Are You Good At What You Do?
Whatever this “you do” is – your career, your hobby or whatever, if the answer is “no” then you need to ask yourself some more questions!
“Can I get better? Do I want to get better?”
If the answer to these questions is also a ‘no’ then ask yourself this and then possibly start re-thinking your life choices.
“Why am I doing it then?”
I’ve never been a confident, shout from the rooftops how good I think I am type of person.
I’m not an extroverted, outgoing kind of guy either and I usually prefer to blend in than to stick out.
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
I’ll speak up for myself if I need to because although I may be a wallflower – I’m certainly no doormat.
Anyway, being a wallflower is by no means a bad thing – look how pretty they are…
I recently read the below article from the BBC News website where some of the art world’s biggest names handed out career advice.
PD James Leads The Stars Offering Their Top 10 Tips
It made me think of my career. I took a long time to get where I am today and there were a few pit stops on the way but, like most people – I found my calling in the end.
If you are anything like me and are that type of person who never thinks they are actually “good at anything” then take a few minutes to think about it. It might turn out you’re not actually good at it – you’re fucking awesome!
My profession is “IT Trainer” or “IT Productivity Coach” or “IT Support” or whatever people want to call it. Basically – helping people be more productive on their computers in one way or another.
I’ve been doing this for ten years yet it’s taken me until now to realise I must be ‘ok at it’ otherwise I’d be doing something like blogging for a full-time job and with the amount of shit I write on my blog I certainly couldn’t make an income that keeps me in my luxurious lifestyle or even feed my three cats.
Try It Yourself
I gave this a try and came up with reasons why I think I am good at being an IT Productivity Coach…
Have A Little Patience
People have told me on many occasions they can’t believe how patient I am.
They say if it was them, they’d be grabbing the computer mouse from under their trainee’s hands to use it as a weapon until they understood what to do.
What do I say to that? Well, firstly violence doesn’t get you anywhere and secondly “keep calm and carry on” – you will always get to the same end result but you get there easier, quicker and with acceptable blood pressure levels. To quote Gary Barlow – one of the best songwriters of this generation…
Share The Knowledge Not Your Problems
I love sharing information with people so long as it’s only information that will help them and make their life easier that is.
People don’t really want to know if you’re trying for a baby or if your pet hamster just died. They might pretend that they do but they don’t really.
Don’t treat people like “agony aunts” and simply tell them what they need to know and save the rest for down the pub.
People don’t want to hear my worries and problems but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to share theirs. That’s fine with me – sometimes people need a “sounding off board” and for someone just to listen, occasionally tilt their head and nod.
When it comes to tilting my head and nodding I can give Princess Diana a run for her money…
If I can make someone feel better just by being quiet while they talk and talk…and talk. Surely that’s money for nothing?
Treat Everyone The Same
From tea boys (and girls) to the big boys (and girls) and from office secretaries to state secretaries – treat everyone the same.
At the end of the day if they can’t use Microsoft Word then they can’t use Microsoft Word and it doesn’t matter if they are running the country or running to collect the lunch orders.
Everyone is equal in my eyes.
I Don’t Want To Know Everything
I’ve got a very small brain and I can’t possibly know everything. I wouldn’t particularly want to know everything anyway. If I don’t know something I’ll be honest and say “I don’t know…but I can find out and let you know”. It’s that simple. There’s no point in pretending you know when you don’t.
If you step in dog shit people can smell it, if you talk bull shit people can smell it no matter how much sugar you sprinkle on the top of it.
Ask And You Will Receive
I’ve never been the type of person who volunteers information about their life.
Some people on the other hand are all “I’ve done this, I’ve done that blah blah blah”.
Yeah? Really? Who cares?
If people want information about me, from me, then they have to ask.
Once they do then it’s like a flood gate has opened and they might wish they hadn’t asked but since they’ve invited out the information they can’t complain when I’m talking about me!
Prepare…But Don’t Over Prepare
If you are delivering a presentation or a training session – prepare, prepare, prepare. Know your subject, know what questions people might ask and know that things could and probably will still go wrong anyway.
On the other hand, there are some things that you can’t prepare for. You could spend hours trying to prejudge a situation then it turns out to be something different entirely and all that time you spent surmising rather than preparing was wasted time.
“Don’t be the Coyote, be the Roadrunner.”
Look at the Roadrunner cartoons, the Coyote would spend ages preparing something ridiculous without knowing for sure the Roadunner’s plans and he always ended up blowing himself into smithereens.
Sit On The Fence
Never offer an opinion. People might tell you this about that person and that person will tell you this about another person and so on. Don’t get involved!
You might get a few splinters in your ass or a cold butt, however, it’s much safer sitting up on top of that big fence than getting involved in office politics.
Laugh At Yourself
Make yourself out to be more stupid than you actually are. In my case that’s not really too difficult (see, I just done it without even realising).
Make yourself the butt of the joke. Make fun of yourself. Laugh at yourself!
If someone does something ridiculous in front of you and others, saying “oh, I do that all the time” puts them at ease and immediately diffuses the situation.
Obviously this depends on the stupidity of their actions – even I have my limits.
Have. Some. Fun
Since we spend most of our day at work then if you don’t have fun when you are there then you really need to look for a new job!
I strongly urge everyone to try this and I guarantee that you will be pleasantly surprised by the results!