A work in progress
A few weeks ago I came across an interesting blog about change. I've been pondering it ever since because of the Daniel Gilbert quote, which I hadn't heard before: "human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're finished."
This idea that we are works in progress is, to me, liberating - and I wonder why it didn't occur to me sooner. It gives us permission to change, to experiment, to give things a go. On one level I'm the same person I've always been, but on another level I'm not. I'm not the same person I was 10 years ago, 5 years ago, a year ago, even a month ago - and that's ok. Life happens, experiences happen, opportunities happen. I'm also excited to think about the future.
Talking of opportunities, I've also been thinking of the awesome Amy Walduck and Sally Turbitt's presentation at last month's LIANZA #open17 conference. For many reasons that conference was intensely personal and potentially life changing for me. One thing that really resonated was Amy and Sally talking about not having a fixed plan and embracing opportunities when they come along. I think this is a great philosophy, because you never know what's going to happen.
For example, a couple of years ago I had finally, after a long winding earthquake potted road, got a full-time permanent job in a team I really wanted to be in. I wasn't even going to look at another job for at least a year or two. However, after about 3 months a great opportunity to do something different and to progress my career came up, so I took a deep breath and grabbed the opportunity. I haven't regretted it.
There are also times when things you really can't see the point of turn out to be things you totally adore. I couldn't see the point of Twitter and only joined because our team looked after out of hours social media and I thought I better have a vague idea of what its all about. However, following the 2013 National Digital Forum I became hooked on Twitter. I have made some wonderful connections and friends, and took the lead on social media at LIANZA #open17 (with plenty of help from some wonderful people).
In the same vein I couldn't see myself as a blogger. Why would anyone be interested in me? I became a web contributor at work but I really thought I wanted to proof read and fact-check. I did a writing for the web course run by our divinely fabulous Web Team, cos I thought it might be useful. This started me blogging at work and I haven't shut up since. Earlier this year the wonderful Kim Tairi was looking for contributors for a blog she was starting. Another opportunity seized - which is why I am writing this for you now, dear readers.
Work is also a work in progress. If it wasn't we'd still be using card catalogues (which some people would quite like). Whether it's a new eresource to get the hang of, a new process, a new team member, a new building, a new philosophy, nothing sits still for 5 minutes. Sometimes this can feel a bit much, particularly when a lot of changes happen at the same time, and different people deal with change in different ways, but overall it's best to go along for the ride as it can take to you to great places. And if it doesn't something else will always come along.
I think it's safe to say that I have a growth mindset, which not everyone does. Which is why I'm always keen to read about change to find ways to help my colleagues when they're feeling uncertain. Which takes us back to the beginning...