“You can find inspiration in everything. If you can’t, then you’re not looking properly”— Paul Smith, fashion designer.
This quote couldn’t be more accurate for those of us working in the public sector, third sector and social good organisations because, let’s face it, sometimes the tasks we are handed may seem tedious. There is much more bureaucracy to deal with in our fields and that can result in more processes, procedures and, sigh, paperwork!
The great thing about our jobs, however, is that each piece of work we complete is contributing towards a very significant social good goal. The projects and programmes we everyday work on truly matter and are going towards making the lives of our most vulnerable residents better.
That, in itself, inspires us and is a thought which often carries us through even the most ‘boring’ work day.
“I think the more unexpected something is, the more there is to learn from it” — Michael J. Fox
2020, anyone?! No doubt, the past year was unprecedented and something none of us would have anticipated. Despite the hardships we all faced, we agree with Fox that 2020 was a massive learning curve for us, work-wise and life-wise.
Perhaps most significantly, we learnt how important it is for all organisations to be set up for remote work. Historically, there has been some resistance to more flexible modes of working in the public and third sectors. This can no longer be the case. We must go digital. Our services must be digital. Accessibility, in all things, is key.
On this note, 2020 reinforced the importance of ‘our people’. We must recruit colleagues we trust, who share our organisational visions and passion for social good. Those relationships must be continually fostered.
"Our industry does not respect tradition. It only respects innovation"
— Satya Nadella
Nadella is the chief executive officer of Microsoft so is of course referring to the tech industry. However, this is a quote all of us can take into consideration.
The public and third sectors have, at times, been too reliant on tradition. As 2020 taught us, we must push ahead technologically and consider how innovation can be achieved across all operations if we want to truly achieve meaningfully social good outcomes. This is especially so in the new COVID-19 era.
“Don't be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves” — William Patten
Clean up your desk. Clear your inbox. Organise that desktop. Break up your days into doable chunks. Stick to your to-do list. Drink water. Exercise. You need a clear, clutter-free space and mind before you get down to business on the bigger stuff.
"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right" — Oprah Winfrey
Identify what has been working for you and what has been not. Don’t beat yourself, simply get on with things, making a conscious effort to do better, work better, be better. 2021 is just beginning. The possibilities are endless.