Yesterday I wrote about doing work that matters and how to distinguish that from understanding that YOU matter. Throughout the journey of this new position, I have discovered a lot of things about myself that I had forgotten:
1.) Burn out is a real possibility because I don’t know when to say no. When you do what you love for a living, suddenly, it’s all you think and talk about. You live and breathe this stuff, as the Advanced Business Solutions motto goes. And while that can energize you, it can also drain you if you’re not careful. I knew so many musician friends of mine who quit college because they didn’t want to ruin their love for music by dissecting it to death every day.
2.) I always feel like a kid at the grown-ups table when I start something new. Even though I know my stuff and I work really hard, I always have this nagging feeling that someone is looking at me like “what is SHE doing here??”. This insecurity has been an unwelcome visitor the past few days.
3.) Change is hard. For everyone. Every single time. I always think that this time, the change will be easier because it’s a different set of circumstances. And I’m always 100% wrong. Change is always difficult and after shininess of the “new” wears off, you’re suddenly the “change” and the polite smiles have been replaced with guarded words and conspicuous whispers.
So here are the ways that I’ve come up with so far to combat these three nasty personal demons that pop up for me occassionally:
1.) Learn the Art of Balance. Since it’s hard for me to say no, I’m switching to “Not Right Now”. This way, I still feel like I am helping out, without burning out. I’m also learning to set aside 30 minutes of “me” time daily. I can use it however I want, as long as it doesn’t involve Arts Integration. Lately, I’ve been using for some exercise in this beautiful weather, having dance parties with my daughter, and taking some photographs (just for fun)!
2.) Give myself permission to ask thoughtful questions and put the solutions into practice. Everyone is learning – no one is really an adult. People are just people, all looking for ways to improve themselves and their lives. So there is no “table” anymore – we’re all in the sandbox together.
3.) Accept that the change will be hard for some people and give them the space they need to deal with it. I so want to jump in and be helpful and cheerful, but if someone is upset by the change of my position, I’m not doing them any favors by being Little Miss Sunshine. I would be more helpful if I backed off. So that’s what I’m going to do.
Doing what you love for a living can come with some unexpected surprises along the way. The trick is to figure out ways of dealing with them on your own terms so that your love stays your passion.
What are some things that you have discovered in your job journeys? Any advice to share?
Susan Riley is the founder and President of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.