Picking the right project to pursue

If you’re what I like to refer to as an ideas person, you probably have the challenge of picking what to pursue. You might find yourself with half a dozen great ideas and the thought of bringing each one to life is equally exciting.

It can be difficult figuring out the best way to solve this issue. And so, sometimes we end up picking multiple things to do at once.

We become a jack of all trades.

Whilst there’s nothing wrong with having more than one project at a time, it’s not worth it if you can’t do them well. I like to think of it in terms of spinning plates. The best way to do it is start with one plate and add another when you’re comfortable and then keep going. When you start with multiple plates, they’re more likely to end up broken.

If we take it back to projects, we end up producing work we aren’t proud of and struggle to achieve our desired outcomes.

On the flipside, if we work on things one at a time we give ourselves the opportunity to actualise the vision. If things don’t work out how you’d hoped, you can be much more content with quitting because you know you’ve given it your all.

When you’re doing important work that you believe in, the best way to honour the vision is by being solely dedicated to it. You do yourself and the vision a disservice when you choose to do multiple things at once.

When it comes to deciding what to do, there are plenty of ways to decide.

  • What do you care about the most?
  • What idea feels most important?
  • What will you be most dedicated to?
  • Write them all down and pick out of a hat?
  • Introduce yourself as the person behind each project, which one feels the best?

Maybe try a combination of these things and see what idea comes up the most.

The only thing you need to do is make a choice. If you’re finding it difficult, you’re putting too much weight on it.

And, if you pick something and it doesn’t work out, just try something else.

Changing yourself to progress your career

The workplace can often just feel like one long game with lots of rules. For many people following these rules requires changing perhaps to the point of doing things that you don’t really want to do.

So, how much should you change for the sake of career progression?

If you feel like you have to become someone else or play up to the idea of who people think that you should be to have the career you want, you probably won’t be happy when you get it.

Some people understand the game and are willing to play it whilst others find the cheat codes and figure out how to work things their favour. Then there are the ones who understand the game but aren’t willing to play it and lastly the ones that have no awareness of the game whatsoever.

I have a lot of beliefs about work and the kind of career I want.

In a past experience, after discovering the game and attempting to play it, I realised that I didn’t want to.

If you have to change to progress in your career it’ll only be worth it if you like the person you’re becoming. Playing the game can be fun but it can also be exhausting. It might be for some people but others are better off stopping and finding a place to work with a game they enjoy playing or better yet no game at all.

The manager you need

When it comes to mentors, managers and the people that help support us throughout our careers, we often don’t know what we need.

If you’re like me, the kind of person that needs a push, you’re progress will be hindered by someone that mollycoddles you. Perhaps you need someone that is kind yet stern who will support you but won’t allow you to hide.

Given the choice you would perhaps run from someone that you felt was stern and run towards someone who you felt was ‘nice’ and ‘kind’. Of course those 2 qualities are great but you might need a little more than that.

When it comes to your career, you’ll always have to push yourself to achieve what you want. However, the case may be that the best person to support to along that journey is the person you least expected.

5 minutes more

When working from home, the getting ready process from bed to desk is much less time consuming.

Instead of waking up, getting breakfast, showering and brushing your teeth, getting ready, leaving out and travelling to the office. You might just wake up, get a coffee and start work. Then perhaps it’s later in the morning that you shower and get ready in-between tasks.

If you’re staying home, the time you get up is pretty flexible because you can choose how much you do before work begins. If you wake up one morning and bed feels cosy, you have the option for 5 minutes more.

On the flipside, if you’re going into the office there’s not much you can bypass and so choosing to sleep for a little bit longer means you have to rush or else you might end up being late.

Wellbeing in the workplace

I think that this matters and I think I think that this is important.

If you had a conversation with a lot of companies, particularly since this covid pandemic, they would have something to say about the importance of wellbeing.

We’re all aware that peoples mental health and general wellbeing has been impacted by the pandemic for various reasons. It could be a lack of social interaction, feeling lonely, the change in routine, fear of getting sick, job security, financial issues and more.

But it might not be the pandemic that is the issue. What about if you go to work and you’re treated poorly, ignored, lied to, there’s a lack of trust, you feel stifled, you’re constantly overlooked, people don’t listen to you and you don’t feel respected, you might not even be aware of the impact it can have or is having on you.

Those things can have a significant impact on a persons wellbeing, particularly when they’re happening regularly.

And sometimes in the workplace these things are very covert. When you speak up you get generic responses that lack sincerity but are somehow just enough. Just enough for you to feel like you were overreacting, that maybe you’re not trying hard enough and that things will be better in the future.

However, if you’ve given things a chance to get better and things haven’t improved then you need to decide if the job is actually worth it.

Are you willing to sacrifice your wellbeing for the sake of a job?

Something old, something new

I think one of the biggest reasons people have for going back to the office is face to face communication.

There is this idea that instead of continuing to embrace and further develop what was created from having to work from home, we should regress back to the way things were.

But I think there’s something to be said about those that choose to embrace change and move forward.

Pre-pandemic wasn’t necessarily better it was just what we were used to. And right now as we move forward, we have the opportunity to consider what works well and embrace something new.

Security over happiness

There’s a choice to be made that sometimes ends up being a sacrifice.

It’s possible to have security and happiness but people often make choices that prioritise one over the other.

They do this for reasons such as fear, a lack of self belief or because they have people relying on them.

It becomes difficult to choose to pursue something creative where you know you’ll go through a period of low finances and you have people to support. In cases like the choice is security because if you pick happiness the people that need you are now at risk.

Sometimes in life you do have to do things you might not want to do but it’s important that you do it for the right reasons. Choosing a path based on security because you have children to care for is very different from choosing security because you’re trying to appease your parents or impress other people.

5 reasons to quit your job

I think that what we do for a living matters. When you have to wake up everyday and do something that you don’t enjoy, interact with people you don’t agree with, work late to meet deadlines and give your time and energy to work that you don’t care about, maybe you should be doing something else.

I think we’re lucky that we’re liberated enough to have some choice about what we do. We have options. We have the opportunity to change our lives if we’re not happy with where we’re at.

And so here are some reasons to quit your job and move on to something better:

  • You no longer enjoy it
  • It requires more than you’re willing to give
  • You could get paid more at another company
  • You’re constantly saying you want to quit
  • You want to change careers

Value in the workplace

When you go to work, you want to feel like you’re of value. Perhaps not to the point where the whole place would fall apart without you but at least like what you contribute each day matters.

When a person wakes up, gets ready and goes to work, if they feel like they don’t need to be there or as though everything would seamlessly continue if they walked out, the person won’t take much care in the work they do.

And deep down or perhaps just beneath the surface we all know that often the care comes before the feeling of significance. It tends to start with taking pride in what you do and then the feeling of value or making a worthy contribution comes after.

But what if you’re doing your best and that feeling still never comes?

I think a big part of feeling of value in your job can come from external validation. This isn’t about knowing that you’re working hard and doing a great job but your manager or boss is undervaluing you. This is about how you feel about yourself and the role you play.

I think when a person doesn’t feel like they make a valuable contribution at work, they also start to feel a loss of interest in their work. When it seems like what you do doesn’t matter, what’s the point in caring?

If you don’t see the value in what you do and you’re not interested in it anymore then chances are you’re not happy either. And so the next step is to think about whether or not it’s time to move on to something new or to find a way to make things work.

The resignation daydream

When a person finds themselves in a job role they don’t want to be in, it often takes a while to leave.

They may regularly have the thought that of handing in their resignation, being in a job where they feel valued or starting over in a new city. However, they don’t take these thoughts seriously enough for them to result in taking action. Instead they consider them to be like a sort of daydream.

And this can go on for months or even years until they finally decide that they’ve truly had enough.

Or sometimes they’re pushed by unfortunate circumstances.

I guess the point is that if you’re unhappy and you know exactly what the cause is then you should do something about it. Happiness is possible, it doesn’t just have to be something that you daydream about.