Needless to say but I couldn’t spare it:) How are you today?
I am chilling here in one of our malls, having recorded a lousy, stressful Friday at work; I took my mom out, and of course, ended up shopping within the early Saturday morning hours (*slipping into my chair at this*), on which the mall is serene, vast, calm, inviting actually – and i am more of an outdoors person.Few people have arrived still, to ‘live’ and observe a little, interact and see what they may have missed out on, on their day off after a hectic working week – that applies for those few who do not work their bottoms off on this side of the world though.
I may have been a little away from our “home”, here, but most of you have carried our home to our email- or private inbox-correspondences and this is too awesome!
A friend of mine actually was so proactive in their thoughts few weeks ago, they asked me: what if this blog brings in personal correspondences with you, how will you find the time to deal with all of them and help each one of your people as you rocket-launch your new career as an academic? I smiled and said,
i’ll tell you when I get there, and here i am now, juggling the scarce time at-hand to talk to you, like really talk for all the time we need, my other halves; yet, tonight, i can tell that dear friend of mine:
I am certain that they all know i will either GIVE THEM MY TIME (which i did even if on the expense of unplugging all forms of other invading social media tools – this is healthy and it renders me happy to do so), and accessing my blog site solely – my people, old and new-comers just know i am there for them when they need a few thoughts or advice or simply , a constant in their life.. they know, and my next post comes in today for them too.
Can we please fast-forward just for a bit, to Feb.16-18, 2016 and rewind back together to my Dec.-Jan. in the next Blog Post, you guys, please, even though i had promised a sequel to my Blog Post #2 the last time?
I am compelled to share something you may see happening in your life now too and i’d love to hear back from you, on my Comments section or to my email and instagram account, where i already cherish and save all of our one-on-one chats:)
Lesson of the Week Feb.15-19, 2016:
“The more you do things your way at work, in your life, your ‘light’ shines brighter, steadier, and spurs ‘public’ change; change that moves others, that exposes you. It attracts HATERS- Oh a whole lot of them;
the more the Haters, the more the corroboration that you are doing fantastic work, a ground-breaking work superior to anything ever done. So,
Stand your grounds, be even prepared to run and to ‘carry’ ‘others’with you on your journey! Your success and self-development have just kicked it off” – Joy.
This week marked the beginning of a new (Spring) semester at our establishment, and a new battlefield to me, more personally – a battlefield where I confront my comfort zone, every day, and fight to stretch it a little further. It’s only been a week since the semester’s “actual” start-date, but truth is, I saw the battle upcoming, so I had prepared myself, laid the pebbles of my new path.. cannot see the all of it though.
I have been bestowed upon new academic responsibilities, huge senior ones in fact for someone who has only been there for 4 months now – I confess however that I have not sat still for an hour or a day without pushing for the changes i believe can help our students and curriculum administration thrive, and I made sure it was voiced to the right people, with enough people aboard, in the ways i judged most ideal.
My students in their turn also introduced me to a new-kind of accountability, the good pressure-kind-of one that shouts out, “oh will you be in our lives in this next semester, what courses will you be teaching us, and, Dr., I will have to leave the program for my new job with the UN, but can I please email you and call you to guide me through ..?”
I am learning what I need to do as I go, in so little time, at most times no time at all even; yes, winging it.
Remember, we are dealing with students here, i.e. other human beings (who are well in your lives as well, in whatever you currently do or whatever you may be struggling with or enjoying), who can and will read through you and your actions, rather than goods or products where mistakes can be merely corrected by reprinting or re-manufacturing ‘right’.
Coaching, mirroring, or guiding all fade away in a context where organizational bureaucracy or its lack actually, always make you feel lost on time, late, late, late, and catching up with more ‘lateness’, God, it’s a never-ending cycle. To top all that, your ‘effect’, your ways, after 5 months, begin to become more ‘legitimate’ let me describe it, as the bits and pieces you worked on since you joined the establishment, begin to blossom or be entirely ignored/suppressed; It’s one or the other, and this month, my ‘effect’/ways, fell in the former- thankfully.
And when they finally did, passer-bys as well as ‘natives’ both pay attention to them; i mean, human eye is attracted to the beautiful and extremely ugly, one of the advertisement principles i have learned at some point at least. Even more so, I can prove this to you in a true anecdote here-after:
my manger, the Dean of the British School of Business, owned a small plant in his office- a gift from a visitor he once explained. I had spotted it when i first joined the team on the top of his shelf and cringed at seeing every one leaf remaining on it as dry, brown, and withered as ever. I am no fanatic philanthropist and i don’t claim to be a good gardener – only my grandma would tell me that, and that was decades ago:D.
On the day i saw the plant, I randomly asked the permission to have it. I placed it out on the side of my office’s window there, for some sunlight (the least anyone could think of) and watered it (with the bottle of water i always keep on my desk), brought it back in by the end of the day before i left the office (just mindfully really)
I kept doing that for exactly 2 weeks (by the way: consistency in life …?), and on the 14th day, the brown leaves began falling off into the pot, with signs of life again, slow but steady changes in colour as i observed it day in day out. (I would smile at the sight too, unconsciously and consciously every time!)
I would occasionally take it back into the Dean’s office, to ‘brag’ of the progress, its promised beauty, and to add a little colour to the “paper-y” paleness when we teleconferenced with the UK partners. The Dean is a kind-hearted, appreciative figure and he genuinely commended my ‘gardening care’ to this “British School Plant” in front of visitors and colleagues who noticed it too and asked to hear the story from him.
Now, as shallow as this may sound, I loved it all: how the Dean, others, my colleagues, our partners and guests noticed and commented and appreciated the new, green beauty. For some reason, this plant became the symbol of my personal journey of change and success in this department and school of business, and even more so, a sign that my career change into Academics will/was thrive(ing).Only last night, I noticed tiny little buds sprouting from the end-bits of the leaves and branches of that tiny tree; I almost fell out of the window from the excitement- it was a Friday eve anyway, not that i wasn’t keen to leave the office in the fastest possible way 😉
(*Curious to see my career plant? A promised little photo of here*)
To-date, I still do what i do, but I also plan to add some vitamins to the soil by Monday, as mom has bought some for the roses planted in the parking space of out own place and I asked her to save some for my little “career plant”. I’ll keep you posted!
So, now your work is Out there, to be judged, by the least to the most influential colleague at your firm or institution. Now, the least influential are easy to win over so genuinely, with a little communication skills because :
As for the more influential ones, or those many who ‘think they are influential’ – and in the entire Middle East actually a vast majority are so, no grudge, just my opinion- well those did get to me and my health these two weeks more than ever..
up until many of you, my people, sent out ‘reminders’ or ‘watch-out’ messages to help me through and reminded me my physical and psychological health are my priority. You also reminded me even those ‘annoying’ , demeaning others, deserve a chance to belong to ‘my people’, those same ones my Blog was created for – to grow through them/you ,even if we have to agree to disagree with them on different methods of work.
My simple realization and daily experience this week has included:
tons of jealousy that i even believe has shattered a multiple of my bracelets and health partly, cold feelings and/or dealings with some colleagues, unacceptable and unethical gossips, accusations, deciphering the meaning of things you just genuinely shared or talked about to use them against you, countless and i tell you countless attempts to turn new-comers (instructors) mainly against me, as i was closely bringing them under my wing in the best, most genuine ways, as we all belong to the same one tribe for this academic year at least. I have also been put on-the-spot to be “tested” by some others, who were intentionally, publicly doubting my knowledge and ability to carry the weight of multi-tasking that has been put on my shoulders, by students as well as colleagues.
On the counter part of all that, I have had a Dean, partners, and a lot of other colleagues and members of my teaching teams say things like,
“[Joy], some people are now feeling insecure about their positions and where they stand in this institution because of how you’re doing it” – Feb.19, 2016 at 7pm said S.H.
“you just stand your ground and that is amazing, keep doing what you’re doing” …Feb. 18, 2016 shared N.A.
Guys, this is not me bragging about anything that i did; i shared here some positive things i may have accomplished, but my next posts will equally hold and unveil some major weaknesses i learn from, or mistakes i commit that may even be irreversible. I am only sharing these so you can relate the comments you get to my Lesson of the Week put out here for you – in case it may help you not be discouraged by any/all crap Man can get in this life, at the workplace, personally, or outside of both these areas.
I have also managed to be the’unannounced’, yet clearly, the star of our Faculty meeting on Feb.19th (a star in my eyes or others’ too, it does not really matter as long as i know i am doing what my convictions are telling me to be.) Then, each Team Leader sat with their Teaching Team, to decide on the chapters, methods of delivery, and engaging techniques for every assigned module; much more than 4 times, everyone else in the room just went silent, staring or trying to eavesdrop at what my teams and I were discussing so excitingly. You couldn’t but notice trust me and these looks were followed by funny comments and drove a series of conversations about how our school has seemed to improve, engage, inspire a certain fresh culture….
I just have a feeling, i’ll be humble enough to call it no more than that for now, until i tell you how things go further down the line.. so this feeling just says:
the more I stood my ground, worked so passionately, did not let haters into my perfect circle but made them my strength, albeit being focused on my end-target and why I am doing this and this position at this phase of my life,(i.e. my students, and taking everyone else with me on the journey no matter how different they may be) I was/am reaping a self-satisfaction and moving others in ways I and my superiors, close or across campuses and continents, never saw possible or coming.
But, they couldn’t ignore them as those people who were positively influenced, spoke up because they felt valued, taken care of, heard, excited/grateful.. while those who were ‘insecure’, well, their anger and/or selfishness equally pumped up my work because their attempt to ruin your (like my) aura of good work and attitudes was made obvious and flagrant to all others around them!Karma? Yes, and the fact and the psychological truth that hatred and cheap talk and jealousy consume a person, until they downgrade their potential, abilities, and derive their focus away from what really matters, right?
You lot, my people, I have got to thank you for making my Saturday, soothing the stress i was drowning from the past and upcoming weeks, and for making me feel that I matter and that I can help in the warmest and most creative ways , even when i don’t blog here or when i find myself in the 21st century unplugged from all other social media accounts-distractions.
Have a lovely weekend!
I promise, our career plant will be re-posted on here again; I’d love you to have it in your offices and lives too.
Very truly yours,