I’m reading a book at the minute called I’ll Meet You At The Lost & Found and the initial few chapters are about self-love and not living your life for the acceptance of others but to value and respect yourself first and it got me thinking about employment. I’ve spent the last year on a development course at work where we’ve looked at what we want out of our lives and careers. I’ve one more module left but after 10 months I’ve been around in a circle with the result being I’m no wiser than I started (or so I thought up to an hour ago).
I work in the corporate arm of the civil service. Afters years of working on the front-line it’s a very different atmosphere and there’s constant chatter about developing, building competencies and ‘getting the next grade’. This started from my first day on the job and seems to be the measure against everything. I’ve lost track of the amount of times I’ve done a piece of work for someone to say well done, that’ll be good for your competencies. And I definitely fell into the idea of wanting to please others rather than myself as I got caught up in this probably to the detriment of what I might really want to do. And when I think about promotions it does feel like I’d be doing so to both please others and because they think it’s the right thing to do not me.
As part of the course I have given thought to other types of work. I’m 18 months away from graduating with a degree and the plan is to follow that up with teacher training. However again a lot of that is based on wanting to please others by having an acceptable job type. When I’ve looked into the post degree study, the need to gain classroom experience, the continuous development rather than be energised I just felt old and demotivated. If it’s what I really wanted then surely I would be the opposite. I’ve actually spent a few weeks doing a 3 day training course as part of my job and by the end of day 2 have been exhausted. I don’t think I have the energy or desire to do it 5 days a week continuously.
And this brings me back to the idea of a tea shop, crystal therapy business or something to do with crafting. Or all 3 combined. Talking about this DOES enthuse me. I’ve reams of research and done an awful lot of planning. I even started to put things into place to do something but am hampered until the debt repayment plan is cleared. Even better, these are things that I want to do regardless of other people’s opinions or wage drop or it not being a career everyone else wants. I can get very excited talking about tea, coffee and feeding people cheese & ham toasties no matter how strange that may seem to others.
So where does it leave me? Well it leaves me with 18 months to fill. 18 months to graduation and the end of my debt plan. 18 months to being able to truly make decisions that best suit me. Until that time I’m going to talk about the career ideas that do fill me with joy and unless it’s a job that makes my heart sing I’ll be avoid any promotion activity. Then in 18 months I can start work on the last part of my working life to make sure when I retire I can say I’ve really given myself some self-love when it comes to earning money.
Finally I’m a big believer in synchronicity and following my inner thoughts (apart from work!) and was trying to think how to title this blog when the song Let’s Go Fly a Kite popped into my head. Banks puts his work above all else until he loses his job after a visit to the bank by his children. After which he realises that feeding the birds or flying his kite is a wonderful thing to do regardless of what his (former) employers think. Let’s all go fly some kites 🙂
Been a long day of people performance planning so it’s curling up time with a good book and relaxing. The meme below may be about being a Goddess but nothing wrong with the guys embracing their inner power either 🙂
Today was the total opposite of yesterday. Well apart from rushing out of the house without a coat and nearly being late for a conference call but the rest has been good.
I had a meeting with my mentor who works in a building on the other side of the city centre. We went through the development course I am on and how it’s gone so far then discussed the different steps I want to look at next. She has made some contacts to introduce me to people in jobs I would like to explore so I can set up some shadowing.
Then we looked at the competencies needed for jobs. In the civil service this is the way they recruit and it can be a nightmare trying to give the best example of something you can to sell yourself in 250 words. I have a few already which she’s going to check and going forwards I have a few more to write so I have them to slot into any application. This is the hard part – doing them in the first place. She is going to sense check them and make sure they sell me as much as possible.
I left the meeting really motivated into my next steps. I have a few ideas of jobs I’d like to do and even though it’s never fun writing up competencies I have some good ideas to note down and build into something.
And it’s nice to have that time to just think about yourself and what you want and have a person to bat ideas off that can then help you explore what you really want.
Then I got to walk back to my office on a glorious sunny day. So today has been a good day 🙂
Much better day today. Whatever brought the anxiety on yesterday has gone and I felt much happier today. I had a meeting with a local women’s network at work to look at how they can shape their coming year and where I could fit in with this.
I’ve tried a few voluntary things at work as extras in an effort to build up skills gaps and discover more about such a huge company and they haven’t worked out. I left this one feeling much more positive.
I’ve also managed to get myself signed up on their communications team. This is great for me as I can network, find out more about the breakdown of the civil service and who works where and it will give me some skills that I feel are missing not least the opportunity to learn to publish content on our intranet.
So I’m looking forward to how this will pan out. It feels like it will be more productive than past attempts and if it works I’ll achieve more. And that makes me a happy employee 🙂
I went to a workshop today where they played a TED Women talk. It was about time management but one of the interesting things I heard was about where you wanted to be. She mentioned how we may be at the time of end of year appraisals at work where you are asked what you want to get out of the next 12 months.
Her advice was to think about the ‘next’ end of year appraisal (so in 2019) and to picture that and to picture where you are at that meeting. Then when you go to the current meeting you no exactly what to ask for to achieve it.
So for me I could visualise in 12 months time being at the next grade or moving in my grade to the front end of the work we do whereas I’m currently assuring work after it’s completion. I’d rather be at the front. So in 2019 I’d be doing that job. What do I need to achieve that? Work that out then at my end of year appraisal ask for the opportunities to move me towards it.
I like the idea of visualising and working backwards. Sadly we’ve had our end of year but I can still use it to let people know what opportunities I’m looking for and work towards getting them.
Where do you see yourself in 12 months?
I am so tired this week. As much as you have a week off you get into bad routines or I do at least. I’m not a morning person so when I’m not at work I stay up late and then sleep late in the morning. Having to go back to 6am wake ups is hard. It’s no wonder I’m always grumpy in the morning!
It’s been a quiet week but I’ve made the decisions I alluded to in an earlier post and have applied for 2 new jobs. One would involve me having to spend half a week in London and half back here in Leeds. The other is a development programme. It’s anyone’s guess as to how well I’d do in either.
The London one was to put your name forward. If too many people do that then it becomes a formal application process. The development programme is open to lots of people and will depend on how well I’ve written the competencies. It’s not my strongest thing and I haven’t had chance to get anyone to look over them so I’ll take it as a learning exercise and take the feedback. Then again I said that about the application I had for this job and I got through!
There’s also been plenty of learning as I’m covering someone else’s job role for a few weeks. I don’t mind as I often find my job a bit routine. This is also a routine same thing on a fortnightly basis but it’s different to my usual work so I’m still enjoying the change.
And change i think is what I’m ready for. I felt like this once before. I’d had a period of going nowhere that I’d either not noticed or ignored. Once I realised what had happened I decided I wanted change and I’d do what was needed to achieve that. I’m a big believer in Law of Attraction and putting things out to the universe. It’s kind of a way of positive thinking in that what you put out there as a wish you can bring into your life. Got to be careful as there are ways of doing this negatively. For example if you focus on the negative aspects of being poor you’ll never have any money (yeah I’m still working on this one. I find it hard) but if you focus on that dream job or better job, imagine yourself doing it, picture yourself in that team and so on you can bring it about.
So that will be my weekend, lots of positive job role thinking, looking at how I can bring some job role changes into my life. I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂
I had my end of year meeting at work today. For us we have to write 300 ish words stating what we have done over the year. There’s a set of benchmarks to measure yourself against while you do it.
Tomorrow I have to re-write mine because I missed huge chunks out of it. While I said how well my day to day work went I didn’t say how I achieved some of the work I’ve done. I’ve had to deal with difficult stakeholders, manage some terrible expectations and shmooze some data analysts to get data from them. I simply said I got a commission and did the work!
But I aslo missed off how much I’ve supported my colleagues in between my own day job to enable them to meet their targets too. For me I would always try and help someone but it can’t be happening enough for it to be put as an industry’s key work objective.
But it made me think how much do we sell ourselves short? Some of the problem finding I’ve done on commission has led to major changes within the benefit system. I should be standing up and being proud of that. Shouting my name from the rooftops to say look at me I’ve helped fix some major issues.
Instead I wrote some notes about helping a colleague then deleted them as ‘not important’.
So more challenges! Time to start bigging myself up. We often, in the civil service, will point someone out and say how did they get their job. They’re useless/don’t do much etc etc. Actually what they do is let people know they exist and write some competencies saying how wonderful they are. That’s my 2018/19 work task then. If I want to develop and move up the ladder I have to start doing that myself.
It’s hard I think though to go around telling everyone how fab you are. Mostly we put ourselves down. I’m bloody good at my job so now I need everyone to know that now. I’ve told you, now I need to tell my employers 🙂