DO YOU HAVE A STRATEGY FOR OVERCOMING CHALLENGES?


Happy New Year everyone!

My resolution for this year is to enjoy my personal life and see/do things that my heart desires. Nothing new, right? I am tired about putting so much focus on my work, seeing nothing else but work and school. I’ve started another certificate at Ryerson last year – this time in project management – and I have 8 courses to go! Finished the first two and just enrolled into two others starting on Tuesday. It’s exciting, keeps me busy, I’m learning stuff and keeps my brain working but I am tired.

Something else that I’ve decided to do and maybe I should have done it a long time ago is to do an assessment of a job each time I start a new one – a ‘work sheet’ where I put the Pros of a job, how important this Pro is for me and why, the Challenges and how I am planning to overcome this challenge.

I’ve noticed that wherever I go (because I am a contractor I change jobs a lot more frequent than others) I bump into the same things over and over and over. Sometimes I get discouragedĀ  but when I put the challenge on the paper I realize that it is not something new. Of course, each place has its unique challenges but many times you run into the same problems – maybe it happened in another context, with different people – but it did happen. So in order for me to grow and stop complaining about this and that, I am making a note of the challenge and actually writing down how I am planning to overcome it. Now I have a strategy, I don’t just react to things that are happening. I’m also realizing that changing jobs does not change things in the long run, the challenges are still there and I haven’t learned how to deal with them.

For the assessment to be complete, I have to also do the work on myself so I am compiling a list of my strengths and weaknesses (as objective as I can and I am also going to ask other people for how they see me and my work), list things that I want, like to do, I’m good at, based on my personality. One of the courses at Ryerson taught us how important it is to hire the right people for the job, not based on behavioral tests and standard HR tests but based on personality tests and focus on their natural aptitudes and strengths. Unfortunately I’ve seen too many managers who were not meant to be managers or BAs who were dying a little bit inside when stuck at their desks doing analysis when they should have been out there talking to people. So I want to see what am I good at and if I am in the right job, what are the things I have to work on this year?

Here is sample of this ‘work sheet’.

I believe in the exercise of writing because when you write something down you can put order in your thoughts and some things are hard to write down because you are admitting them. You may find that when you do this list you will be having trouble objectively identifying your weaknesses or, if you don’t like your job, the Pro’s of it. Try to think about this list from different perspectives and in the long run, not the present or immediate future (such as ‘I have this challenge now but what can I do about it?’ or ‘This job allows me to work outside my expertise – what does this mean for me and my resume?’).

I think this is better than tossing the coin when you don’t know whether to keep your job or look for something else, mainly because it is a rational decision you take based on Pro’s and Con’s.

Try it and let me know what you think. Was it hard to put the list together? What did you realize while you were writing your list?

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