Five Lessons March Taught Me

The beginning of March was rather uplifting. There were some positive feedback from work, and some quality time well spent with people who really matter to us. It was an overdue catch up with one of our favourite couples in London, so what was the better way to spend the day than good food, good laugh and some karaoke with a 3-year old girl? I live for days like that and I am glad that I have amazing people to share it with.

However, just like anything in this world, some good things never last. Towards the end of March, my effectivity as a ward manager was put to test. I reflected long and hard as to why would this happen just over two months into my role. I asked myself multiple times, "is it me?". When I was at a point where I was going to start doubting myself yet again, I heard a voice inside me confidently telling me that it is not my fault and it will never be my fault. It felt like waking up from a bad dream. Since that day, I was fully convinced that whatever happens, it is not my fault because I know I am trying my very best. To be completely honest and not to brag, I am doing a good job despite not having a direct management background. This, I say with strong conviction because it is true.:)

This is why everything that is happening at work right now is a learning curve. I believe that every success and every failure is an opportunity for us to be one step closer to where we want to be. Hence, these lessons:

1. Let your work speak for you
- In the workplace where there are people who are in constant pursuit of recognition, if I may say, in every little thing that they do, you want to be different and be that person who works quietly and let your work do the talking.  At the end of the day, it is not how much you have done, but it is how the work was done that matters. Your motivation to work harder and be the best among the rest should be the difference that you make to yourself, your craft and to other people, and not the constant affirmation you get from others every time you do a great job. Those things do not last forever. Instead, let your actions define you as a person and not the words  you hear from other people. 

2. Be proud, not of what you have achieved, but of what you have become because of what you have achieved
- I get it. People work very hard to be successful and that's okay. What isn't okay is when people let their success get to their heads. I have worked with people who "power-trip" because they think they are better than others. They start picking on other people, making them feel incompetent of their jobs. And this is simply because they know they are in a higher position than them. People become too focused on their achievements that they often forget the person they once were. In this world where everything is temporary- even success, people should always go back to where they've come from and view success as nothing but an instrument in finding the person that they truly are. Only then they can truly be proud of themselves and call themselves successful. 

3. The right people will stay
- And this applies to all aspects in life. Whilst I almost blamed myself for losing a good member of my team, I realised immediately that perhaps she wasn't meant to stay. I've always believed that the right people will stay no matter what the circumstances are. Where there are many challenges, the right people will stand by you and will walk through the journey with you. This is why I remain positive that things will get better in time, when I finally have all the right people around me.

4. People leave not because of the job, but because of people
- I know this very well because I left my previous job for the same reason. It is a disheartening fact, but no one can blame anyone for leaving work because of their colleagues. The truth is, we spend eight hours a day, five days a week of our precious time with people at work. That is more than what we actually spend with our loved-ones. Personally, I would like to spend my valuable eight hours with people that I get a long with. People I can share a laugh with. People who are kind and compassionate towards each other. People I can call my family outside my family. Life is too short to be spending it with people who judge you, undermine you and constantly try to make you feel bad about yourself. So, why stay?

5. Focus on what's important
- Sometimes it is very hard to determine what truly is important in our lives. It has been a constant battle for me in the last three months to resist sacrifising my life outside work in order to fulfil professional demands. I had to constantly remind myself of how I rose above those who made me feel less of the person than I am at my previous job- and that is the fact that I have a good life outside work. I used that as a weapon to defy all the negativity back then, and I will use that again so that I don't lose focus on what truly is important in my life.

Ha, these lessons reminded me of everything that I went through for the last five years. But life goes on because things can only get better.



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