by Elizabeth Wilcox – Publish, Present, Lead, Design, Collaborate!
We started this series with five career risks you should consider taking …seems fitting to end with some prompts that help you do just that. Pitch a new idea to the big boss: Take time this week to write a note to the big boss with your awesome idea to “improve, streamline, simplify, save or raise money, be more inclusive, create a happier client, improve productivity, and/or morale or any other positivity generating” thing you can think of.
Use these (and any other actions you can think of) to regain a feeling of recognition, excitement, involvement, connection and positivity toward your work and future… Take a moment to personally recognize a colleague for a job well done (don’t put this off, do it today). Peer-to- peer recognition can be as powerful as formal recognition programs – and it is a critical bonding activity. Make yours as personal (and meaningful) as possible.
5 Stages in the Design Thinking Process, The Power of Outsiders NY Times Video, Change One Habit to Change Everything NY Times Video, The Achievement Habit – Bernard Roth, d.school Reading List
Expect It Most organizations, including UC Berkeley, are going through constant evaluation, assessment, and related re-alignments of people and resources (driven by the desire to remain competitive and effective). You probably wouldn’t want to work for an organization that wasn’t future focused and that didn’t have the good sense to make regular adjustments to improve its performance. Change is easier when we both “expect”, “accept” and even welcome it.
Why should you consider how your skills crossover to other employment sectors? Increasing automation, constant change, and economic uncertainty – that’s why. The future of work requires increasing adaptability, flexibility, and the application of a wide range of highly developed skills to ever- changing projects and (potential) future employers. Here’s a few prompts to help you get started…(involve others in this reflective and action-oriented process).
Work is more rewarding when it reflects and incorporates our deepest values and interests. Use the following questions to reflect on the deeper purposes of your work. See if they help you find more enjoyment and meaning in what you do every day. Finding your purpose: Why does your work matter? Why have you chosen to work at UC Berkeley? How does your work make a difference? Does your work reflect your personal values? How and why?
It isn’t always pretty at work…but you can respond with dignity. Here’s when and how… Your Boss (or co-worker) Doesn’t Like You (or even worse, actively undermines you): Personalities are tricky. Even if you are doing a great job, there can sometimes be mismatches. Ask yourself, is the source of friction personal, style-related, based on competition, politics or old history? What could you do to dial it back? The new goal oriented performance review process can help minimize the impact of personality or other conflict on your career prospects and future since it is based on evidence from a variety of sources. Be sure you seek and collect impartial input on your performance from everyone with which you interact, not just your boss or immediate working group. This will help minimize possible damage and help you defend yourself during performance review (and when you look for another job).
Bureaucracy tends to invite organizational paralysis through “churn” based on “rigid hierarchy, inflexible rules, slowness due to procedural control, and highly specialized divisions of labor.” (As per Max Weber and Sociology 101). You can counter this when you put less emphasis on “rote” meeting and talking, and more on “creative” doing. Doing is action, and action is purpose and progress. Here’s how to improve your ability to make a difference.
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of others.” -Charles Dickens… Giving Builds Teams: High performing teams are often individually and collectively generous. They invite vulnerability and risk taking. Similar to many successful sports teams, their winning strategy is based on “selfless play”. Giving Improves Performance: When you lift others up, you improve motivation and job satisfaction.