It’s been just over a month since I left Edelman and decided to take some time out to work out where I’m going to take my career.
In that time Christmas has come and gone, the New Year has flown in and the return to work has started in earnest as people try to beat the January blues.
Not having a regular place to be each morning has provided me with a new perspective on not only work, but also life and lifestyle too.
I was speaking with my Dad a few weeks back about what I’m up to and the various routes I’ve been thinking about. He did a similar thing when he was younger too; quit his job and became self employed.
He said that after a little time he tried to go back into regular work, but he found the allure of being his own boss too strong (my phrasing, not his!) and that he left that job quickly to build his own business.
I can totally see why that is. Income self-sufficiency is frightening when you’ve been in a regular paying job for a long time, but it helps you to understand the importance of working on time, to a high standard and within boundaries.
I’m not saying that you don’t appreciate these things if you’re not the person pulling the strings. There can be the temptation to get a job done, churn through it as best you can and then deliver it so that you can leave before 7pm.
As social media evolves, the tasks we do become more and more ‘bread and butter’.
When I started out, even six years ago, the notion of online listening was embryonic. Now it is past the point of neccessity – if you’re not conducting online listening, you really should be. If you don’t know how the tools work (Radian6, Netbase, Sysomos etc.) not only are you missing a fundamental building block of being a solid digital comms professional, you’re doing your clients a disservice.
It’s taken as a given that this sort of job can just be done now.
It’s this sort of job that can be over-looked as we try to work our hardest to get out the door before the cleaners come sweeping through the office like a doom-monger that essentially says “oh, microwave chicken and chips for dinner tonight then?”.
We need to become better at giving clients boundaries that we can work within to give them the best service possible. And, just as importantly, we must give them boundaries that will enable us to deliver work that is of a high standard, not rushed and actually enjoyable.
It’s been reiterated during the last few weeks that work is a two way thing: do your best and you’ll become better. Whether it’s in terms of analysis, client consultancy or listening and monitoring.
Whether I will look to develop the whole ‘being my own boss’ thing, I don’t know yet, and that’s what this process is for.
What I do know is that giving yourself time to complete a job to the utmost of your ability is the starting point for making you a better person/employee/manager/client executive/digital executive.
You have the ability to make it happen, so what are you waiting for?