Improving Myself Professionally: May Day 2019

For those who are really celebrating, happy International Worker’s Day! Also known as May Day.

Growing up, May Day for me always had a kind of negative connotation since it was associated with communism. Though my political, social etc views are all over the place, there should be nothing wrong with celebrating the working people! The May Day/International Worker’s Day started out not only a celebration of the working people but also for fighting for the rights of workers,a fight that still needs to happen. I’m thankful for those who fought for the American with Disabilities Act so people with disabilities could work, and live, without discrimination against their condition. I am also thankful for the strong Radium Girls whose suffering lead to early occupational hazard safety laws. Sadly more work needs to be done to ensure the future of workers is bright.

I have been in the professional world for almost a decade. Compared to many I am still new to this sector. At times I feel like a vet, but most of the times I am reminded that I am still just a rookie.

Being a professional person, I can get caught up in the rat race. And I am sure that many others feel the same way. For so long I have put work first and the expense of my own happiness and health. My family made this clear to me in March.

Not only am I trying to make changes in my personal life to balance everything out, I do need to make changes AT WORK to be a better person and a better employee. This year, and this International Workers’ Day, I am focusing on ME and improving my professional life.

Here is what I am working on:

Saying NO. If I can handle the problem/offer the solution, my answer to helping is usually YES. Yes I can do this and yes I can do that. Some of my coworkers lately have told me that this is not always the best thing and that some may be taking advantage of me. I am slowly starting to see their point and I know I can’t solve every problem. If I say yes to EVERYTHING that is a lot of my time and energy. Unfortunately I have limited supply of each. I need to invest in what I can actually do and what I am actually required to do. I am working on finding the balance of being a team player and not jumping into every situation.

Embracing the future uncertainty. I KNOW I need a new job but I don’t know what kind of new job I want. Luckily I have MANY interests, but unfortunately they are all over the place. Instead of worrying about it, I am embracing it and applying to ALL the jobs I am interested in, no matter what category they fall into. I will let the chips fall where they may and I’ll go from there.

I do not need your permission. I work for a medium size nonprofit with no leadership. Due to the lack of establish leadership many people try and act like the boss themselves. They demand things from myself, and others, even though we are not in the same department and they are most certainly not the boss. This boss like attitude has also crept into my personal/professional life outside of work. I couldn’t share with people that I was speaking at a conference related to my field out of fear that people would complain about me and question why I did it etc. You know what? I do not need their permission to seek my professional dreams. Heck, most of the time I do not need their permission at work! I am going to keep reminding myself that I do not need other people’s permission to follow my own dreams and goals.

Work Priorities. I can’t do everything. I am working on prioritizing my work tasks and focusing on the urgent and what I actually need to do and let the other stuff that I don’t have to do, but would be nice, to let it go. I only have so much energy.

I can’t do everything and that is okay. I am the happiest at work when I am wearing many hats. I like doing many different things. Unfortunately I learned the hard way that I can’t do everything. I can try but in the end it will not go well. I rather focus on few things and do them well. I am coming to terms with the fact that it is okay if I can’t do everything. I need to do what I do WELL and correctly. In that end that is the most important.

Hopefully by focusing on these professional improvements for myself I can be a better person and employer to my organization.

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