Recently he suggested I take on a case study, in which we were to collaborate on a project. I was intrigued, as I had never done such a thing before. But my colleagues seemed less than enthusiastic. My guess is that they were already concerned with workloads and deadlines, so why add yet another one?
It turns out that my colleague’s concern for me may be related to workload. At least, this is what he tries to tell me. My coursework was getting quite long, and he needed someone to manage the coursework. My course was varied – from a micro-level of programming to large-scale business applications. Whatever the case, I knew that taking on the extra coursework would mean more work for me.
The extra coursework was, in fact, a godsend. It gave me the time to really think about what I was doing with my ideas and to explore them further. I got to use my creativity. What better way is there to do this?
But the extra coursework also added to my workload. My colleague may have wanted me to start working more hours. But again, this is not what I wanted. I enjoy a routine job and a good amount of spare time.
So I decided to play it safe and stick to the traditional projects my employer provided. I kept my head, and exercised restraint in taking up new ideas or trying novel concepts. It worked. And when it did not, I could always return to the ideas I was already working on.
My idea tracker revealed that the majority of my assignments were similar. Except for one interesting project which was quite different but had obvious potential, most of my ideas were essentially rehashed from other projects. And I had some good ones too! Sometimes, it is good to go for the good ones and leave the bad ones behind.
So does my colleague imply that I should be less bold in my thinking? Maybe. But my perception is that when you take on something fresh and original, you stand more chance of success. This is especially true if you are able to implement the good ideas early on, as they have fewer risks than bad ones.
In this case, I am happy to report that I have been able to use the lessons learned during this period to further improve my job performance. Although my boss still asks me to implement some additional steps, for the most part I have been successful. In fact, the boss even encourages this! I can tell you that he is now looking to assign some of my ideas to me. He sees my progress, and this gives him some reassurance that I have a strong hold on the job.
Of course, it is important to point out that what you do at work does have an impact on your personal life outside it. My boss has indirectly pointed this out to me. He says that what I am doing at work is having an impact on my life outside it. He tells me that he is also considering pursuing his own interests, and he does not see the need to keep me onside. My answer is simple – if I do not have sufficient time, I will consider alternative activities.
Now, the question you might ask is whether this is really true. Is there really something that one can do that would have such an effect on another? The answer is, I believe that ideas, especially creative ones, do have this sort of effect. It is not only possible to make money, but it is also possible to do the things that you love and are passionate about.
So, why do you think this happens? I believe it happens because a person is intrinsically motivated by achieving results. If she is being made to work hard at stuff, then she will have the necessary drive to do more things that would make her happy. So, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It makes sense to pursue ideas that would get you to a better place.
You do not have to necessarily think of these ideas as ones that would get you promoted or a new job. On the contrary, it is possible for you to come up with ideas that would result in you being happy and feel good about your job. So, does my colleague imply that good ideas are the secret to a good career?