Overcoming Technical Work Hurdles


“It’s part of life to have obstacles. It’s about overcoming obstacles; that’s the key to happiness.” – Herbie Hancock

System updates..upgrades…capabilities…permissions.  I prefer not to hear those terms anytime soon.  I met with some tech-savvy staff every day this week.  I have not reached the finish line, but I am closer to my goal. My optimism tank began to run low this week until I changed my outlook. I have learned some character-building lessons that I could use in other areas.

Ask the right people, the right questions:  Your colleagues may have the best intentions to assist you, but not the ability.  You may get further entangled or have to start over because the problem is beyond repair.  Think about your specific needs and possible solutions, and communicate them clearly.  If your coworkers cannot help you, thank them for their willingness to help and taking the time to meet with you. Talk to the thought leaders in your office who could give insight into who is best suited for the challenge. No one has all the answers, but there are some people who are better equipped to handle the situation.

Keep your boss informed:  Let your supervisor know your progress.  Tell him or her about the successes and the areas of opportunity. He or she may realize the projects needs to be revised. You can receive some sound advice about how to proceed.  Address the situation proactively.

Take detailed notes: Keep track of your activity, especially if you are working on a project.  Write down key events, discussions and outcomes. Save a print screen or a snapshot of those pesky error messages. Send the clips to the appropriate parties. It’s easier to show than to tell. The more specific you are the better.

Focus on what you can control:  Glitches are not predictable or timely, but you must work through them.  System issues affect more than just you and you are not alone. Use your energy to work on another task. You will get to cross one more item off your never ending to-do list. You will feel accomplished not defeated.

Camille Doty is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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