My first instinct at work is to be product oriented. Stay on task, move projects along efficiently, be productive, and deliver solid results. All good, right? Except that, at my level, there are a few other minor expectations beyond just delivering results. One activity that I have largely ignored is flexing my social muscles, which, I am learning, is at least as important as (if not more important than) putting out quality work products. For instance, I have been a “lurking member” of a professional organization for women that I have been interested in for years. But, somehow, the numerous excuses always outweighed the interest: “I don’t have time to attend breakfast meetings, cocktail events, or dinner receptions.” or “What about the kids? They will miss me so much if I am not around.” or “I cannot possibly add a single more thing to my jam packed schedule.”
Interestingly, making time for my hobbies (blogging, cooking, paatu, and don’t forget brand new additions – walking and photography) makes me realize that the time is there for the grabs if I really really want to. So. Decided to do something different (this has become surprisingly easy for me these days!). And showed up yesterday at a breakfast meeting for new members at this organization (even though work deadlines were looming large). And while I was at it, I volunteered to chair their scholarships committee. This particular committee selects a handful of undergraduate and graduate students based on merit and grants them awards for pursuing higher education. Given that I stayed in school as long as I did, reviewing scholarship applications and essays in my field is something that totally floats my boat. I mean, there was also a “gala planning” committee (eeeeek!) that I steered clear of. After two well spent hours (free food, chatting with other women, and out of the office – what more can you ask for?!), I left the meeting feeling super energized, and was already looking forward to the next event.
Huge understatement to say that I surprised myself. As George Costanza so eloquently put it “If every instinct you have is wrong, do the opposite”.
Loving the opposite. 🙂