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No, I am Not a Morning Person
(October 25, 2007) Environments looking to broaden their resource base understand that myspace and personal email are a benefit to the organization.
You want me to bring my network to work.
In my evaluation/sync-up meeting this morning I was thanked (almost profusely) for tapping into my personal network for fundraising - for bringing my network, community and family to work with me.
For me, this seemed obvious. Part of why I took so long to commit to the next thing was because I was not going to take a position with an organization that I did not want to integrate into my network. Into my life. My work had to be able to be brought home- brought to the dinner table, out to drinks and shared within intimate check-ins with friends and family. There was no way that I could separate the two - my life was not going to be one where my job felt obligatory, over exactly at 5 with hopes of forgetting about it until the next morning.
While it was nice to be thanked, and if there is one thing I am getting with this job is an abundance of gratitude and appreciation, it was an even better opportunity to share with my supervisors my excitement about their mission and premise that I took the job precisely because I wanted to bring the organization and work into the other facets of my life.
It was also made clear that the purpose of the meeting was to hear from me as well. How has my time been so far? What have I noticed about the organization, both positively and critically? Are there areas of work that I feel drawn to work on? How is my time here fitting into my larger career/life goals?
I answered. They listened.
I talked about my want to interact with different people all day long and there were elaborate pictures painted of staff members running downstairs every 20 minutes in a new mask to keep me entertained. I assured them, that when it gets really bad, and I need a new face, I just hop on myspace for a little bit. We all laughed.
This style of communication is part of what people my age are looking for in their work. Not a job, but work.
The office I come into everyday takes me as I am - all of it- my need to move, my need to interact with lots of people, my sense of humor, and my lacking ability to be an energetic morning person. There is a comfortable friendship facilitated through this communication style that brings non-traditional work topics out of shame, blame and inappropriate directly into the light of individual needs and personality at work.
This friendship is an essential part of the cycle of mentoring that is happening in all directions. I feel safe and welcomed in asking questions and strategic "big" questions are asked of me (even as a brand new employee). There is a clear culture of working together and learning from one another, no matter what your position on the hierarchy. We can relate on a personal level and shift gears in a moment to talk procedure and program planning.
This is deeply humanizing. And it reminds me why I am committed to being here and why I want to stay.
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