On the subject of brilliance at work

Once upon a time I had a job where I was brilliant.  It was my third position in that organisation – I’d been buried deep in server stacks, learnt all the technical stuff, and had a good understanding of how the whole agency worked.  I hit the ground running.  I knew my job, I knew the key players, I knew what they needed and I was passionate.  I came up with creative solutions, I trained and mentored, I could talk people through the ramifications of their decisions and give them options.  I was the problem solver, and if I couldn’t fix your problem, I could find the person who would.  I didn’t just build a network there, I made friends and allies.  I understood the politics, I managed up and managed down, and I achieved a couple of things that people thought impossible.

And then I moved inter-state.

These days I’m not feeling brilliant about what I do (did you notice?).  That’s why I’ve been trying to change-up my work.  As I focus on potential futures, I’m finding it harder and harder to tackle my everyday job.  But I’ve had an a-ha moment.  Why couldn’t I be brilliant in this job, right now?  I haven’t got any less smart and I’ve gained experience.  I think all I’m lacking is some motivation and deliberate communication.  So what would brilliant look like in my current job?

  • I would be passionate.
  • I wouldn’t procrastinate.
  • I would clear my to-do list.
  • I would volunteer for more of the after-hours work.
  • I would read-up more on the software we use and do more on-line training.
  • I would ‘get around to’ the jobs we’ve been collectively avoiding.
  • I would do more documentation.
  • I would get in before my boss, and leave later, too.
  • I would talk to my users more, and keep in touch with what they were working on.
  • I would make sure my boss, and his boss, knew what I was working on.
  • I would keep a list of achievements.
  • I wouldn’t complain about my job or my colleagues : )
  • My timesheets would be up to date.
  • I wouldn’t get bored.
  • I would have a better elevator speech.
  • I wouldn’t have piles of paper on my desk.
  • I would know which pieces of paper were important.
  • I would be better at keeping my network connected.


  • I would build better relationships with my key people.

I think I’d enjoy it more, too.

How would your work be different if you were brilliant at your job?


One response to “On the subject of brilliance at work

  1. Being brilliant at work would mean that I am 100% there, which I rarely am. I am always thnking about my out-of-work things. So I guess being brilliant at work would mean to devote myself to my job as wholly as possible in the hours that I am there.

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