When things become routine, things seem to be easier. When things become easier, I think it’s easy to underestimate the skills we have that got us into the routine and keep us efficient.
My example is this- I get bogged down in the paperwork of my job. There is literally paperwork for the paperwork for the paperwork (this can go on and on, but I will stop it here). In all this redundancy, it’s hard to realize how we find time to learn and apply our skills. But, then I took a step back and took inventory of the things I am good at and applied them outside the job as well. I realized I was very good at coordinating meetings. In my job, I coordinate 6 teams of people, called Child Family Teams (CFTs). In these CFTs are the family members (averaging 3-8 members), the doctors, teachers, probation officers, neighbors, aunts, uncles, friends, grandparents, clergy, community members, among others. Of course, coordinating these meetings with people coming from various places and schedules can be challenging. Some can attend in the venue, while others may attend by conference phone, and others may offer their feedback in a separate meeting scheduled with the family, or some send letters or call me later to discuss their views and recommendations. So, not only do I coordinate and moderate the meeting, but collect data from 5-20 people and organize it in to a goal plan to help the child and family be successful. When the plan is written, usually I send a copy to each person on the team, by postal mail, interoffice mail, e-mail or fax. It should be said that when I go on vacation, I also have to send a letter to each person on each team to let them know I am out and who to contact in my absence. That can total anywhere from 30 to 80 or more letters!
Knowing that I can successfully do that – and realizing it is no easy task or skill, I decided to organize a conference on alternative mental health approaches through a non profit agency. My skills in organizing and budgeting successfully attracted about 100 total participants with a 150% return profit.
I share this story in hopes of helping you to take a step back when you become too ‘bored with routine.’ Examine all you do to create that routine and what skills and talents have allowed you to become efficient. Try to expand on those skills and talents in the many different roles that you find yourself in.
To read more details on this conference, join my career portfolio group. The files ICCS- 2006- Conference Successes.mdi and ICCS - 2006 - Conference Brochure.pdf are related to this article. Also see an article written by Emily Snyder, a conference participant submitted to ICCS.
Tags: Career and Life Skills