The following post is from Michelle of Mommy Misadventures:
As we kick off the year, here are three words to consider adding to your vocabulary — or using a little more regularly — in 2013:
For lots of work at home professionals, isolation can be a challenge. Online communication like e-mail, IM and voice chat help keep us all in touch while online groups like mailing lists and boards and chatter via Facebook and Twitter take the place of standard office water cooler talk.
But despite these technological advances, nothing beats the energy and excitement you get from meeting in person. When I worked in an office, I must have said “hello” or “good morning” to at least ten people before I had even reached my chair. Contrast that to working at home where, if not for my family being at home with me, I could probably go an entire week without saying “hello” aloud to anyone aside from my family.
There’s just an intangible energy you get from really connecting with your clients and colleagues in a real world setting. I’m making it a goal this year not only to meet more new people in person through things like professional mixers and blogger events but also keep in touch with my local clients and colleagues over a cup of coffee whenever possible.
Last year, I was in the habit of saying “yes” to whatever work came my way. “More work is the sign of a success!” I thought; if more work was coming in, I must be doing well. After a few months of this, I was making (marginally) more money, but I was unhappy. I had taken on too much, too quickly, doing work that I was capable of doing but wasn’t passionate about. I’m not proud to admit that the quality of my work at the time was not great. When a project I was more interested did come up, I was already tied up or too busy to accept it. More importantly, the workload was taking a toll on my family life. Not cool.
I learned a valuable lesson: Just because I can accept a project doesn’t necessarily mean I should. So this year, I reassessed my work priorities. I drew up a list about what was important to me and I’m determined to work on projects that align with this list. That sometimes that means saying “no” to projects that I would have accepted a year ago.
On the upside, while I may turn down a project for myself, I can turn it around into opportunity for someone else. Saying “no” to projects means I recommend other people in my circles for projects that align better with their specialties.
When a plea for help circulates in my networking circles, I’m more than happy to volunteer my services. But being on the other side of that equation, well, that’s a new one for me. For too long, I’ve allowed myself to toil through projects that I could really use some help on but without reaching out to my support network.
Establishing my priorities this year had a great side effect: it helped me accept my limitations. By accepting these limitations — and accepting that no one has to do everything on their own — I am able to recognize when I need help. And it’s good to ask for help. you don’t ask, no one will know that you need it. Reaching out to ask for help not only lightens the workload but also helps create and reinforce new work connections and collaborations.
What words can you think of to help change up YOUR work style this year?
|Michelle Mista is an IT professional, writer and blogger with a love for all kinds of technology. She writes about tech tips and trends for work at home professionals on her portfolio blog and muses about motherhood at Mommy Misadventures. She is on the constant quest to balance life, work and geekery.|