[fr] Réflexions sur le travail, sur mon travail, et pile de liens intéressants.
I was reading this, this morning: Screw Finding Your Passion. I read it because I was pretty sure I’d agree with it, and I was pretty sure I knew what it would say. I was right.
Every now and again I have a relapse and lose time and energy wondering what my “true calling” is. But largely, I’m very much aware that:
- work is work; even if it is your “dream job”, part of it (at least) ends up being work; if you’re not lucky, the whole thing you once loved downgrades to “work”
- many times, important career moments happen to you, rather than you making them happen; it’s definitely been like that for me, and like to author of this article, I don’t really know how to respond to people who look at me for advice on how to follow my path of professional independence, given I didn’t do it on purpose, and never really “decided” to have a freelance career.
In the little “in-between” space I’m in right now, I get these relapses. I wonder if I can continue doing what I’ve been doing up to now (hi there, imposter syndrome). I wonder what it is that I’m really good at, or that I really enjoy doing (as work). I try to think of new “products” or “services” and remember that in the past, this has never been a successful way to do things for me. I remember how much energy I put into Going Solo, for an event that was indeed a success for those who took part, but that didn’t earn me any income. And how the year before that, I’d been dreaming up new wonderful things I wanted to do with clients but for which there was no market. (Sorry for all the Markdown in these old posts, by the way, Jetpack’s Markdown is on strike here.)
If I try to think about what I’m already doing with my time, let’s see:
- reading (fiction and online stuff)
- tinkering with computers (misbehaving, or improving, or helping their humans get along with them)
- meeting people and having long conversations on a variety of topics (some personal, some professional)
- just “living” (gosh, it takes so much time, specially when you’re alone to do it all: cooking, eating, shopping, dealing with admin, thinking about putting new kitchen in, bills, plants and cats to take care of, car broken down, organising stay at the chalet, walking dogs with neighbours, digital maintenance…)
- trying to figure things out (me, others, the world, the meaning of life, reluctant computers…)
- not doing my 2015 accounting, getting my business site back online and updating it, preparing feedback emails for my students (coming, I promise)
One of these long conversations, last week, helped me make another step forwards in understanding where some stuff I was thinking of doing fitted in the global business ecosystem. I mentioned these digital workshops already, didn’t I? Well, I was struggling with their business model. As they are not proper training led by business needs, I couldn’t imagine who would pay for them.
And now the answer is obvious: Human Ressources. More precisely, Compensation & Benefits. Yes, HR’s job is also to keep employees happy to be working for the company, provide attractive benefits, and offer opportunities for development. (If you’re working in HR and cringing, my apologies, as you can see I’m only just discovering this area of business.) It’s falling into place. I can offer packages of 5 or 10 workshops for a set fee, for example. These workshops could also come and complement preexisting workshops in other areas which would benefit from the inclusion of digital topics.
Another area I was thinking of developing a couple of years back was some kind of “digital/productivity mentoring” for managers. It never really took shape, mainly because I was rather quickly too busy to put energy into this idea — but thinking about it again now, I realise it’s probably also a “Human Resources = client” offering.
(If you’re in HR I would love to talk to you and see if these ideas hold water or not. Do get in touch.)
Another interesting idea that came up during this discussion was that what I’ve been calling my “mediation” or “bridge” skills, for lack of better word, could in fact be called “coordination”. It’s close, in any case. I am good at absorbing information, I understand and learn fast, and once that is done, I am good at putting it in words that “external” people can understand. I keep together people with different backgrounds, languages, cultures, in a way. I’m still thinking what this can be useful for, apart from the obvious “coordination” of multi-disciplinary teams and the like. Where is the entrance for this?
So, all these lunches seem to be getting me somewhere. Not quite sure where, though. Six months from now it will look painfully obvious with 20/20 hindsight.
In other news:
- I’ve started making sourdough bread. It’s super easy and tastes delicious. I should write a whole post about this.
- Remember I spent a lot of time in India struggling with Lightroom and Apple Photos? I need to write a follow-up post on this, but short story: both have sucky duplicate management. At some point I’ll figure the best way to import Photos pics into Lightroom, but it won’t be through Lightroom mobile. Yesterday I played with Photos’s editing capabilities and album sharing, and I feel myself slowly falling for it (most of my photos are taken with my iPhone these days).
- Listen to/watch this and this and this and this.
- I want this. (Yes I know this is bad linking technique.)
- I have never been much interested in Jane Fonda. I’m too young, I guess. Well, this episode of Death, Sex, and Money with her was fascinating, and made me want to learn more about her.
- I’ve updated all my Google Authentificator codes on my new phone. No way to import or transfer, just had to log into every service, disable two-factor authentification (most of the time), re-enable, scan barcode with new phone. That’s done. I can now wipe the phone and send it back to David, whom I cannot thank enough.
- Retirement approaching, my lovely friend Sylvie Nicolet is blogging her journalism career, spanning 40 years. It’s wonderful to read. In French.
- I left here for a while to dig through my Facebook posts, trying to remember if there was other stuff I wanted to share. I’m still not good at taking notes for future blog posts.
- During this little escapade, I decided to repost my bridge-tourist-guide-ferryman-hostess post to LinkedIn, Medium, and Facebook. Text is OK, but images suck. Copy-paste to Medium works from WordPress, but Facebook makes me upload the images first and LinkedIn… well, LinkedIn tells me to upload the images but it fails miserably. I’m interested in this little cross-posting experiment.
- Open tabs to be read next: Anti-Intellectualism is Killing America, Jon Ronson: ‘Time and again on Twitter we act like the thing we purport to hate’, Websites and apps are designed for compulsion, even addiction. Should the net be regulated like drugs or casinos?.
- Oh! Is Corporate Social Media Losing its Human Face? I completely agree with Shel. Marketing “owns” social media, and it’s one of the reasons I feel more and more estranged from it.
Heck. It’s already tomorrow.