I watched Adam Leipzig’s TED Talk last night on how to know your life’s purpose in 5 minutes.
- Who You Are? I am a Problem Solver
- What You Do? I design and develop custom software with web and database technologies.
- Who You Do It For? I work for a business on a team.
- What Do They Want or Need? They have problems that need solving.
- How Do They Change as a Result? They get more efficient and increase profits.
So in the future if someone asks me “What do you do?”, I should say “I help businesses get more efficient and increase profits”! Then if they really want to know more, they will ask and I can then mention things like software development – yes!
The frustration that I sometimes have is that this doesn’t really happen often enough. Since I solve problems, let me try to solve my own challenge now. The breakdown is #4 – they think they want something different than they really need! I am very seldom asked how to solve any problem – I’m usually just told what to do. But that means that we often don’t even stop to understand the actual problem, let alone attempt to solve it. So much for being a problem solver!
Some things are simple enough and not worth fussing over, so I do them. But this just re-enforces the culture of being fast-paced, so this happens more and more. And then my time is spent doing things that seem nice, but don’t really accomplish anything. Put enough together and it may even make things worse. And I am not doing what I really do best, and I feel a little frustrated. But at least my team is happier in most of these situations, so I’m not too stressed about it.
Many things however are bigger and need to be better understood first. Or maybe they are problems I already understand given my experience, but I’m being asked to do something different. It might just be inefficient, but it might actually make things worse. But too often my managers or team-members just see me trying to slow them down since they already believe they told me what to do! And once again, I am not doing what I really do, and I feel very frustrated now.
So I need to get over my anxiety and fears and find a way to address this frustration. I think I can start with my job description – it is full of things that claim I should be solving problems. Maybe not in those exact words of course, but the business words that are used are clearly not what I actually am doing! So I think I can take that job description and use it to illustrate that they are not maximizing their opportunity to get more efficient and increase profits! Win win!