Thursday, April 13, 2006

Strengths and Weakness. Doing What You Love

I love my boss. I really love my boss. She is the type of woman who would never belittle. She gives feedback without making you feel like shit. She will give constructive criticism but at the same time discuss your strengths.

She buys me this book called “First Break All The Rules, Now Discover Your Strengths” And brings me into her office to discuss my strengths and weaknesses in my job.

See this is my first real office type job. I was a dance teacher for almost 8 years. Then when I worked at the Corporate Office of Hot Topic, it was very micro managed and structured. I knew what I had to do each and every minute. This is the first job where I actually have responsibilities that lie solely on me. So I have learned a lot.

So my boss brings me into her office because we have not had a one on one (she likes those) in a few months and she asks me if having this job has made me sway one way or another on what I want to do. She says it in a way where I can be honest.

I tell her I have learned so much and feel I am getting better at what we both know are my weakness (effective time management, follow up, normal office type stuff).

She tells me that she knows I am but the strengths she sees in me she does not see in an office type setting when it comes to picking a career.

“Let me start by telling you that everyone loves you here. You fit in well. You get along with everyone. I notice strengths in you that I only see in one in a million people. Now tell me what is it that you love.”

So I tell her.

“Do you know what I love? Do you know what I love to do? I love to sit here and create strategic management grids. When I do that time just flies by. You see if you have a job you love, time flies by. You are an amazing talker. You are amazing with people. You are an amazing writer. I have to wonder if you majored in communications because you thought that is what it was. You know this job is just a part time job you have while you are in school. We love you at this job but we both know you don’t want to be an admin assistant and when I see your strengths I don’t see you in this setting after school either”

I swear, her honesty is so refreshing. When she says this to me she is talking to me like a mentor, not a boss. She is saying this because she wants to see me graduate with an idea of what I want. I do well at my job, but it is defiantly not my strength.

“To tell you the truth L, I have been at a cross roads. I have learned so much in this job. This is my first big office job working with people with college degrees and I had notice that Marketing is more like business than anything. I have been thinking about what it is I really want to do. I want to write. I want to write a book. I love people, I love reading people.”

This conversation is so funny because, there was a girl that used to work in the office (see previous post about girl I couldn’t stand) who was 22, with a high powered job, already had a stock portfolio, was so organized it was gross, never seemed stressed, always had a new outfit, and found time to cook. She was always one step ahead of the game and found little weird ways to organize her work that I could not think of in my lifetime. When I had this conversation with my boss she alluded to, when she was talking about strengths and such, that some people, like “people that have worked here are extremely organized but they are not warm and not good people people.” I knew she was talking about her and I didn’t say anything. However, it made sense to me.

Then she says something to me that just hit home with me. She said, “Rachel, just because someone might have something you don’t, it only means you have something they don’t. Just because you might not fit in a certain career, means you are a perfect fit in another. Knowing how to make graphs, keep files neat, and knowing business only works here, what you have, you can work in a million settings and excel.”

She is right. Just because we don’t fit a model criteria does not mean we don’t fit anywhere. Some of us naturally don’t have that business sense in them. I could never do data analysis, grids, and the like and that is ok… I got something else.

And, I fit somewhere

1 comment:

Amy said...

You do. And so do I. We'll both figure it out eventually. :)