Learning Journey: Working better, faster and smarter

Date: May 16, 2016
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“…to fail to learn is costly and stifling to personal development.”  Colleen Lowe Morna.

KevinIt is that time again when I get to reflect on my professional journey over the past year. This is when I ask whether or not I have learnt anything in the past 12 months. I also ponder what to take as part of my growth and which habits I should maintain and which ones I should unlearn, and how I contribute to the whole by working better, faster and smarter.

Like a new broom that sweeps all corners clean, I came to the first quarter of 2015 bubbling with confidence as I assumed my new role as GL Zimbabwe’s Senior Programme Officer. Little did I know that the role had its own highs and lows. Sometimes joining a winning team has its own challenges and opportunities as well. On one side, one may think that one is doing the right thing, yet on the flipside one could be going astray, but with able stewardship one always gets back on track.

The year saw us crisscrossing the country conducting Centres of Excellence (COE) workshops, sometimes fulfilling yet another deliverable – driving. I remember driving to our first district summit in Nyanga and we had just left Rusape when one of the vehicle’s tyres burst. I managed to maneuver the car to a safe halt bringing relief to the GL team aboard. This incident taught us that GL cars need to be equipped with overalls or work suits as we found ourselves having to kneel down in our designer suits to mend the tyre. Everything happened with speed as time was not on our side because we were rushing to reach the venue ahead of our invited guests.

Navigating through the first quarter was a smooth ride but soon I encountered my first litmus test in COE work. This involved organising and coordinating the second district summit in Masvingo. Although I saw myself as a highly organised person, the great teamwork at GL helped me to quickly grasp the basic and much needed skills to keep afloat. The summit went well and from then onwards I kept my head above water.

GL has also taught me to read widely to keep abreast of new information and statistics. This is important when preparing for workshops and meetings. Sometimes a participant may throw a question that demands a detailed response and when that happens one must not be caught off guard.

Setting my own targets is one skill that I perfected in 2015 after I realised that GL targets are tight and no amount of dilly dallying will keep youKevin Chiramba afloat. So each day, I am so grateful for the time and energy I have put into my work.

Throughout the year, whether I was writing a report, preparing a presentation or facilitating a workshop, I kept asking myself this question, “am I making a difference in GL?’ I promised myself that I would continue working better, faster and smarter all the time. From working efficiently with emails, to traversing GL systems and even incorporating value for money concepts in and out of work, I am looking forward to yet another great year ahead.

Written by Kevin Chiramba, Gender Links Zimbabwe, senior programme officer