During my time working in Italy I have learned a lot (and will continue to do so) and I hope provided information the business I am working with that generates some ideas for new opportunities to explore.
One of the tasks I was working on required me to register information through an EU portal in a number of countries. The information on the portal was not particularly clear and I started to hit challenge after challenge to upload the information in each country. I shared my frustration with one of my mentors and he said ‘if it is too hard don’t bother doing it’
Three things ran through my mind:
- I refuse to be beaten by a website
- Surely anything worth doing is a challenge
- Finally ‘you what?’
I may have been given similar messages in the past that I don’t remember or did not resonate with me, but this is the first time I remember having this message delivered to me so directly!
My next move was to think… I won’t be beaten (I have been told I am a smidge stubborn) however this website is not helpful perhaps there is an easier way. I found contacts in each country… with the magic of ‘copy and paste’ I sent an email to each of them for help and moved on to another task. Over the next few days I got advice on how to process all the requests through a single point of contact, which was still a chore but moved the task forward with limited effort (some exasperation) from me. If I am honest that stubbornness in the past would have seen me defeat the wicked website regardless of how much I had to sacrifice to make it happen.
The questions for me and for you are; how often are we set a task by others or ourselves and do we:
- Become tunnel-visioned about the solution once we have started on that path…no matter how hard it is?
- Thrive on how great we are doing something so difficult? (yey us!)
- Reflect on the task at the end and ask yourself ‘what was the point?’
If your answer is never… please share your approach – there are crazy people like me out there who need to know your secret! If the answer is swing towards more often than you should then I urge you to:
- Consider all the options before you start (ask others for ideas). You may not choose the right one but at least you have options to jump to if needed.
- List the benefits of continuing…. Is the value worth the effort (is it really worth it? Will anyone thank you for all this extra work?)
Then use this information to influence and give you confidence for your next step, remember: being challenged and stretched at work is great and really develops you, but working hard for little or no result stamps on your wellbeing.
Wellbeing is a necessity for sustained happiness and performance at work.