Wednesday 6 April 2011

Understanding success

I'm struggling with something at the moment. I might be the only one. But I figured if I don't post I wont find out. 

I don't know how to judge my own success at my job.

There, I've said it.

In my old post, I had clear targets and objectives. I knew what I needed to do and by one and 9 times out of 10 I went home with a clear desk, comfortable in the knowledge I was performing and most of the time, certainly meeting other peoples expectations of me, if not exceeding them. I spent a lot of time a bit bored around the edges so I spent a lot of time finding things to do, things to teach myself, project teams to get involved with and the job evolved and so did I into someone who was a little bit more confident than when I started.

I feel the complete opposite at the moment.

Social media is becoming a topic of conversation in places I never thought it would in our organisation. We've got the go ahead to create a young peoples consultation events and info page, pending a safeguarding protocol which we do need and I'm glad we're going to have. Pennies are dropping for Directors. I'm giving presentations and not cocking them up, frankly, not babbling, not rushing, not disintegrating into a nervous panicking mess. Our Managing Director is on Yammer and it's going well, being used for really cool projects and knowledge sharing and everyone is being incredibly positive. I think I managed to save ICT £25,000 the other day by pointing them at an open source but supported solution rather than a big shiny all singing all dancing alternative which was almost identical in functionality to the open source one. I'm holding my own in meetings I'm quietly terrified of and I'm going to be pulling together a few prominently enthusiastic people into a digital comms user group replete with post it notes and brainstorming to try and focus on the barriers but also the successes we're achieving in each Department as well as sharing best practice. Yes, we could do it on Yammer but sometimes only post it notes will do.

All of these things are wonderful. All of these things are, frankly, astounding in places, all things considered.

So why on earth do I feel like a failure? Why can't I adjust my thinking so I don't see never clearing my desk as a failure? Why can I not just be satisfied with what I am achieving? Why do I feel like I am letting my bosses at various levels down? Why am I incapable of accepting that some small part of all of those successes and movements and forward thinking things might be something I contributed a tiny bit to?

I am incapable of believing, it seems, that I can do something good. Despite wanting very much to do so. And I just don't understand at all.


  1. Welcome to the world of the future. There is no limit any more to what we can achieve. You will have to get used to it, and just do the best you can every day as you are doing. You are doing good, but there is no longer a measuring stick. Be brave, stay strong, and JFDI.

  2. Sounds like you're just leaving the world that schools instill in us from early years - the idea that we need to provide the pre-determined "correct" answer, and that everything is judged relative to what's expected. (Note that in school you can only get judged in terms of how close to 100% you are - not how much you work around or beyond the curriculum.)

    There is no "right" answer. Freedom is slavery. Here be monsters. Confidence is everything.