Thursday, May 19, 2011


I had the distinct pleasure of working on a Habitat for Humanity home yesterday. I've done it once before, over a decade ago (eeek!), as a high school student with my church youth group. This trip was different though, because it was with coworkers of mine. There's something really awesome about doing this kind of work with adults who have families and lives and a host of other things that they could use an excuse not to lend a hand.

But lend a hand we did. We headed over to Annapolis and put in a full day's work on seven rowhouses. We did mostly framing work, which happens to be what I did the last time I volunteered with them. I'm starting to become an expert! Ok, not really, but I'm not half bad. It rained off and on all day, so what could have been a fairly simple task became slow and arduous, full of mud and general ick. And yet my entire team maintained a positive attitude throughout.

Note: Not my hands.

Had you asked me just a few years ago if I was happy about where I worked my response would have been pretty negative. In 2007 I was let go (one of hundreds) when the bank I'd worked for for eight years was bought by another. While I'd held various positions over the years, it was the only company I'd ever worked for since graduating high school. My bank was one of a few sister banks and our entire workforce was only about 250 people, so everyone knew everyone else on some level. Because of the positions I held I got to see people from various branches on a regular basis and it truly felt like a family working together. It was pretty devastating when Mark and I drove to work (we both worked at the same place - met there actually) and read in the newspaper of the merger. To say that the next few weeks, which were full of lots of questions and not nearly as many answers, was stressful is a major understatement.

I was fortunate to get a job with my current employer lined up before my last one ended. But it was a big change moving from a company of 250 employees in just four counties within the state, to a corporation that staffed thousands across the country. My first few months on the job were stressful and confusing and I felt like everyone was so divided, with none of those family ties I'd felt before (except for working with my sister). And a lot of that stemmed from my bad attitude about leaving the company I'd loved. But over the years my attitude has changed and I'm happy to say that I'm thrilled to work for the company that I do. I love that it's a workplace filled with people who want to help our community in any way possible, with leadership who makes it a priority to allow volunteering, even during work hours.

That's not to say things are perfect (they rarely are when corporations are involved), but I'm a big believer in the idea that you reap what you sow. I work hard at staying upbeat no matter what changes come my way and love that I work with a team of people who do the same, as evidenced by yesterday's activities. Do you have the same sort of experience at work? Or at home even? If not, instead of focusing on what was, try focusing on what can be and think long and hard about how you and your attitude can change everything.


Jo said...

Sounds like a great day, even though it was kinda crappy outside. It is hard to adjust to things sometimes, we all go through it. :-) Glad to hear you really like where you work. It's a blessing when that happens.

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