21 days to… day two

Day two of the course “21 Days to Discover Your Passion”. Today is entitled “How to Unhate Your Job”.

Task 1 – Write down my permission line again

I give myself permission to find my passion, to take the time to find out what this is and not always take the easy, lazy way out.

I think they mean for me to repeat this everyday, and while I will do this in private, I don’t think I will keep re-writing this on this blog.

The thing about this is that I already have given myself permission. I have been actively pursuing “self discovery”. Maybe it’s the easy, lazy way I need to work on

Task 2 – What is one thing you actually like doing at your current job?

I think one of the first things I read on Live Your Legend was “don’t quit your job”, and then I quit my job.

Recently I was going through some old emails I sent about my previous job and my opinion of it before I left:

I hate my job at the moment. There is one key reason for this and that is one of the owners. I work for a fairly small company, 30 people, owned and run by two guys. The managing director is a decent guy. His business partner, although he has a job title, doesn’t really have a specified job in the company. He is a really arrogant person, and sort of interferes in everything, and knows nothing about any of it. But worse, refuses to learn either. He is willfully ignorant. He won’t learn, point blank refuses, and then forcibly offers his opinion about things he knows nothing about, and because of his position, fights to have his decisions enacted. He systematically goes around the company destroying organisation, innovation, accuracy and quality. He gatecrashes meetings that have nothing to do with him, and then takes them over, thereby negating the reason for the meeting. Wasting the time of all those in involved, for hours upon end. AND THEN tells us how we waste time and don’t work hard enough, or at all!

Last week I had to take over my line manager’s job, as he was on holiday. A job I have done many times before. It means I’m in charge of the department. BUT in the weekly organisation meeting the idiot took over, meaning the sorting out of the following week’s work was done chaotically, and the whole week was (surprise, surprise) chaotic because of it. And that was my responsibility?

Apart from this guy, it is quite a good group of people to work for, but as he insists on screwing up every aspect of the business. I don’t see a future with this company. I don’t see how my career can move forward, or the company as a whole. It’s like a treadmill, doing the same substandard stuff over and over, because he won’t let anyone do a good job.

But taking this task’s question “why did I enjoy about this job?” There was a lot I did enjoy about the job. I did have a lot of flexibility, as virtually every manager there saw how much value I added, not only to my own position, but to the company as a whole. I enjoyed learning new software. I enjoyed creating and perfecting a graphic job. I enjoyed helping others improve the organisation or even the enjoyment of their part of work. I enjoyed being very good at my job. But I hated having that idiot come in and thwart everyone at every turn. It made coming to work pointless.

Hmm, I’ve managed to bring negativity into what was supposed to be a positive exercise. To re-emphasise the positive, I have emboldened it.

Task 3 – Write out the bigger picture WHY behind what you are doing

Why I did the job that I did? My last permanent job gave me freedom. Freedom (a bit) on working hours, freedom (a bit more) on holidays, freedom to learn new things (again, seeing the negative: although I learnt new things it was largely irrelevant because I had very little opportunity to use the new knowledge). I also like creating graphic jobs and perfecting them. This is quite satisfying. This is generally why I work in my industry, and I suppose this is the bigger picture.

Task 4 – What is one thing you want to get really good at at work?

Two things I was trying to get really good at my last job. 1. Motion graphics. 2. Writing web apps using JavaScript. The first I had some opportunities, although decreasingly so. The second, although they sent me on a course, I never had an opportunity to use it.

Task 5 –Name a project or a role within your company that looks like fun

There was nothing else at my previous job that I wanted to do. But in my industry? Working on a big motion graphics project with a team would be fun.

Tasks 6 – Schedule a meeting with your boss to talk about…

I didn’t write down this whole task as it gave many options, none of which currently would apply to me as I no longer have a job. But applying them retrospectively:

…to ask about getting training in the skill you identified in step 4. I did ask, they did send me, it didn’t help.

…to ask about being involved in the project you identified in step 5. As I said, there wasn’t anything.

…to tell them how you are feeling. I regularly met with the Managing Director, and I never held back with expressing my feelings. At my exit interview he agreed with all my points (he always did), but his hands were tied because 50% of the business was owned by the idiot. I know it the years before I left he had managed to maneuver this guy out of the office for about 4 months, and it was bliss for all concerned. But that reason ended and we were all back trying to keep our head down in the hope he wouldn’t get interested in our department. Quite difficult in a small company.

…to talk about working from home sometime in the next 20 days. I only worked from home once. And that was a hard fought battle. Maybe I should have tried this more. Although I doubt that it would have worked.

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