How many times have you heard that those who succeed ascribe their advancement to going beyond the parameters of their job description? What does that mean?
In some cases it might be asking for additional responsibility or supplementary assignments. But if we step back from a particular job, maybe it’s about being prepared for the bigger picture of your career. It’s the curiosity/lifelong learning thing that connects the dots as you progress as a professional. It’s recognizing a painting in a new client’s office and beginning a conversation, not based on a sale, but a shared interest.
It’s about being multidimensional.
To help on this aspect of professional development, we add a new category this week to ‘workthoughts’ – ‘Not in the Job Description’.
To begin, we follow the advice of The New York Times’ chief classical music critic, Anthony Tommasini. ‘Curious About Classical Music? Here’s Where To Start.’
“Over my many years of reviewing, I’ve often been asked for advice from newcomers to classical music, people excited by what they’ve heard, and eager to hear — and to learn — more.
Naturally, I urge those exploring classical music to find out whatever they can. Yet I’ve found that many people assume that knowledge of the art form is a prerequisite to appreciation. Newcomers to other performing arts, like theater or dance, don’t seem to feel this level of intimidation. I’d encourage those who are curious to just go to a performance and see what they think. A symphony orchestra program — or an opera, or a piano recital — is not an exam. It’s an escape, an adventure, an enrichment.”
Just to emphasize his point. When adding a new dimension to your portfolio think of it as “an escape, an adventure, an enrichment”.
Mr. Tommasini goes on to answer questions in his article, including his definition of ‘classical music’.
“Labels can be problematic in any field; “classical music” especially so. One complication is that music history refers to the years from roughly 1750 to 1825 as the “classical” period, when Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven achieved their glory. But in a broader sense the term classical music has been adopted as a way to describe the continuing heritage of music mostly written to be performed in concert halls and opera houses by orchestras, singers, choruses, chamber ensembles and solo instrumentalists. Another characteristic is that composers in this tradition have been drawn to larger, structured forms. Still, the term is far from ideal, but no one has come up with a good alternative — yet.”
The article includes links to sample recordings to get you started, including clips of Maria Callas’ 1953 performance as Tosca at Teatro alla Scala in Milan.
In addition to following the dots presented by Mr. Tommasini, add a visit to an opera house or concert hall the next time you are planning a trip out of town or out of the country. Identify reviewers and critics that seem to match your tastes and follow them on social media. You will be amazed and delighted as you trace the links connecting the variety of performance.
Where will you begin your new adventure – ‘not in the job description’?