I saw this job posting in an email:
"Training/OD Manager, Denver, CO, 8 month contract assignment – client is looking for a project manager to help company with major initiative to expand the number of college hires and their integration into the company. Need someone to work with a fleet of consultants and inside subject matter experts to develop rotational training programs. Training and Organizational Development background required, oil and gas experience a plus. Ability to manage external consultants."
My first reaction was "I could do this job." I’ve done project management before, have done tons of interviewing and helped flesh out recruiting processes, and am comfortable working with different groups of stakeholders towards a shared goal. I manage third parties easily and know where the boundaries are. And I live in the Denver area.
I caught myself but it took several days of this email sitting in my inbox. It was the equivalent of the devil, tempting me to a path that seemed close to the one I’m currently on but in actuality, is a world apart. The posting is about competence and achievement. I can do this job and do it well.
My life is about meaning and creative freedom. I stand in an uncomfortable place, in between a steady paycheck and freedom. In my weak moments, I dream about the steady paycheck. In my strong moments, I revel in the freedom.
Yesterday, I had a call with my writing coach. I talked about how writing had become difficult. I was writing good stuff but I was "squeaking by." After a few minutes of background, my coach said, "It sounds like you’ve got some rules you’ve made up and some of the rules are conflicting." This brought about a whole rush of emotion on rules that I used to live by in large corporations. Only now, I was the one who had created the rules and consequently, had put myself into a box. Damn. It’s so much worse when I do it to myself.
Then my coach said, "What I know about you is that your spirit won’t let you get completely boxed in. You’ll do something before you get to that point." Creative freedom. Yes, I could do the job. But why?
So my coach gave me the assignment of writing down the rules that have been stifling me. I called these Rules That Don’t Apply. After I wrote what came to mind, I decided to create Rules To Write By. Here they are:
- Write to engage/entertain myself—so that I’d like to read it over again. If I am bored with my writing, others will be too.
- Write from my personal experience and what I learned from that experience
- Don’t take myself too seriously
- Respect the intelligence of the audience.
- Tell the story instead of stating the point.
I invite you to list your own Rules That Don’t Apply and create your own Rules to [Live, Work, Play] By. And keep an eye out for the devil…..