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Unstoppable, When You’re Ready To Take Bigger Responsibilities At Work

Posted: November 25, 2019

“How do you know you are incompetent? If you were chosen for this job among so many other candidates it definitely means you had the potential in you,” Sanjay said putting his hand around Disha to comfort her.

The milk was boiling over and the coffee decoction was dripping from the coffee maker while Disha stood in the kitchen holding the kettle in hand lost in thought. She suddenly jerked out of her reverie as she felt a hand on her shoulder. Sanjay was standing beside her, concern writ large on his face. The next minute the milk vessel on the stove caught her attention as she exclaimed in horror “what a mess! I have to waste so much time cleaning this up now.”

“You go and sit for a while; I will have it all sorted,” Sanjay offered, looking at the troubled look on his wife’s face. Before she could protest, he pulled her towards the living room and made her sit on the sofa as he walked towards the kitchen to get the work started. Fifteen minutes later he returned with two steaming hot cups of coffee and handed over a cup to Disha.

Soon he realised that she was just staring into the cup lost in thought. He knew it was high time they had the conversation; they needed to talk.

“Disha, please speak up. No problem will solve itself or get solved just by brooding,” Sanjay said slightly loudly, to snap her out of her reverie.

“You clearly know Sanjay what is troubling me, then what joy do you derive in making me say it again and again. I am not in the mood for adding to your sadistic pleasure,” Disha said sounding irritated.

“It’s ok, you can construe it in any way you like Disha, but just speak up. If you don’t address the issue, there is never going to be a solution. This is not the Disha I know, you have faced every obstacle with your head held high, why are you losing yourself this time?”

Disha was almost in tears as she spoke up, “this job was my dream job, I was on seventh heaven when I bagged this offer. If only I had known I was pushing myself into hell. But whom do I blame, I am just not competent for this job. I should never have taken up this job in the first place. My over-confidence has landed me in this soup.”

She was sobbing by now, and Sanjay looked troubled seeing his wife in this state. “How do you know you are incompetent? If you were chosen for this job among so many other candidates it definitely means you had the potential in you,” Sanjay said putting his hand around Disha to comfort her.

“If that is the case, then why is my work constantly falling below the expected standards of the management and the clients also aren’t very pleased with me. Mr.Khanna has been covering up for me all this while, but how long will he? I am soon going to be kicked out of the Company. The offer letter bought me so much joy, but this job has sapped away my happiness.” Disha was sobbing away inconsolably by now.

“Did anybody from the management tell you that your work is substandard Disha? Then how can you believe on hearsay words? And aren’t you the one who always says your happiness is in your hands? Then its time you stood up and faced this issue head one. Finish the coffee and chart your plan of action; stand up for yourself Disha,” Sanjay said wiping her tears. Those words gave her the much-needed spurt of energy.

A couple of hours later Disha walked into the office and before she could even settle down in her seat the phone on her desk rang. It was Mr.Khanna, her boss, calling her to discuss the presentation for the next client meeting. She wondered what issue he had found this time with her work.

As soon as she walked into her cabin, he gave her a somber look as he spoke “Disha, for your own good, put in some effort to improve the quality of your work. This just isn’t up to the standards of the Company; incorporate the changes I have suggested in the mail. You have to buck up Disha, I cannot be covering up for you forever. Or just take a call on whether you really wish to continue.”

“I will look into the changes and work on them sir,” Disha said calmly today, unlike other days when she would be upset and be struggling to hide her disappointment as she responded to Mr.Khanna. This surely left her boss fazed.

This time Disha worked with a plan in place which she put into action immediately. She sent e-mails to all those people she required to, in order to make her plan effective. She worked on her presentation the way she intended to, unfazed by the constant discouragement that Mr.Khanna kept shoving her way.

A week later, the day of the presentation arrived and Disha arrived earlier than usual at office, to ensure everything was in place for the meeting and it went as planned. At the appointed time, Mr.Khanna walked in followed by the clients. As they took their places in the room, much to Mr.Khanna’s surprise he could see the head of their department and the CEO also walk into the room. He looked at Disha and there was no hint of surprise on her face.

She started her presentation and there were more surprises in store for him, as he realised this was much better than the presentation he had seen and put in all the efforts to dissect it with an aim at eroding her confidence. But he could clearly see his plans had failed this time. Unlike every presentation when as a result of his negative feedback she would have seeped in doubt during the presentation, today she was oozing confidence. After the presentation she faced the questions raised by everyone with the same confidence.

As the presentation wrapped up and Mr.Khanna got ready to take everyone for refreshments leaving Disha to clear everything like always, he had another surprise waiting for him as the office boy walked in with coffee and snacks for everyone. “I thought, I could have a feedback session as a follow-up to the presentation, it would give me a clear idea on where we stand and hearing it directly from you would reduce the possibility of miscommunication.” She said looking at the clients.

“It is good you thought about this, as we never get to interact with you beyond the presentation. But I have always told Mr.Khanna, we are extremely pleased with your work and in fact, we want you to take charge of this project. I think we should have a discussion with the others here in this regard.” The client responded to Disha.

“Thank you sir”, Disha responded, as she turned to look at Mr.Khanna who didn’t look one bit pleased with the happenings.

“Disha, you have done a brilliant job, we saw immense potential in you when we hired you and you have lived up to our expectation.” This was Mr. Bose, the head of her department. Before she could respond to him, the CEO asked her, “are you ready for taking bigger responsibilities in the organization?”

“I will give it my best Sir; at the same time, I will ensure that I am a source of positivity to the people working with me as feeding negativity into the people working with you will only result in you being pulled down eventually. I will ensure that while I give my best, I inspire others to do that and only a happy me can do that.” Disha said with a wide smile turning to look at a dour-faced Mr.Khanna.

A version of this was first published here.

Image source: shutterstock

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