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Ben Patton
Ben Patton

Posted on • Originally published at Medium on

Transforming Your Work


Photo by Jeffery Ho on Unsplash

I have written a decent amount on the ‘change you are seeking to make.’ Today I wanted to share some of my experience with this and lessons I am learning.

Change I Want to Make

Over the past year I have been in 6 different jobs. I ended my time with a 4 year contract in June 2020. I had a part-time job between schooling and then end of the previous job. I started freelancing. I got another part-time developer job in December. In January I got my first full-time developer job. Then in June of this year I started at my current job.

One thing I have learned is that the job I am ‘hired’ for is rarely the job that I spend the most time thinking about. There are so many more things that are perceptively ‘more important’ than the job I was brought on to do.

But communicating that to an employer is very difficult. If you communicate too quickly it looks like complaining and like you are wanting to ‘take over.’ But I really could care less about those things. Solving these issues, in my opinion, would make the job I was hired to do the job that I can focus on in the future.

But, I think I am learning two things.

  1. Shifting Perspective — Things are not as cut and dry as I think they are
  2. Pivoting — Sometimes you have to pivot on how you go about making the change you are trying to make.

Shifting Perspective

This is mostly internal perspective and I spoke about it some in the article where I wrote about the truth that my wife spoke to me.

Basically it is this, that no mater if the problem I am working to solve is solved, I will find something else to work towards.

That thought and reality has been a powerful for me. In one sense it is a loving and caring rebuke. I think I will do the work I was hired to do ‘if this other thing is done.’ But time has shown me that I idealize everything. So this would most likely not be the case. Wins are hard to celebrate because there are always more problems to solve.

So this thinking has helped me look inward and ask a different question, how can I impact the company positively by ‘doing my job.’ Maybe another way,

How can I transform my work through my job?

The helps me focus on the work I was brought on to do but also simultaneously focus on delivering value through the work rather than postponing the work until other things are done.

Pivoting

So I am pivoting. There are still things that I seek to change at work. But some of them are out of my control and frankly, a lot of people just do not care. So my job, from my perspective, is to transform my work be implementing things in my day to day, that solve issues that will grow to impact larger patterns and practices.

Like planting a seed. Watering it. Tilling the soil. Watching it grow. Watching it in season and out of season. Watching it start to die. Pruning it. And on and on.

Sometimes you and I have to pivot in what we are trying to do. That does not necessarily mean quitting. Sometimes quitting is the answer and learning to be ok with that is its own struggle. But pivoting, rightly and appropriately, is shows wisdom and discernment (lest you think I am calling myself wise, I am not. I am calling my wife wise who helped me see what I was doing).

How can you transform your work today?

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