While going through my files, I stumbled upon an article I wrote a couple of years ago around joy in the workplace. You can read the original article here NODA Orientation Review – Fall 2008 (I’m on page 9). Finding this article again almost seemed like fate (or at least a very strange coincidence). Lately, as much as I know, and always have known, how much I love what I do, I’ve felt like I’ve been hitting the proverbial wall. Along with the large (metaphorical) bruises, I’ve found I needed to dig just a little deeper to keep going.
Working with students in their personal and professional development has been a passion of mine for just about as long as I can remember (if I developed a very selective form of amnesia and could only remember as far back as second year university, but I digress), but I can very easily get bogged down in the research and writing and revising and writing and reading and meetings and MORE MEETINGS that all lead up to delivering a presentation or running an event. While I certainly recognize these activities as necessary and productive (most of the time), it can feel rather isolating to spend days in front of a computer, especially when you draw your energy from working with others like I do.
So what keeps me going when I spend days at a time in the R&D mode (that’s Research & Duplicate)? I could talk about the ‘higher purpose’ of it all – seeing the ‘bigger picture’ and knowing that, ultimately, ‘this is for the students’. While all that may be true, I sometimes have trouble thinking in such abstract terms and try to find something more concrete to keep me going. What’s truly keeping me going these days is a little bit of professional S&T (Show & Tell). Sharing and discussing what I’m researching and writing with other professionals and colleagues is the most tangible way I have to remind me of what’s important and why I do what I do. Not only can I get energy from interacting with others, I learn something new that makes the ongoing, sometimes tedious process much more enjoyable. Selfishly, it’s part of the reason I started this website. I get the chance to learn, grow and share with all of you – that’s what will keep me going as I sit down to rework these presentation slides yet again. Onward and upward!