One thing that I struggle with at work is taking authority vs waiting for some sort of permission. With my current employer, I haven’t taken much at all and I think that has a big impact on where I am with the company and how much I dislike working there.
Yesterday, the editor of The Daily Quirk held a Google Hangout meeting and I had no problem speaking up in that. Even though some of the ideas that I had might not end up being the best of ideas for the site, I know that sharing them is the only way to get them heard an for them to have any chance of working.
What’s the difference between these two situations? Well, there are a few. For one, my current job is in a field that I don’t feel I have any real expertise in, so initially I had no reason to share and then I felt like it was kind of established that I didn’t have a voice. With TDQ, I may not know the most, but I do know something, so there was no reason not to speak up. I also like what I do with TDQ, which is not something that I can say about my current job.
The biggest difference though, is that my feedback and input has always been welcome with The Daily Quirk. I never had to take any authority, my editor has always assumed that we all have it to some level, so I’ve been free to take it.
I don’t believe that this is something that I can now do with my current job, which is one of many reasons that I’m looking for something else, but I think that if I had approached it differently when I started, I might have been able to shape it better for my future with the company.
I’m finding that when I am voiceless at work, I start to become voiceless in my own life. I know that might sound odd, but there are some big things that I want to do that take a lot of little steps and I’ve found myself avoiding those little steps because I somehow feel like I don’t know enough to be taking them. I do know enough for some of them and the others I can learn enough, but I’ve been so stifled by a job that I don’t even like that I’m not moving forward with anything outside of that job.
I hope that I will remember this feeling when I find a new job because I think it’s important to establish that I have a voice in the beginning.