There is a kind of uniformity in academia that is born from necessity. Even in one department, people may be working on wildly disparate topics from different perspectives. So administrators need guidelines to be able to evaluate the work of each individual person.
The problem with this is that sometimes the most innovative work doesn’t adhere to these guidelines, and we can get stuck in trying to clip our own wings to fly with the flock.
Today, take some time to reflect on what you bring to the table. Draw a line down the middle of a page in your journal and finish the following phrases on the left side of the page. You need not write the whole sentence; a list is fine.
What makes me unique is…
The expertise I bring is…
People admire me for…
I am good at…
I am proud of myself for…
Now go back and on the right side of the line, brainstorm one task or project that needs this particular quality that you bring to the table. In this way, your work will reflect your unique gifts, and at the same time, will be made easier because you are doing what you do best.
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a writing coach with 20 years of experience teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels in universities, as well as in diverse community settings. She specializes in working with women in academe.