Better not Perfect

I am learning a lot at my job. It’s one of the reasons I keep on keeping on – the continual learning process. We all know how hard it is to feel confident that we are in anyway doing a good job but I feel like I am able to recognize a few things that while I am not doing them perfectly I am doing them better than I have before.

I have gotten better at planning ahead and making sure that I keep my plans up to date. I have gotten better at owning my own professional development. I will admit that I bought into the lessons I learned in school – a manager’s job is to help you succeed and develop. I now understand practically speaking that people can help me along the way, but a manager will not sit down and help me think through where I want to go. I have learned how to present my ideas and projects in a clear manner. I have gotten better at French (though I know I have a LONG way to go especially with written French).

Overall, I still worry about what I could be doing, how I can work with others more effectively, and generally how do I go from feeling like I am doing an alright job to knowing I am doing the best I can. So what do you do when you aren’t feeling very confident? How do you keep calm when the storms they are a brewin’?

I spent a lot of last year feeling angry at my circumstances – unable to see the ways that I could fix my own situation and feeling like I wasn’t able to get the guidance I so desperately wanted. It’s hard to find a coach for the line of work I do, when the context is so different from many others. I am learning though that maybe I don’t need just one designated person who helps advise me – but I can take small lessons from the people around me and grow just the same. I learn patience from my colleague who always seems calm and grounded. I learn analysis from my colleague who excels at data management. I learn how to push myself from people living in Bamako who have a life/background very different than the non-profit world. Slowly but surely I am becoming a better professional (and I hope a more well-rounded person) because I am surrounded by an incredible army of people both here in Bamako and now the world over who help me to be and do better. Thanks guys.

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