An Excerpt from Chapter 8:
"I wanted to tell you a little bit about my job history so that you could understand how I got to the “work” part of the working mama. I wanted you to know that I have had bad jobs, I have made poor decisions at those jobs and most important, I have learned from those mistakes. I took those lessons with me and I still reflect on them years later. Now that you know a little about my job history, let’s talk for a minute about yours. What’s your current state? Do you feel a bit like you settled or necessity pushed you into a place that seems impossible to escape from? I think its important for someone to remind you that what we are talking about here is actually work, it’s never going to be easy and if you are doing it well you’re probably exhausted when it’s over. There are certainly seasons where even your dream job can feel more like a repetitive nightmare, so I’m not asking about a season of ups and downs or your current circumstances. If you look back on your last 3 months, 6 or even a year, can you find more good days than bad days? Can you say that you are fulfilling a purpose, making something beautiful, helping someone or serving a purpose with the talents and skills God has gifted you? We all can say we’ve taken jobs just to pay bills at some point in our life but my prayer for you, and for me, is that we can get to a place where even in those jobs, the joy of the Lord can be our strength. When we can replace the face of our supervisor with that of Jesus and work as if it’s onto Him."
When you think your boss is the problem
Aside from my own internal struggles and immaturity, the common denominator in all three of my jobs was my boss. All personalities aside, the only thing standing in your way to professional development, a promotion, a raise or recognition is your boss. They determine the steps of your professional future and they have a power over your position whether or not that is fair or an exciting way to look at it. In some select and very unique situations, you can circumvent your boss on your path to success, but chances are if you stay within your same company and grow in your current role, this growth will always come from your direct supervisor. Whether you like them, hate them, respect them or pray every day they will leave never to return, they are your roadblocks. And even if you have found a way to leap frog them, there will always be another boss waiting for you there unless you jump to President and CEO. You will always be accountable to someone on some level and because of that, I think we have three choices when it comes to the Boss.
1) Stay where you are hoping they quit, get fired, retire or get hit by a bus (I am not advocating for door number 4).
2) Win them over! You might not like them any more than you did at the start but you can work hard to prove your value and advance your career.
3) Leave – there is no shame in this decision if it is birthed out of prayerful consideration. It is better to get out and move on than to live in misery that is outside of God’s will. But number three would be so much sweeter if you tried number two first.
Let's Win them Over:
if you’ve never done an vision plan, here are a couple of questions to get you started. Work through the exercise and then work this into your prayer life. Ask God to show you how this lines up with His plan for your life and to lighten the path to get you there. And if your current situation requires you to embrace your fat pants, accept that sacrifice in pursuit of what really sets your soul on fire!
A typical strategic plan follows a formula that begins with a vision. What is your value proposition? What is your big vision and goal? This is where you dream big and define what you hope to accomplish. We built the vision for your work and life plan in Chapter 7. You already defined where you want to be in 1 year, 3 years and 5 years at your job.
My Vision Statement for my work and family is (draw these ideas from the exercise in Chapter 7):
The single most important question you can ask of your boss is “How do you define success for our team?” That question drives your plan, it reprioritizes the way you look at your work and it gives you a clear indication of what is most important. This doesn’t mean you abandon all the other tasks associated with your job, it just means that you always lead with that.
Equipped with the answer to the million-dollar question, this is where we build your plan.Fill in the blank below with the specific definition of what success is at your work.
Even the greatest of plans are of no value without a means to measure the success. You need a way to measure the success of the goal and the plan you set for your own fulfillment and for the advancement of your career. If your boss said to you that their number one priority is seeing the numbers and knowing the return on investment for the service you provide, you start a little portion of every day dedicated to that project.
Once you have figured out a means of measuring the success, take some time to collect the data.Your vision, your plan, and your measurement are of no value if you can’t determine a way to report out what you have done. Maybe a Powerpoint is intimidating to you, if so, hand write it on a sheet of legal paper or type it in a word document.
"This is you taking some control over your job. You are deciding to work it the best way you know how, you are choosing to step up your work game to be noticed and stand out from the crowd. And if applying these changes to your life does’t have any affect because you just have one of “those” bosses, keep that resume fresh and explore your options, you’ve already got the attire for the interview! If for no other reason, than to know and accept that the grass isn’t greener in another field and you are in a season where God wants you to stay where you are and wait on His timing. And If you do start to be noticed and appreciated for going the extra mile and told that you are looking great and asked what’s changed, stay humble. Remember who’s you are, why you’re here and who is writing your story." This One's For the Working Mama, Chapter 8