Do They Make a Life GPS?

Jan 3, 2017 | goals, life, work

Because if so, sign me up. I need someone to tell me exactly where to go, how to get there, and how to avoid pulling my hair out on the way there. (And if the narrating voice could be David Tennant, that’d be grrrreat.)

I’ve been going through old posts over the last few days. Mostly ruminating about how much my writing has changed–how much I’ve changed–since I started this blog in 2007.

Ten years.

Ten years of ramblings, some profound and some ridiculous.

Just as they did when I wrote them, my emotions waxed and waned when I re-read them. Silly. Angry. Sad. Inspired.

I went through jobs, boyfriends, babies and grad school. (Well, applying to grad school. AND, I might add, getting accepted into the program.)

Anyway, there’s a definite chunk of time where I feel like my writing was at its best. Its most poignant. A time where I felt most content with everything in my life, and felt like I had the freedom to write about whatever, whenever.

This is sometime between 2012 and 2014, when I was at TrustWorkz. TrustWorkz gave me purpose outside my home, outside of being a wife, a mother, and a caregiver. (All things I am proud to be, but I am not limited by these things.)

However small the company was, I felt like I was part of something great, and leadership encouraged me and the other team members in a way that I have not come into contact with again (yet, anyway).

I realized today (at least partly) why I was so in love with my work at that time: I love people, and I love building a community, both within an organization and beyond. At TrustWorkz, I found myself in an ever-changing role, becoming responsible for helping create employment standards and training materials. I wanted to cultivate an environment where my team could come to me with any problem, at any time, because I felt like that was the way to build trust within a company.

I loved working there because of the acceptance, humor, and authenticity, and above all, a shared love for inspiring and helping people. Even on the most overwhelming of days, I was surrounded by good people doing good work, and I was buoyed by this fellowship every. single. day.

At my current company, in addition to my marketing responsibilities in my current role, last year I sought out partnerships with key people in our HR department to help engage and champion our over 600-employees to grow and strengthen our teams. To thank me for being part of that collaboration, I was gifted the Gallup Strengths Finder 2.0 book before the holiday break and I took the test to discover what my five main strengths are. According to Gallup, they are:

  • Discipline – People who thrive in an organized and orderly environment. They like their days to be predictable and planned, so they instinctively find ways to organize their lives.
  • Empathy – People who can sense the emotions of those around them. They can feel what others are feeling as though the emotions were their own. They intuitively see the world through others’ eyes and share their perspectives.
  • Input – People who are naturally inquisitive. They always want to know more. They crave information. They like to collect certain things, such as ideas, books, memorabilia, quotations, or facts.
  • Intellection – People with strong Intellection talents are introspective. This introspection gives them time to reflect and ponder. Wherever it leads them, their mental hum is a constant in their lives.
  • Developer – People who see the potential in others. They naturally see others’ capacity to change, grow, and develop for the better. And they are drawn to people for this reason. Being part of another person’s development is one of the best experiences in the world for them. (So much YES.)

Once I started reading more about each result, they all made sense. I do like order, and I like to organize, but I’m not necessarily always neat and tidy. (Sometimes there’s a method to the mess.) Empathy and Developer, those seemed perfectly natural. Input and Intellection didn’t seem like good fits at first, but then I thought about all the things I’ve collected in the past (buttons, Hello Kitty stationery, among other things), and how I love to research the shizz out of things before I make a decision, and then how I always question why and how and what next, and well, then they all made sense.

I started reading Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family today during my lunch break. I am halfway through the first chapter and I found myself highlighting and tabbing bits of inspiration that spoke to me. Why is treating your employees like people, (what they actually are) such a difficult concept? What about “take care of your people, and they will take care of your customers?” (I think this is attributed to Richard Branson.)

Why all of this “what does it all mean?” philosophizing? I don’t really know. The last 2-3 years have been somewhat of an emotional roller-coaster for me. I haven’t felt whole, even though I’m surrounded by things that are good. I’ve been soul-searching trying to figure out how I can better serve the company I work for, the other employees who work alongside me, and our customers who benefit from our products.

I don’t have it all figured out yet. I don’t know if I ever will. But if, along the way, I can discover at least how to be a better employee and better human being, well, then that’s something.