Caring about your job is a good thing. Being passionate about the organisation’s identity and reputation is also a good thing. But it can be a challenge when other people affect these things, and we can easily take these issues home with us.
by GUEST EDITOR Karen Jeal
I've been away from work to do the biggest thing in my life so far and since returning all I can think is why can't I let the little things go?
Last year in October I had a baby girl. I was still at work when she graced us with her presence as she came into the world unexpectedly six weeks early. After a few stressful early weeks she is thankfully very healthy and doing well now. So why am I telling you this?
Well, fast forward six months and I made the, what I think, brave decision to come back to work. I love every second of every day with my little girl but I had started missing work. I felt like I needed more of a purpose to each day and I felt like I wasn't doing much with my days other than tracking everything by programmes on the TV. Had I got up and dressed by the time Homes Under the Hammer was on. Had I had lunch when Loose women had started and was I ready for my partner coming home from work when Pointless began? I have never watched the first two programmes before but here I was finding myself feeling lazy and slobbing out on the sofa all day long. Some might think this is the dream but it's not for me. Of course, I was caring and nurturing my daughter and I always tried to get out with her everyday but it didn't feel like enough. I still missed that connection with other people.
So I contacted work and started my keep in touch days from February and then in May I took the plunge and came back properly. I'm not going to lie even though I've just written what I have I found it hard and struggled with it at times. I still do, but I use my hour commute in my car each way to understand these feelings and talk myself into the fact I'm doing things that are right for me and that work for my family. I'm proud to be teaching my little girl what it’s like to be ambitious and I'm hoping in time it sets a good example.
But I'm still finding myself getting back into old habits of not being able to let little things go.
So I've seen the logo has been used wrongly, the wrong corporate colours being used, people are setting social media accounts up here, there and everywhere and those that already exist just aren't looking quite as good as they could be. I'm designing a website that I'm having to do things with that I don't agree with and I'm having to argue points which I should not always have to do because like each and every department in a council we are experts in our field. Yet getting across evidence to make a point seems to be taking up more and more of my time.
I don't tell a planner how to grant planning permission and I don't tell the bin men how they should go about collecting the bins so why should people be telling me how to do my job.
This is a question that whirls around on my journey home all the time. And as more of this happens I'm finding it's now creeping more and more into my home life as I get home and need to talk about things to get them out my system.
I'm very passionate about what I do and I care so much for the brand that is being established and I feel like I bang on about consistency all the time. But when I'm hitting a brick wall should I just let the little things go? When I think I'm getting home and finding I'm stressing out about these 'little' things is it having a negative impact on my family life. Should I work out a better work, life, balance and try and switch off? I find it very difficult to just let it go and forget about it when in my role in the organisation is one which others think I do. Sometimes I do not want to be associated with a particular decision or do not want others to think I've done it in a certain way when I've tried to evidence my points for a different outcome.
Little things really are big things though and although not as big as coming back to work it is a big deal to me. I don't know the answers to what I'm saying so if anyone has any or advice it'd be greatly received.
Karen Jeal is Senior Media Officer at Gravesham Borough Council
image via the National Library of Ireland