Monday, May 5, 2008

Make yourself unique

From Child Care Exchange: A little advice that I could use, so I thought I would share it.

One of the resources in Exchange's Center Manager's Tool Kit is a CD collection of Exchange articles on "Avoiding Burnout." Included on this CD is the article "Go For the Gusto — Put Zest Back In Your Job," which offers this advice on making yourself unique...

"Joyce Brothers, writing on the factors of success in business in How to Get What You Want Out of Life (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978), observed, 'The more you can bring more than one facet or talent to a job, the greater your probability of success. You can make yourself unique. You can work to acquire a cluster of skills that no one else has.'

"Think abou t what excites you about your job and about your life outside the job. What are your prime skills? What other professional challenges interest you? Can you combine your current skills and interests into a unique and rewarding career?

"If, for example, you have mastered the tasks involved in administering a child care center, and now you find yourself increasingly intrigued by computers, maybe you can build a business out of helping child care centers enter the computer age. If your strongest suit is the marketing of your organization, maybe you could set up a marketing service for a network of centers.

"Overhaul your work day. Keep an appointment book with you for several days, logging in what you are doing every 15 minutes. Now take a close look at how your time is allocated. During what amount of your workday are you called upon to exercise your strongest professional skills? How much of your time is spent handling mundane clerical or administrative tasks that could just as well be handled by a lesser-trained individual? How much of your time is devoted to evaluation, development, and innovation? How much of it is consumed by maintenance activities and fire fighting? How much of your time is deliberately planned by yourself? How much is controlled by others through phone calls and drop-in visits?

"Now take a stab at fantasizing your ideal work day. How much time would you spend on reading and writing? How much time would you allocate to talking with your staff? When would you come in to work and when would you go home? How would you put your peak performance times to best use? How can you bridge the gap between how you really spend your time and how you know you should?"

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