Work Diet


Much of the past year at SmallBox I took a deep dive into human resources, specifically building out processes and a focus on professional development. (I’ve written some about our focus on cultural ownership, career paths and more, if you’re curious). It was incredibly rewarding work on many levels, something we really needed to focus on, and may possibly be the best value I could have provided to my workplace.

Despite the sense of accomplishment, I struggled with a growing pang. Something was missing. I’d gotten so immersed in this human resources work, and business development too, that meanwhile the slice of time I could spend on the creative side of my job narrowed.

Jeb sometimes talks about the ideal “work diet,” or the things you need to feel satisfied with what you do for a living. Even in the best of work situations, misalignment in your work diet can change your day-to-day dynamic entirely. It took a couple of months of pangs and uncertainty for me to realize what was up.

When it finally hit me that I wasn’t getting the full creative outlet I needed, I knew it was up to me to make changes. I spent a fair amount of my personal time playing around in Illustrator. I asked to take part in projects where I could concept and sketch. Essentially I stopped waiting for exciting challenges and creative projects to fall in my lap. I’m surrounded by some of the most talented and creative people I’ve ever worked with, it was just a matter of setting the intention and making this a priority.

For me, there’s nothing quite like the fire when I get taken by an idea, when I can collaborate with others to bring something into the world. I simply can’t ignore that part of my work diet. Now that I know this, I can shape how I spend my time.

Image from Factory Week

This post is part of Think Kit by SmallBox
Today’s prompt: “Flip the script. What did you change your mind about this year? Was it a big deal – the way you feel about an issue? Or something small – maybe you learned to like Brussels sprouts? What was the moment or series of moments that changed how you felt?”