So this is what management feels like

January 26, 2012 at 7:37 am | Posted in Career Moves | Leave a comment
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try not to be like this guy. Yea I know, typical to use an Office Space photo on a job post. Deal with it.

When I first took my current job, I was really excited to be working in education.  Having been a consultant, I had many clients that covered different issues, so I had gotten a taste of many different causes that matter. But of course, you connect with some more than others, and for me education, with all its layers, was something I could really sink my teeth into.

So I took all the tasking skills I had built in my 5 years of working and came to where I am now.  I was excited to concentrate on one topic. What I hadn’t prepared for was the fact that I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on just a handful of projects or do the deep work myself.  Nowadays I am managing what seems like dozens of projects all at once and a team of consultants and one part timer to help complete the work.  I have gone from building web sites, designing brochures, pitching media, and writing content to instructing others on how to get these things done and reviewing them.  I have had to let go of a lot of the pieces I love all to ensure that the bigger picture is always clearly in sight.  Don’t get me wrong — I still do plenty of work in these various areas, but I just don’t have time to spend all day on the phone calling reporters, or creating our newest publication.  I am now more than just a tasker. I am an idea person, and a strategist.

Now I understand what it means to be a manager.

So maybe I don’t get to dive deep into projects so much anymore, but I know that my experience and expertise are appreciated.  But of course, I have a lot to learn, and I still look to my higher ups for guidance on how to build these non-task related skills.  And being fresh out of the strict tasking phase, I can relate to newer workers about the stresses of completing tasks when they are coming down from all different people who expect different kinds of results.

But now that I have taken this step back and seen where my work path has gone, I can focus on where it is going.  In reality, I have only been working for 7 years, and I have a lot of years to work. And who knows, maybe one day I’ll be able to dive deep into a project again.

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Taking Ownership

July 19, 2011 at 9:26 am | Posted in Career Moves | 2 Comments
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Things have been chaotic to say the least these past few days.  Aside from attempting to adjust to the time difference, there have been some serious challenges that have truly tested me.

On a daily basis, I do not typically manage events, but I have somehow been thrown into that role during this work trip.  The hardest part is that my boss, nearly 9 months pregnant, is not here to serve as my shield – I am literally in the line of fire trying to make things work seamlessly so that our audience doesn’t know the chaos that is going on behind the scenes.

I’ve been hearing the same phrase a bunch over the past few days – if you want something done, give it to a busy person.  This 5 day-long event is jam-packed with logistical details that require somebody to take the reins.

So why didn’t we have this all figured out before we touched down?  Lots of complications and too many moving parts, mainly.  But rather than dwell on the why, we need to just keep things moving.  We can reflect later.  Right now, it’s all about taking ownership and getting things done.  I know my efforts will not go unnoticed as there have been a few gems able to support the work.

But this idea of taking ownership has been a major lesson for me in my career in general.  When you take ownership of a project, you are caring for it and if you are one of these busy people, you will likely give the project the love and care it needs to thrive, even when you are thrown into it last minute.

I think that taking ownership is really a lesson in leadership.  When you assume responsibility, you can recognize faults, learn, and grow.

I think my boss would be proud.

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