Finding Value through Looking at the Bigger Picture

18 Jan

My challenge for January was to spend time finding value in the work I complete every day.  Surprisingly enough, it was actually a lot less difficult that I thought.  The key for me was actually looking at the big picture.

It only took me about 5 minutes to come up with a list of 5 tasks that seem to lack value while I am completing them.  These are examples of two of the tasks I’ve chosen to work with throughout this month:

Gathering data to send gift baskets:  I search through a large spreadsheet to find names of people who will receive a gift basket based on certain criteria.  I enter the name into a database to search for their address.  Finally, I put all of the information I collect into another spreadsheet then send it to a company who makes and ships gift baskets.  Typically I will process about 50+ names each time I submit a shipment spreadsheet.

Data entry for payments:  I am sent request forms for payments.  I enter the information into a system to process large checks.  I track all of the payments I submit by entering them (again) into a spreadsheet.

Let’s be real for a minute, does anyone actually enjoy data entry?  I feel like it is the office version of working an assembly line.  You are focusing on one small part of the whole.  I mean how long can a guy assemble passenger-side doors without losing sight of the car?  It clearly only took me about 3 months.

The weird thing is that as soon as I started looking for the value in my work, I was able to find it pretty easily.  After all, I feel that my job is important, even if the tasks I complete each day seem trivial.  My brain might be fried because I’m staring at a few spreadsheets for 4 hours; but somewhere across the United States, someone will receive a gift basket and feel special!  I may never see the basket, but I know it’s there.  It’s called “faith” or something like that.

It’s also called “looking at the bigger picture.”

What have I done differently?

  1. I started a “Work Diary.”  I am now keeping a detailed list of everything I accomplish each month, including my “biggest win” and work that relates to our core values.
  2. I am making a conscience effort to see how my work connects to the end result – hiring someone for their first job
  3. I started looking at the tasks I’m completing now as the “Gen Eds” (thank you Maureen) of my career.  I am learning a lot about the candidate experience as well as the recruiting cycle.  I want to master all of these “prerequisites” so that I can move on to something bigger and even more meaningful.
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One Response to “Finding Value through Looking at the Bigger Picture”

  1. katieeeeee January 19, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    i like that you said “our core values” – shows you’re pretty connected to the company and that you care not just about your values and success, but the company’s as well. i hope (for trevino’s sake) that this means the are in alignment!! 😉

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