Saturday, July 30, 2011

Following My Gut to the Edge of the Cliff

Sometimes we say yes to things for reasons that are not directly related to the thing we agree to do.

I just said yes to a project that will challenge my time-management skills, my confidence and maybe my sanity, but will also increase my positive standing within my company and make my job just a little bit more secure. For a few weeks it will increase my visibility with part of upper management and if I live up to the expectations of those who recommended me for this assignment it will firmly place me in a somewhat elite group of people in my company who do what I do for a living. It will also add to my work load and challenge my diplomatic skills every time I am asked to revise something at the last possible minute before some already barely realistic deadlines.

And I can’t even explain to you what the hell I am talking about just yet and even if I did, you might not understand or care. I am quite geeky about what I do on the job and my peers would understand.

But you will be able to hear the audio result of this project on one of your local radio stations in nearly every city in the United States. My voice will not be on any of these audio elements, but the script, work parts, edits and drama will be mostly mine and I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing my work has a broad audience for a few weeks.

I am not bragging or exaggerating when I say I’m good at what I do on the job – that’s the feedback I get from managers and other who know about this stuff – but at moments like these a voice from back in my lack-of-confidence days attempts to be heard above the crowd in my head. The presence of that voice reminds me that I still compare myself and my work to others and that kind of internal conversation can sometimes shake confidence. The other voice, my real one, reminds me that I have earned my confidence, in part because no matter how good I think I get I can always improve my craft. I can always challenge myself, risk occasional failure, learn from failure and move on to more success.

I am taking over from somebody in the middle of a project and I thought his work was outstanding. I have learned from him. However, there are few things I would do differently and now it appears I’ll get that chance.

There is no additional compensation for my work on this project, but the complexity and time issues involved will force me to focus on this as well as find new efficiencies in everything else I do at work. That and the increased standing in my company will hopefully offset the time challenges and justify adding work for no added money. That type of balance and logic are the reasons I said yes to this. I could succeed or I could fail miserably; my gut instinct tells me it will be worth the risk. Success will increase my confidence.

I’ll try to give you more specifics in a week or two instead of talk in circles about the project like I have for the past 550 words. As always, I hope that you can learn something from my experience. Thanks for visiting.

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