The Woman behind the Man behind the Curtain

Lost TV ShowI still have a day job. It’s true. Lately I’ve realized that the more I write and develop Duchess, the more there is an exponential increase in my growing dissatisfaction with my day job. I always try to remember the old adage, “Wherever you go, there you are,” and make the most of the day.

However, as true as that saying is, when I’m feeling irritated at work I have a hard time listening to that advice. Particularly because as an Executive Assistant, I do some very important, but fairly mundane tasks with tight deadlines and lots of interruptions. It can be pretty frustrating some days and I often wonder if anyone notices or appreciates my work. So how do I keep my day job enjoyable and meaningful while I still need it?

Over the weekend I had a moment of clarity about how I could answer that question and improve my life at the office. I was watching behind the scenes footage of my favorite TV show, LOST, when I noticed the working conditions on set. And while I observed the film crew, I picked up these three cool tips from their own unique work setting:

1. Come prepared.

Speak up. All the actresses knew their roles and lines. They were prepared. However, if they felt there was a way to improve the work they would concisely and politely suggest it. Sometimes their recommendations were taken and sometimes they were not. Either way everyone was polite and the work continued. If you see ways to improve things around your office, speak up.

 

2. Use your stunt or body double.

All of the actresses did as much of the job as they could on their own. But when the work called for it, they handed their “role” over to another type of professional. If your day is being eaten up with tasks and projects you are trying to keep control of, let go! Hand some work from your “role” over to another professional. You will end up getting more done in the long run if you relinquish pieces of work. Even if this means handing the housecleaning over to a professional so you can enjoy your weekend or evening. Assess the financial returns, and where appropriate – use a professional as your “body” double.

3. Accept and give praise.

After each successful scene the crew would clap for the whole group – congratulating each other on a great day’s work. You do amazing things every day at work, so at the end of a really great job – congratulate yourself.

I know I would love to have a cheering section at work to give me a standing ovation when I, by the grace of God, manage to write a last minute letter at 4:53pm and still get it out to the FedEx drop by 5pm. But since no cheering section exists just yet, I give myself a round of applause. And I do the same for others. It boosts morale – mine most of all!

—Jill Brown

Jill Brown - Duchess GuideJill Brown is a Los Angeles, California based Life Coach and Writer. She earned her Bachelors in Humanities and Sociology from USU and is a member of the National Association for Conflict Resolution and the Ladies Who Launch Network. She is the founder of “The Duchess Guide” a website dedicated to helping women become their most fabulous and unique selves. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, traveler and health nut. When she isn’t writing or working on Duchess, Jill loves spending all her free time with her Labrador – Betty. For more on The Duchess Guide or Jill visit: www.theduchessguide.com