With, Not For: Part II

building-bridges-paulo-zerbato

Photo Credit: Paolo Zerbato

I would like to say I have the privilege of working with my company and our clients as a Learning and Support Specialist.

Let me emphasize that: with. Not for, but with.

In the three years I’ve been working at Paradiselandia and the 8 that I’ve been a part of the e-learning community, the best relationships I’ve encountered are those in which my coworkers are a companions and not cogs in a wheel.

The difference is in the relationship and how that affects my perception of my company.

By the way, if you noticed that this intro is similar to the one from this entry, know that I am giving very approving nods to your level of attention to detail.

Going on, let’s take a moment to appreciate what it means to say my company. In other words, I belong to it and – maybe more important – I feel that it belongs to me. There’s something powerful about being a part of something so large and feeling both connection and ownership of it.

For better or for worse (until death do us part), frustrations and all, the well-being of this company and everyone in it is something I am very invested in. Obviously, there are balances to be maintained in all of that, but I am proud to be here. That’s rare sentiment and that stems from the fact that I work with my company and not for it.

When there is a problem, we come together and solve it. When there is success for any department, it feels like my own because I feel that:

  1. The things I do here matter.
  2. No one can do the things I do.

In all the time I’ve been here, the company has made it clear that they don’t see me as expendable. That a result of a lot of things over time (proven work ethic, initiatives taken, etc), but when it comes to someone like myself who is, by nature, intrinsically rewarded, it means a lot to me that I do work that is meaningful and helpful. “The powers-that-be” where I work do a good job at communicating that.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days, but that my bad days have perspective and context; it’s all part of an overall forward motion to a larger thing that I’m a valued contributor to. For example: today. I’m incredibly frustrated today, but in moments from now, I’ll dive into a problem with the team and that frustration will either evaporate or be turned into something productive we can build more of our future with.

I hope that wherever you are, whether at a counter or at a desk, you feel the same about your work. If not, may God grant you the strength to add and/or subtract things from your life until you do.

Shine on.

o/

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