When You Become A Reason Someone Stays

Sunday, 16 June 2019

As a part of my routine reflection, I often ask myself why am I still where I am - personally and professionally. My personal life has been far from perfect, but I believe that I am exactly where I am meant to be. In fact, the last few weeks have been quite tough, but I will not have my life any other way. Professionally, it has been a massive roller coaster ride since day one. It has been very draining, physically and emotionally. To be quite honest, I don't know how I survived the first 15 months at work. I didn't have any managerial experience, let alone experience in dealing with challenging people in the work place, and all I did in my first year of tenancy at work was exactly that. Saying that though, I've had plenty of  experience in dealing with challenging people personally, so perhaps that was my weapon because seventeen months later, I am still here standing on my two feet fighting really hard to make things work.

Is the fight really worth it though? Yes I believe so, in one aspect of my job at least. 

People stay in their jobs for different reasons. As I said before, I have met people who desperately wanted to leave their jobs but couldn't because their shifts worked better with childcare, they were scared of change because it meant they had to start over again, they became too comfortable that even the mere thought of leaving became an instant inconvenience, and they constantly asked the question "what if" because let's face it, it's not always greener on the other side. 

In my case, I am staying in my job mainly because of my staff. I am proud to say that my staff are genuinely very nice people and very good professionals. They are in no way perfect, but most of them are the best colleagues I have ever worked with in my entire nursing career. I have not worked in an environment before, where almost everyone is genuinely kind. Of course, apart from my volunteer work when I was in New Zealand. The fact that I am loving every challenge that is being thrown at me, is only secondary. And whatever positive changes and difference that I have made in the last 17 months are just part of the job.

And whilst my reason for staying is because of my people, I never expected that someone would actually stay for me.

A few weeks ago, I took one of my staff in the office for some reason I can no longer recall. Ultimately, our conversation was drawn into the topic of why she was still with us. Her answer was, "Because of you. I want to help you". I was taken aback when I heard her say this. I honestly didn't know what to say. Never in my life did I ever think that someone would actually sacrifice their own happiness for me. What have I actually done to deserve this from such a sensible woman who is very much capable of making good decisions, and who could easily leave and find a better place where she can be truly happy in the workplace? Instead, she chose to stay for me. This is honestly the most humbling compliment I have ever receive from anyone at work. 

Needless to say that I value this staff very much with all my heart. She is one of my most treasured staff and I wouldn't be where I am as a manager without her help. She has contributed so much in the success of our department and I am so grateful for this. It is such a blessing indeed to have her in my team.

I know I have previously said that we go to work to do a job and not to make friends, but I soon realised that it is important that we make allies at work. The workplace is one, if not the most stressful place to be in and therefore, it is paramount that we have at least one or two people whom we can trust. I don't know about you, but there has been a few times when stress almost got the better of me, and the only thing that have saved me was speaking to my "confidantes" at work. Sometimes just speaking to someone who genuinely have the ears and the heart to listen really help a lot- to keep you focused and most importantly, to preserve your mental health. 

It is important to feel and know that at work, you are not alone. However, it is also equally important, or even more important to make your staff or your colleagues feel and know that they are not alone. Always make them feel that they can talk to you, and that someone is always willing to lend a listening ear. Because just being there to listen can change every negative feeling. Besides, it is only through listening that you can better understand other people. So, always make time to listen.

TIN x

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