My mentor asked me a simple question when I was catching up with her: What’s in your control, and what’s not?
I’ve touched on this topic before, while talking about stoicism and what we can control. That was February of this year, which seems both like a short time and a lifetime ago. I had a pretty pithy line to summarize then:
Things happen, and the only thing we can control is how we respond to them.
Well, turns out, in life, things do happen.
With work, what is it that I can control? What is it that I struggle with accepting that I can’t control?
I can’t control:
- The (types of) clients the team engages with
- Other people’s actions, reactions, and decisions
- Whether people would participate in one thing, and not another
- How others perceive me
What I can:
- How I react to these things happening
- How I respond — a slight nuanced difference from the first thing, which is more in the moment
- How much action I take, or do not take
- The mindfulness I take towards my actions
I vaguely alluded to a big shocking announcement at work last week; cue me googling ‘what to do when manager is laid off’ — the same manager that was understanding of my morals at work — and still trying to process it, about a week and a half after.
I’m still trying to figure out what it means for me (my own job security, my next step forward, building my promotion case) but it’s definitely given me a lot to think about, when I’m not being busy with actual work and calls, and dealing with bad timing (on my part) to try and get a CSR initiative off the ground.
I’m still on that adjusted working week — from Sunday to Thursday — for at least two more weeks, and I don’t think I’m ever going to get used to that, as long as the rest of my team is on Monday to Friday.