ALL THE JOB’S A STAGE
Having done many jobs in my life as both a journalist and editor I’ve long considered it a personal truth that there are three ‘stages’ to a job. Let me explain. The first is when you apply for a job and much to your delight (and possibly surprise) you find you get it. And why shouldn’t you? You’ve got the tools, you’ve got the talent. But there’s that small still voice at the back of your mind that says: “Is this really what you wanted? Are you sure you can really it do it?” It’s probably a natural reaction, the nerves that come when you find you’ve climbed up another rung on the ladder. But trust me---a desire not to screw up in a new job is not a bad motivator. The next stage comes into play when you’ve been doing the job long enough to feel you’re on top of you’re game—and you really go for it, stretching yourself in the position, challenging the status quo, confident in your abilities. Finally, there’s the most difficult stage of all---when you’ve been in the job long enough to do it with your eyes closed. You know exactly how hard you need to work and how much you need to do to get the job done. And that, my friends, is one of the most difficult stages of all. At that point there’s no uncertainty, fear or naked ambition to drive you forward. Let’s face it you’re not exactly stale, rather residing in a ‘fur-lined rut’. Is that so bad? Well in today’s uncertain environment, being 100% secure in the knowledge that you’ve got everything covered in your job is highly commendable. And with no guarantee of an imminent economic revival, looking to a fresher field is not without its risks. But just suppose that you DO want to rekindle that fire in your belly whilst remaining in your existing company. Your next personal appraisal could well be the opportunity to talk about it. What better time to sit down with your manager and say: “I need a new challenge, new responsibilities—in short I need to re-invent myself, both for my own good and for the good of the company.” After all, isn’t that what the ‘personal’ in personal appraisal is all about?