Reflections (part 2)

… continuation from the last blog
As highlighted in my last blog, it has been very challenging. I had to learn how to work with different personalities and I have literally had to practice patience and controlling my tongue. It may feel good to have a good come back to your boss or your colleagues when they are being snappy with you, but will the consequence be worth it? 
I like to think that after meeting a person a few times, I am able to study their personalities and relate to them accordingly. So if you are an extrovert, I can relate to you on that level and vice versa. For this reason I have a mixed bag of friends, with different personalities. I have been quite successful in the past in my personal relationships so I have tried to emulate this trait for work as well. However, as I have found over time with friends, it is genuinely not possible to get on at every level with everybody. There will be times you do not agrees stone where they do something that makes you want to write them off for life. As a Christian, I know I am called to love, so I try my best to look over and beyond any unpleasant behaviour, knowing fully well I am also not perfect, and love them.
 I have realised that at work, it is not just about the individuals personality, but also their seniority and style of work. For example, some people like to be chased and reminded about everything and others do not like being micro managed. I have made so many mistakes in the process of finding the right balance when loading with colleagues. I must confess that I do not like making mistakes, it makes me feel inept and incompetent and I am my worst critic. It did not help that I used to dwell and beat myself up when I made mistakes. However, I slowly began to realise that I wasn’t doing any good to myself. Instead, I started learning to grow a coping mechanism which involves considering what I could have done differently, or where relevant, how to rectify the error and manage the expectations of the stakeholders.
What makes it even harder at work is working with people with moodswings. It is commonly known that women have moodswings but I find that in my place of work, it tends to be more of the men that have unpredictable moods. One minute you are getting on well and actually being productive working together and the next, you are being screamed at or feel you are working in an unpleasant environment. At some point, it was so bad that I literally had to figure out whether one of my bosses was in a good mood before approaching him for anything. I personally don’t think it is professional to inflict wrath on employees because you are in a bad mood, by what do I know? They are after all, more senior than I am!
I have tried my best to navigate such people and like I said above, I find that preemptive what I think their mood is has helped me in communicating with them. You could say it is not your job to do that, but the consequences for me of not doing that is, he or she would inevitably say something they shouldn’t case that would make me upset for the rest of the day. I am in no way shape or form advocating abuse or to work where you do not feel safe. You will be the best judge of that for yourself and where in doubt, talk to friends and family and if necessary, to HR.
After 11 months of working full time, feeling frustrated most of time and feeling pleased with myself on some of the days, I received the greatest gift of all. I got promoted to a manager. My short term goal was accomplished! I am still surprised, not because I do not think I worked hard for it, but because I know how much stigma there still is on working mums. This happening has just renewed my faith that things are changing or better still, the firm I work for still believes in meritocracy underneath it all.
Of course with this comes a lot more responsibilities and I am still finding my feet. However, I trust that the God who has brought me this far and has constantly granted me favour, wisdom, knowledge and understanding, amongst other things, when it mattered the most, will continue to see me through. I am still working hard and looking for ways to best balance being a working mum and wife.
I hope this encourages someone somewhere.
Enjoy the rest of your week.

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