Motto of the Month: Ides of September

“Everyone wants someone to make their life easier”


I read the job opening and was conflicted. The posting was for a senior position in my department. If I applied and got it, the job would have been a promotion for me. So, on one hand, I wanted to apply and be promoted. On the other hand, I knew that there were more qualified applicants – both internal and external – who had greater experience and were a natural fit for the position. I wasn’t sure if I should bother with the application, if I would even be a contender for the position, or if filling it out would be a waste of my time and open me to mockery by my superiors.

I talked to Sharon, a go-getting corporate employee, about it. She told me not to be an idiot – to apply for the job, as the upsides far outweighed the downsides. I agreed, halfheartedly. Sharon, somewhat appalled, mobilized her resources – and my own logic – to convince me.

“Could you do the job?” she asked. Yes, I could.

“Does your boss trust you to do a good job in your current position?” Yes, he did. To the extent that when he delegated projects to me, he took them off of his own to-do list. Which always made it a pleasant surprise for him when I handed in the finished project that he’d forgotten was underway.

 “Do you know what is needed to do new job well?” she continued. Having spent over a year in the department, I definitely knew what the job entailed – and what it did not.

“That is your strength,” she pointedly informed me. “You don’t need a new skill set. You need to tell your boss how you doing this job will make his or her life easier. No one wants to spend time looking for a new hire. No one wants to spend time and effort training for a job. They want someone they can trust to do the job right.”

She watched me nod, confirming that this was true for my workplace as well as hers.

“So you need to tell them how promoting you will make their lives easier. Everyone wants someone that will make their life easier. That is your skill set.”

Sharon was right. I got the job – and learned a lesson.

Top Student

Top Student

“No class Thursday,” my friend told me.
“That’s great!” I told her.
She gave a small smile, unenthused.
“No, really, I need this,” I explained. “Otherwise I’d have to choose between laundry and groceries and we all know which would win.”
She looked at me, thought, and asked “Laundry?”
“No,” I patiently explained, “You can live without clean clothing. You can’t live without –
“-groceries!” she finished, now smiling widely.

She’s a star pupil, in case you couldn’t already tell.