with strangers.
  • Stating my interest– I could have said ‘send your application’ which is the medium you use while job hunting. In this case, if the other one doesn’t make the first move, I am totally ready to do so by sending him an email/sms.
  • Asking for a meeting– Or a drink on a terrasse of a lovely café with sunset.
  • Put most fitted clothes– Clothes that would make the best first impression so that I’d be wanted…. hard….
  • Attend meeting– go on a date – and not say stupid things when asked stuff.
  • Accept rejection– I am actually thinking of putting this one up in the list. I think it is a very good acquired skill to realize that if the other isn’t interested in you, you aren’t the problem and shouldn’t take it personally even when you have said stupid stuff that made you looked ridiculous. And also always remember that it is their losses not mine…

Corollary:

I am so witty, I should probably add this to my DArING  RESUME!

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TIME

Time is a created thing.
To say, “I don’t have time”, is like saying,
“I don’t want to.”

—Lao Tzu

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April 17, 2013 · 10:06 pm

COMPLAINING

complaining

Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier. ~Randy PauschThe Last Lecture

You are going through a rough path. Or your boss gave you a hard time.

So OF COURSE you are going to talk about it! You probably won’t sugar it either. After all you are just reporting the facts on what happened to you and the way your reacted to it.

And also that’s what friends are here for? Right? To listen to your problem. Empathize. Support and sometimes help you.

BEWARE OF THE COMPLAINING  TRAP.

Here is some of the principles I try to follow when it comes to complaining:

  •  It’s ok to complain about something if you are also taking action to make the situation better or get out of it.
    It’s much easier to complain and have other feeling sorry for you, than taking responsibility for your situation and take action to change it. 

    One easy example concern the 
    dissatisfaction a lot of people feel about their job. Some can spend hours telling you how crappy their work is but how many are actually looking for new opportunities? How many people do you know, who aren’t only complaining about a difficult boss but also trying to come up with strategy to enable a better communication, etc.?
  • It’s ok to talk about shit happening if you don’t forget to mention the good part, too.
    It’s easy to see things all in black but truth is that most of the time there are positive points in the situation you are in, too. For instance, to take again an example in the professional sphere, it would be very easy to just complain about my own current situation. Last time I worked was  seven months ago and it wasn’t in my field. As a result, I am very close to be completely broke as I live on my savings which weren’t much to start with. So this is the horror story.
    Following my own principle, given that I am looking for a job actively, I also can talk about it. And/But when I do, I shouldn’t forget to mention the good points. These past months I also had more time to reflect on what I really want. I started going to the gym again and could work on my personal projects (like this blog).
    Of course one can argue that I could have done it with a job just the same. But the truth is that the extra time really made a difference. The very fact that I got bored, made a difference.
  • Don’t hide complains behind jokes.
    Sometimes the most terrible situations make the best joke. And I am a total supporter of humor to lighten a dramatic situation. You just need to be aware of your inner motive while doing so.
    At the moment I have to confess I use jokes to steam down my frustration living with a new flatmate. I moved with him a few month ago and we have had some “bumps on the road”. At first I mentioned them to my friends but they themselves reflected back to me how negative I sounded and that I just needed to give it a bit more of time.
    Did I stop complaining about my lousy flatmate? Well, not exactly. I have just switch from direct criticism to light jokes about his quirkiness… THIS IS NOT COOL. And I am trying to keep it as low level as possible.
  • Discuss first about a happy topic with your friends and/or start the conversation focusing on them.
    Unless I am very upset, I always try to put my need to complain in second plan when meeting with my friends. Using this strategy, I give my friends some space to voice their own concern or simply share their life with me. I also avoid becoming  a toxic friend to them. And finally, I have notices that once the first urge is gone, talking about a happy topic lift my mood and is actually more beneficial to my well-being than always focusing on my problems.
  • Talking about an issue isn’t always the best way to feel better.
    I guess it’s not always easy to know when complaining helps you to get your frustration off your chest and when it just gets you stuck and feeling miserable about yourself. The key word is awareness. If you really listen to your inner voice you will know when the complains become unhealthy.

Corollary:

To be honest I am far from good in following these principles and I slip many times. But I think I have developed quite a high awareness about it and this also led me to acknowledge the positive attitude in other or as the quote says so beautifully, to not forget:

“It is easy to be heavy; hard to be light.” – G.K. Chesterton

If you have ever tried to stop complaining or at least to reduce it, you know how hard that can be!

So if you are lucky enough to have people around you, who – no matter what – know how to look at the bright side of life and with whom you feel happy, appreciate it fully.

And don’t be shy: tell them how awesome their attitude is and what for a positive impact they have on you.

One of my dear friends showed the biggest strength while going through her divorce. I never heard any complains from her and through her positive attitude she managed to adjust to her new situation incredibly quickly. She just started a new job at 43. As she met new colleagues, including women who went through a divorce themselves, she was stuck  by their bitterness but also hurt when they reflected back to her:

If only that was as easy for me as for you!

Let me repeat to you:

Not complaining and not feeling sorry for yourself isn’t easy. It’s the hardest thing.

So when you meet someone like my friend, don’t use them to complain even more. Don’t try to spoil their own happiness because you feel yourself insecure or envious of them.

On the contrary: acknowledge their strength and try to follow them on the path of action and recovery.

What about you?

Do you feel that you often fall in the complaining trap?

To which point do you think it is healthy to complain?

And what is in your opinion the difference between complaining and expressing your true feelings (by opposition to repressing them as this also is not something I would ever recommend to do)?

Or maybe you want to use this comment space to write a tribute about some of your friends with an extraordinary attitude or strength!

Just, please, don’t be shy!

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Filed under friendship, musing

LOVE RAMBLING

A very short list of some of the things in my life IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE:

  • Love
  • Happiness
  • Friendship
  • Career/job/work

Corollary:

  • So many people put so much importance into their job.
    Or worse: their job title! 

    But without love, this is nothing.
  • Love brings happiness. If not, this is not Love, I think.
    I am not saying that when you have love in your life, you see the whole world pink all the time. But its foundation should be based on positive, beautiful feeling.
  • And/but happiness can be felt  without love.

Voilà!

It just needed to be said!

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EMOTIONS

‘Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words. I don’t believe in “sadness,” “joy,” or “regret.” Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, “the happiness that attends disaster.” Or: “the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy.” I’d like to show how “intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members” connects with “the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age.” I’d like to have a word for “the sadness inspired by failing restaurants” as well as for “the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.” I’ve never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I’ve entered my story, I need them more than ever.’ ―Jeffrey Eugenides

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April 9, 2013 · 4:34 pm