I found this post written in my stash from 5 weeks ago. Today seemed like a good day
You know how when shit hits the fan at work you don’t always necessarily feel like you’re (a) in control anymore, or (b) cut out for your job? Welcome to the last week of my life. A three-year client project ended in a complete whirlwind with work being done up until the absolute last second, and goodness gracious was I reconsidering things. It was actually the perfect week to run across this article that I found on Darling Magazine called “Conquering the Negativity” and the first point it lists in the article is “list your strengths”. What a good idea. That way, when life seems to be spiraling out of control you are at least able to look back at a list of things that you remember that you can do and you are good at. Here’s the list that I was able to come up with in the middle of fighting fires.
- Representing things visually
I didn’t realize that this was actually a skill until recently. If you give me a large set of a data or a list that needs to be displayed in a way that is pretty, I can absolutely do that for you. Give me a color scheme and a font choice and I will draft you something that explains the entire picture that you’re trying to create. I guess I should have realized that this might have been a strength of mine in the last year when I bought a book on designing PowerPoint presentations for fun.
- Coordinating logistics
Not only am I good at coordinating logistics, but I prefer to be the one coordinating the logistics. Having trouble with who’s renting a car this week, I can sort it out for you. Need to figure out who’s going to be driving who to the hotel, I can come up with the most efficient solution. I believe it’s the engineer/musician/hostess in me that likes to see all of the loose ends tied together and because of that, it makes me work harder than the average person.
- Diffusing awkwardness
Please don’t get me wrong, I am just as good at creating awkwardness as I am at diffusing it, but in the situation that awkwardness needs to be diffused, I’m your girl. I can interpret what other people are saying, I can take the focus off of a person and onto me, I can change the subject on a whim. I am able to make people feel comfortable in almost all situations, and that has turned out to be very useful in my life.
- Making things a game
I call a lot of things a game that shouldn’t be called a game. Choosing a dinner location? I can play that game. Need to get from point A to point B? I can play that game. Everybody needs to introduce themselves at a party? I can play that game too. If you turn things into a game, it’s more exciting, and it feels like there’s a goal to be accomplished. My last week in Louisiana I actually made a to-do list that listed all of our favorite places around the city. Out of a list of 31 items, my team was able to check off 22 activities. Not only that, but we had fun doing it. There’s just something so gratifying about checking things off of a list.
- Speaking in my own voice
I’ve been blogging for three years now. These past few months I had been given the task of writing standard operating procedures for the client, turned the procedures in to the manager on the project and the first comment that I got? Your wording is too colloquial. It sounds like you are talking to me and that shouldn’t be the case, this is a procedure manual. While I did need to go back and write all of the procedures again, part of me was proud that I had found a voice so secure in my writing that it was coming out in other types of documents as well. I went back and edited all of the documents to say, “the person does [this] action”, but the whole time I was smirking to myself thinking, wow, maybe I really am a blogger.
I challenge you to write down some of your strengths. The article that I read actually asks people to ask ten other people about what their strengths are. Did this exercise help you out at all? I wish each of you the power to be able to see what you are good at in life and make the most of it. Everybody has their own skills, and at the end of the day, when we all work together, that’s what gets things done, and it’s wonderful.