“Oh, put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be Centerfield..”
That’s a line from a 1985 song by John Fogerty titled, “Centerfield.” In US baseball, the position of centerfield is one of the hardest to master. The position requires fast legs, a good ability to catch and a strong arm to throw all the way to home plate; as well as strategic knowledge of the possible plays and potential hits by the other team.
Choosing Work Before It Chooses You
With most organizations pushing employees to do more with less resources (e.g. time), few of us want to volunteer for additional projects. This may not be the best choice.
Chances are that last time your boss asked for volunteers on a project, you were one of the many that looked at your shoes, took an ‘emergency’ cell phone call, or had a coughing fit and had to leave the conference room. And sometimes those tactics work. Many times, we still get put onto projects that just don’t fit our schedules, our skills or our passions.
Next time projects are coming your way, pick the one you like best. Most bosses remember this and you’ll be able to either not have to be on the next project, or get the best work because you volunteered and showed initiative. Work either happens to you, or for you. Choose wisely, don’t hide!
Control Your Free Time
This same concept works with your time outside of work as well. If your social calendar with family, friends or ‘down time’ is planned for you by others, you may not be all that happy with the balance. Plan some of your own parties or events. Try setting the schedule on your own, and feel free to decline a date or two. You may not be any less busy, but you’ll feel in more control of your life – and get to choose more of where you spend your time. Not much in life is more empowering than that!