As I was sitting with a group of ladies tonight exchanging work stories, there was a general negative sentiment shared based on executives being unapproachable, the good ol’ boys club, and organizations being more catty than supportive. Wanting to mentor younger coworkers and disliking there not being more people taking action to support others was discussed. Several of us sat there with lack of anything to say as the topic became more dismal.
Luckily for me, I didn’t have similar stories to contribute about my superiors. Yes, my industry has many negative points, especially to a woman, but I put myself in a position where I choose who I work with, learn all I can, and keep it moving. I’m shielded from much of the downside of what I work in as the companies I work with and people I report to are not like what I heard tonight. Sure, there are frustrating times and things that make me want to punch somebody. People hound me for information then promptly disappear, I become the squeaky (annoying) wheel in trying to track down answers, and sometimes I feel like I’m lost in the shuffle since I’m not in person with people I work with. But, I’m not often left with feelings of negativity toward those calling the shots around me.
I’m lucky as there is an underlying sense of team and looking out for me as a valued asset. But it’s not just a declared company culture, a lack of bad things, or absence of drama causing me to like my work situation. Beyond that, people I report to make it a point to thank me, acknowledge what it’s like from my side, and reiterate support for me. A few people I work with are especially amazing at saying words of encouragement and appreciation on a regular basis. It’s the “thank you” and “great job” plugged in to emails and the “we’re stoked to have you on board” months after being there that continue to bring positive energy to my work. Orders I turn in are replied to with “keep it up!” even at 12 midnight and employers tell me to do what I need to so I make money and it works for me, even if that means not just focusing on them. As we know, it’s often the little things that make a difference, and each time I hear a “we totally support that” or read “we know you’ve been working hard” I am inspired to work better for them. And, let’s be real, I feel all warm and fuzzy.
I try to openly listen to concerns, support those around me, and add in sincere and uplifting words where I can. But in receiving such amazing and in-tune words from my bosses, the bar is raised for me and I want to encourage others even more. I know how special and understood I feel when a comment is so in line with how hard I worked to make something happen or how much I’ve been trying even when it’s not turning out as I want. Getting to experience this first hand, and especially after hearing how it’s not the norm, I’m motivated to pass along my own words of encouragement. Down the line, we may not remember exactly what was said, but we’re left with a feeling that sticks with us when thinking back on the person who encouraged us.
Encourage each other.
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