What I am Thankful For – Day 3

Today I am thankful for my job – for several reasons. 

  • First, I am able to earn money that pays for my house, my car, groceries for my family, utilities to heat my house, and generally provide for my family. 
  • Second, my job provides health insurance, which I will have to use today when I take the girls to the doctor for possible ear infections. 
  • Third, my job allows me to use my education and experience for the betterment of the company.
  • Lastly, my job is 10 minutes from my house.  That allows me to spend more time with my family and be available for my kids if they are sick.

I have worked a lot of jobs in my life and I can honestly say that this job is one of the best I have had.  I appreciate the fact that they took a chance and hired me.

Can You Help Me Get Better?

A few weeks ago, Jon Acuff posted about his experience rehearsing for the Quitter conference he had coming up (http://www.jonacuff.com/blog/who-likes-you-enough-to-help-you-get-better/).  In the post, he discussed how he asked someone to critique his presentation.  He discusses how someone providing you with honest feedback on how to improve your work product is better than the customary pat on the back.

Everyone likes to think they have done a great job on a project.  They want that pat on the back.  They don’t want to hear that something they have spent hours completing is flawed in anyway.  Feedback is tough.  But I think that by opening yourself up to receiving feedback in a constructive manner, and honestly soliciting quality feedback is a great way to improve.

I have a full-time job where I spend a lot of time writing.  It’s something that I love to do.  But I’ll be honest, as much as I love learning different things about my company – things that not a lot of other people learn about – sometimes the writing can be kind of dry.  So I try my best to find ways to take very intense, complicated topics and make them simpler.  I am able to do this because those I work for are patient and able to explain the topics in a way that I can glean information out of them for everyone else.  I also do a lot of research so that I can figure it out on my own.  But I’m not perfect, nor am I the expert.

Sometimes I get it wrong.  Words are tricky things.  It’s so easy to change the meaning of something by changing just a few words.  It’s easy to oversimplify something to the point that it doesn’t make any sense.  Some people who look at my work are really good about offering suggestions to improve the writing.  Others don’t provide any feedback – their silence is the tacit approval of what I have written for them.  I would much rather have someone read my writing and help me to understand how to make it better than to continue to produce work that is sub-par.

Writing this blog is a way for me to improve my writing.  So I am asking for your help.  As you read the postings on my blog, I ask that you provide feedback.  The posts all have ranking buttons at the bottom – feel free to use them.  All posts have a comment feature – feel free to leave feedback.  What do you like about my writing?  What don’t you write about my writing?

No Complaining? Sign Me Up!

I need this sign some days.

Daniel Decker’s blog post about no complaining in the office has me thinking  about how much I complain and how much I hear various people complain.  Of course this is not limited to the office.  It’s at home, while out running errands, while visiting others, everywhere.

What makes it worse is when the complaining is partnered with either the whiny voice, the martyr voice, or the self-righteous voice.  All of which are equally bad, but the whiny voice drives me up the wall (just ask my daughters!).

Why do people complain?  Maybe because they want to tell someone about how they were wronged (or how they wronged someone else); maybe because something is not quite right in their life; maybe they just want to talk to someone and complaining is the only way they know to get someone to listen.

The problem is that complaining for the sake of complaining is just not productive.  How many hours do you lose over the course of a month listening to a co-worker complain about something that you could either do nothing about, or something that if they would actually do their job there wouldn’t be an issue?  Or better yet, if they would use the time to fix the problem that they spent complaining, the problem would be gone?  Time spent complaining is less time that you have to work, less time you have with your family, less time you have doing the things that mean something to you.  Of course the reverse is true.  The time you spend complaining keeps you from fixing the problem as well and being a productive employee.

I know you can’t police everyone’s speech.  It’s not fair and it’s not right.  However, you can monitor your own.  This isn’t to say you have to be Miss Mary Sunshine all the time, but at least think about what is coming out of your mouth.  Think about the time you are spending complaining.  Think about how you may be keeping others from doing something they want/need to do.

Does your office need a no complaining rule?  Maybe, if the complaining is out of control and it has manage to infect every area of your business.  But I think it can be dealt with on a person by person basis if people would just be more conscious of what they are doing.  I am going to try and do my part by watching how much I complain.

Thoughts?  How can you reduce the amount of complaining you do or that others do to you?

See Daniel’s original post here: http://www.danieldecker.net/does-your-office-need-a-no-complaining-rule/

What’s More Important

saturated writing

At this point in my life, it is both. I like where I live because I am close to family and it would be very difficult for me to raise my kids without my family around. I want my kids to know their cousins, grandparents, aunts & uncles. Yeah, they can get on my nerves at times and sometimes I want to ignore them all and run away, but they are still my family and having lived away from them for a number of years, I am glad I am back.

That being said, without loving what I do, I would be miserable. I have had jobs I liked because of the job, jobs I have liked because of the people and jobs I have had to do to earn money. My current job is the one of the best I have had – for both people and the job. The job I have is the perfect one for me. It uses both of my degrees and has a certain degree of flexibility.

The place I live may not be the most “happening” but it’s a good place to raise a family. The place I live may not have a plethora of good jobs but it has a number of really good companies that people want to work for because they take care of their employees and there is room for advancement. Luckily, I work for one of those companies.

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