Saturday, 28 May 2016

A rose is a rose is a rose…

a sunny day in Rochdale On Tuesday afternoon me and Rochdale Borough Council go our separate ways. Strangely enough, of all the things I should be thinking about the one I keep coming back to is: "How should I describe myself on Linkedin?"

For a while (at least the four weeks I've promised myself) I'm not going to be in a job and have a job title. "Resting," while dead accurate doesn't really cut it, so I'm having a think. Besides which, I've long since been irritated by the way we all define ourselves by our jobs: when we're introduced to each other with the routine: "And what do you do?" We never boast of the many very splendid things we're capable of: we give a job title or rôle. That's a pity. Even in an employment context this tells so very little of us. So I decided to pick up the "And what do you do?" question and find a different answer.

Casting round amongst family and friends wasn't helpful, though I'll admit to being quite taken with "Provender of finely-wrought artisan drivel" and "Keen amateur idle beggar."

Thinking about my own experiences and the rôles I've assumed or had thrust upon me there are a few consistent strands:
  • Identifying and documenting operational processes and procedures
  • Helping lines of business find new ways of doing things that add value to the operation
  • Helping operations and people accept and adapt to change
  • Identifying and delivering ways of measuring continuous service improvement
Bearing this in mind I bounced a lot of descriptive phrases round in my head. Many sounded like the worst kinds of Management Speak. Many were either too vague or too narrow. A lot of them felt too much like I was parking my bike on somebody else's lawn. It boiled down to two in the end. And I'm still havering between them: one feels vague and one feels like I'm trespassing. One is the working assumption of many of the people I've said cheerio to over the past month. The other is the rôle I've taken on repeatedly over the past twenty-seven years and the one I've tended to feel has been the most productive and worthwhile.

I've a few more days for havering. Who knows, it might end up being Keen Amateur Idle Beggar after all!

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