Last weekend, dressed in my old t-shirt and sweat pants, hair tied up in a clip, with a paint roller in my hand, I remembered one of the reasons why I love my family so much. When someone needs help or something needs to get done, my family works together to make it happen. In this particular instance, the upstairs of my grandparent’s house required a new paint job. So my parents helped clean and prepare the walls and ceilings; my aunt and uncle did the sanding and ‘cutting in’ parts of the paint job; my dad, uncle and I used the paint rollers; my mom and cousin painted the door and window trim; and my other aunt prepared our lunch and supper for us, so that we didn’t have to worry about cooking. In two days we had two coats of new paint on everything and the house looked amazing.
When I was a child, I assumed that all families were like this; when you needed help, you would reach out and this amazing safety net of people surrounded you with support and assistance. I eventually discovered how lucky I was to have been raised in a family like this and no longer take it for granted the way I used to. My grandfather always says the most important thing in life is family and this lesson has shaped who I am today.
As a result of this lesson, I now realize I’m drawn to work environments where I have this same sense of family. As much as I enjoy and need to work independently on occasion, I invest myself more in a workplace where I’m part of a respectful, supportive team working toward a mutual goal, with the understanding that the final result wouldn’t be the same if even one of those people was missing. For me, the people I work with are my ‘work family’ and every member of the team has value.
What about you? What was your most influential childhood memory that has impacted and prepared you for your career?