Crafting Your Work By Your Strengths
The. One of the things that you may do if you listen to podcasts, often if you read a bunch of business books or even books about programming. You may think that you have a lot of work to do. You may think that you have a lot of room for improvement in that. There's just this endless hill in front of you. And you may believe that you have to break yourself down to really become the engineer that you want to become or the manager, that you went to become and in many ways. This is true, we all have a lot to learn, and we all have shortcomings in today's episode though, I want to help you focus on something a little bit different rather than looking self-improvement as a long and arduous task where you are faced with you, your weaknesses every single day. I wanna help you shift to a different point of focus my name is Jonathan control. And you're listening to develop prety and my goal in this show is to help German developers find clarity perspective and purpose in their careers. And if you care about your career, that's why you're listening to the show. Not that this show is the only thing that's going to help you in your career. But if you care about your career, you're looking for resources, you're realizing that you have worked to do. And if you have a direct manager or someone who is honest with you on a regular basis, you've probably gotten some direct feedback. Some representation of shortcomings has been given to you. If you're in close relationship with anybody for very long at all, then you've certainly had this kind of feedback, perhaps, you found yourself in a conflict with another person where they point out your weaknesses and all of your flaws to an uncomfortable degree. And while it's true, all of us, have these weaknesses and shortcomings. What's also true is that if we focus only on our shortcomings, and weaknesses will likely miss out, a major opportunities, for example. If you've listened to this podcast, then, you know, that one of the things that we preach is that you break down your assumptions that you try to find the core problems and try to build. Focus in. So in unintended effect of this show may be that you have taken the time and the energy to beat yourself up when you're not focusing or to feel bad. When you think you haven't broken things down, when you think you've made an assumption, but the truth is all of these ideas that we present on developer, t and that you'll find in business management books process books books about software development. All of these things are not intended to fix all of your broken parts, instead, they're intended to be building blocks foundational to help push you up rather than break down. There's kind of different way of thinking about your skill set requires a fundamental shift in focus away from your weaknesses and towards your strengths. We're gonna take a step away and talk about today's sponsor, get prime and then we're gonna come back and discuss a way that you can focus on your strengths without totally sabotaging your job. Today's episode is sponsored by get prime. Have you ever noticed that some of the best engineering managers are also the best and debugging problems, and it's not just code? It's also interpersonal issues, they view their teams as complex systems with inputs outputs, and the approach problems with curiosity, and a relentless pursuit of the root cause our sponsor get prime has published a book. It's a free book called twenty patterns to watch for in engineering teams spaced on data from thousands of enterprise engineering teams in it. They dig into various work patterns, and team dynamics that we can all relate to with prescriptive ways to identify and improve how we build software together. It's an excellent field guide to help debugged your development with data. Go to get prime dot com slash twenty patterns. It's two zero patterns to download the book and you'll get a pretty copy mail. To you for free. It's a totally free book about making your team, better go and check it out. Get prime dot com slash twenty patterns. That's the number two zero patterns all one word. Thanks again, to get prime for sponsoring today's episode of developer t. Hopefully this isn't the first time that you have been encouraged to focus on your strengths if you think about it, it makes sense to focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses, if you focus on everything that you are weak at it will take a very large jump to go from week to strong. So if you're placing bets on yourself about what you're going to become great at what you'll excel at then the bet is probably going to be placed on something that you're already pretty good at. And so if you invest your time into something that you're already good at, then you're likely more likely to become great at that thing than if you invest your time into something that you're not very good at now there's an obvious tension here, and it's one that is difficult to parse out if you hear this episode and you just take away the message that you need to stop focusing on your weaknesses and only focus on your strength was very possible that you'll lose your job. And the reason for that is some of. The tasks some of the skills that we have as requirements in our jobs. Don't necessarily line up with the things that were great at now in a perfect world. We would all find jobs that only ask us to do things that we are. Excelling at. And then never ask us to do the things that we're not very good at, but more practically we're likely to have duties in our job that require us to go from that kind of weak standpoint to at least acceptable to what can we do about this? And how should we be thinking about this? I we should dispel the idea that your skills are all in their own little vacuums. One skill may support another skill. So maybe you are very good at creating. You is, but you're not very good testing. Well as it turns out, testing and becoming very good at testing may naturally bleed over into your ability to create good you is. And so we shouldn't evaluate these things that we see as separate as necessarily separate, sometimes the things that we're not very good at could actually be the things that unlock a, you know, a massive amount of growth in another area. So that's kind of the first step here is to dispel, the idea that our skills are somehow entirely disconnected or live in their own little vacuums. The second idea is to understand what your core. Skills are for the job that you're doing versus the and Ciller skills. So it's likely that you have a handful of tasks that are required in your job that are in Cillari. In other words, if you are able to perform in those particular. Gilles to an acceptable degree. Then you can still excel in your job. Whereas the core skills for your job, you should be performing at a higher than acceptable in other words, an excellent level. Of course, when we say should we mean if you want to continue progressing, and doing as good of a job in that role as you can in that is kind of the, the whole idea behind driven developers for the show, then those core skills are the things that you should be good at and becoming great at the critical work that you need to do in whatever position you are. Currently in is understanding what this core skills are, and then mapping them against what you are already good at, if you have a major disconnect between those two things, then you have decision make you have to decide that you're going to invest the time necessary to develop that skill especially if it's a core skill or you're going to need to think about. What you want in your career. Perhaps your skills are not aligning to the job that you have a more often than not this mismatch is not the main problem that people face. Instead, the main problem that people face is that they focus heavily on those and Cillari skills, and they try to make them as good as their core skills. Think about that for a moment. If you become incredibly good at your instilling skills, then you don't have time to invest in your core skills. You can imagine this as a t shape and on a graph. You want your and Cillari skills, you're supporting skills to be enough that it's adequate. But then you want your core skills to really kind of go to the extent of expertise. It's important that you discuss with your manager. Or if you are a manager, the you discuss with your direct reports what those skills are, and to what degree do you want to invest in them? How much of your time and effort should be spent on improving something that is alternately, not your highest leverage of value. One of the most valuable and important things that you can do for your own career. And that managers can do for their direct reports. Something called job crafting. The idea here is to look at that skill map. What things are you already good at and try to wrap your responsibilities in your job around those skills? This is kind of what you are trying to do on the job hunt. The problem is that we often have the pressure of unemployment, causing us to adapt are acceptable. You know, kind of skill map to whatever is available to us. Now, if you're in a job, and you have the opportunity to do some job crafting, then a critical, sorting phase will will eventually be in front of you where you have to decide is this, a skill that I need to improve on, or is it something that I can delegate or otherwise, fulfill by collaborating with another person, this is something that we often don't think about we approach our careers as if we have to stand alone rather than like a team where one person skills complement another person's. It's important to recognize that if you have a complementary skills with other people, then you can folk. Focus more on the things that you're already good at rather than trying to become better at something that someone else is already very good at. Ultimately, I want you to be a little bit more forgiving to yourself when you make mistakes. And when you find things are not very good at these are things that we all share as humans. We all have shortcomings, and we all have requirements on us that we're not necessarily ready to meet give yourself the space to learn and give yourself the space to fail. And ultimately don't neglect the things that you are already good at. Thanks so much, again, to get prime for sponsoring today's episode in for writing a free book for developers. To learn more about their teams had to get prime dot com slash twenty patterns and that's two zero patterns. All one word get prime dot com slash twenty patterns. Thank you so much listening to today's episode if you liked today's episode than I encourage you to do three things first one is subscribed to this gas, whatever pie casting up, you are currently listening with the second thing is to leave a review, an IT this drastically affects our visibility in ITN's and helps other developers like you find the show and the third thing is head over to spec dot FM, because there's a ton of other content from other wonderful pi- casts, for example, react by cast and tools day go and check it out. Spec dot FM. Thank you again, to today's producer, Sarah Jackson, and then you so much for listening to today's episode until next time. Enjoy your team.