It’s a big thing to say – that you are your own roadblock, getting in your own way. But I am.
More specifically not speaking up in a professional context. I’m terrified that an employer will be angry with me for admitting that I need more stimulation or that something isn’t working. I usually just silently look for another job rather than face the embarrassment of telling someone that I hate going to work.
I’m generally pretty positive about my job. I get the warm fuzzies when someone comes into an interaction grumpy but I make them happier by resolving their problems. I love it when you wrestle with a tricky issue for a couple days and finally solve the puzzle.
But lately, not so much. What’s making me unhappy is that feeling that I’m no longer learning anything new. The only opportunities being made available are the super techy/propellerheady things that not only push me further away from the customer, but just bore me to tears. So recently I surprised everyone (including myself) by speaking up in my performance review and telling my boss that I’m just not feeling the love right now.
To put it in perspective, this is only the second time in my career that I have asked for what I wanted. The first was returning to work post maternity leave when I asked for and got a little bit of flexibility in my start times so I could be there a little more for Bear. My manager and I debated back and forth about it for a few weeks but in the end I stood firm and got what I wanted. At the time I was able to stand firm because I knew this was make or break for me. It was get flexibility or leave. No ifs or buts about it. That negotiation process helped me understand that my work has value. I have value. It’s knowledge I’ve spent over 15 years of my working life just not learning.
So what happened with my performance review you ask? There’s a happy ending to this story! Far from being irritated with me, my manager was ecstatic and a decision was made that I can focus on the software/applications side which made me extremely happy – I’m good at it and it’s something that no-one else is really interested in. Everybody wins!
Once I started speaking up, I realised I’ve spent most of my life bitching about work, and not enough time constructively asking my managers for the assistance I needed. Sometimes it’s not enough to plug away in silence and hope someone notices – you have to be assertive and ask for what you want.
What’s your biggest roadblock at the moment? Confess in the comments or join the linkup over at My Home Truths!