“Never stop learning”, that was the advice my father gave me on my first day in Maverick. It was not always be on time or be a team player. It was a reminder to be curious, absorb knowledge, and apply it when we can. It was a reminder that our surroundings change, and the perfect way to face it head-on is for us to change too.
That too, was the mindset I held onto entering 2021. Back then, surroundings had changed. We couldn’t work in the office, easily meet our colleagues, or casually chat with them in break rooms anymore. It was a change that had been going on for a while, but it was a change nonetheless.
Collectively, we learned to live with it. We stayed at home most of the time, working from a corner in our room that was, at first, haphazardly turned into a workstation. Now, that little corner has the coziest chair and quite possibly the fastest internet connection in the house. We mastered the art of WhatsApp chats, getting our points across as clear as possible now that the recipient has to guess our expression and intonations.
Personally, I learned to live with it too. Unfortunately, that means that I can no longer use the pandemic as an excuse.
I have long known that I am a person who needs to have clear goals to motivate me. Back in 2020, these goals ground to a halt and I took it as a respite. But after months, I realized that I have to stop wandering and focus up. Early in 2021, I decided to relearn my intentions and go on the route toward my intended outcome — my best self.
At first, the change felt strange. I used to dedicate a lot of my waking hours to work. I either do it or think about it. Slowly, I learned to manage my time. I tried to start and stop work on time so I could have more for me. I used them to improve myself, or realistically, catch up on dramas. On some days, I still go back to old habits, but I try to forgive and bounce back.
What do you know, this change paid off. Now that I have better time management, I am more efficient. I now know to prioritize and delegate, giving opportunities for team members to grow. Working on myself made me a happier person too, and I have since been able to relax and not take myself too seriously. All of these traits, learnings, and shifts converged into becoming a better person (and good news, a better consultant).
I penned this as if I, alone, made this happen. It is not true. This happened because of the solid support system that surrounds me. Throughout, I have had the privilege to be mentored by team leaders and supervisors who taught me how to lead and manage successfully, to be among colleagues whose drive for growth is unparalleled, and to be with team members whose support is endless. I learned that in terms of workplace and workmates here, I have been lucky.
That was 2021 for me. It was not a year of epic events and grand gestures. Instead, it was a year of small changes and slow steps forward. Today, with this writing, I have learned that it has been life-changing anyway.
Written by Bewinda Salsabila.