Charlie Brown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Have you ever sat down and plotted out a course of action for your current work position? I am sure many of you have and think nothing of it. But for me its one of the hardest things to do. There are two things I hate, one is having to write or talk about myself. In every ministry class or self-improvement class I have ever taken, that is almost always one of the first tasks. Call it what you like “selling yourself” “listing your gifts” or just bragging, what ever you want to call it, to me its hard and to tell the truth, some what silly. But, I know of many people who thrive on that, create the list even when they don’t have to, drop it into what ever they are saying or writing. Any chance to shine and they will.
I remember once, when I was part owner of a store, the three partners all happen to be at the store at the same time, and a salesman walked it. He was, as expected, extremely friendly and knew how to sell. He didn’t start off with”would you like to buy this” but rather with “So tell me a little about yourselves”. Very smart move, great way to open up a sales pitch. So I started with the basics, I was a youth minister and part owner of the store, partner number two, same thing, partner number three, had to mention every church they worked at, every school they even considered going to and every degree they might have even given a thought to. Her introduction, 10 min, mine and the other partner, maybe 2 minutes max. The salesman, he really didn’t care, he was just hoping for an opening, and he found it, in partner number 3.
Why partner number 3, because he know that she would also be open to flattery. And with the power of flattery, her ego would be stroked and with her ego stroked, all reason and defenses would be out the window. Our only saving grace, I was the person in charger of purchasing all gift items, partner number 3 was in charge of the money and partner number 3, book. So we were safe, ego stroked or no stroke.
What does that have to do with stating your gifts or talents or what ever. To me its all about ego, and for anyone who has read my blogs over the years knows what I think about the ego, I have no use for it. Ego is Edging God Out, and is the root of all evil. I find no value in stroking your own ego, nor in having others stroke it for you. This has caused me many issues in the past, I have a hard time “selling’ myself, because I find it hard to talk about what I am capable to do, were my strengths lies, I am much more at ease talking about my deficits and what I lack.
My action plan for work is similar to this, I am being asked to define what I want, were I want to be and how I need to get there. This is a hard task for me. The issue is, I love what I do, but I am extremely unhappy in how it is done.
I am a technical instructor for a major PLM software, I write and deliver the course. I have been doing this for over 15 years, and must say I have gotten very good at it. Am I the best, depends on who you ask, am I the worst, same thing, depends on who you ask. I know I am good at what I do, and I also know I love what I do. But… Doing the same thing over and over and over can get to you. Fighting the same battles day in and day out gets old and feeling that you have no control over it, well that, to me, is the kicker. So this current task my company is asking for, my development plan, is suppose to help me achieve my goals. But what are my goals, were do I want to be in 6 month, one year or five years from now? Hard to say.
My interest is not software, I am not a programing nerd, I am a teacher that happens to teach software. I was lucky to walk into this job, allowing me to use what ever skills I may happen to have as a teacher, to teach software. I love the creative process of teaching and developing the courseware. But I would be just as happy teaching paper folding as I am teaching software. In truth, I love to teach, plane and simple. So were do I go from here.
Do I decide its time to change gears, quit and find a new job teaching, giving up 15 years with the company, leaving my many friends and the comfort of what I know? Or do I find ways to make this work, stick it out and hope for the best? This is the dilemma, and this is why I hate having to do this.
The frustration is with myself and work, but more with myself. I understand and know, internally, that I have the power within me to fix it. I can accept it or not. If I accept it, than I have to stop the bitching about it, move on and keep on keeping on. If I decide to not accept it, than I have to fix it or leave. Either way accept or not, I have to get over it and move on. And that is what this document represents to me, I have to decide what I want and articulate it in this document. And I don’t want to face it, I don’t want to think about it, but I am being forced to.
In away, I am feeling like Charlie Brown, I know I am unhappy, but I just don’t know why. I need my Linus,
Sometimes questions . “So, tell me about yourself”, “where do you see yourself in five years”, are questions you need to hear, even when we don’t like them. I know that this task set before me is driving me nuts, but I also know it is something that I have to face, sooner rather than later.
God Bless and Happy Lent