A Supervisor’s Story: Shining Despite the PlightEmployee Journals
When I got hired, I had no thoughts of moving up the corporate ladder as I applied for a part-time position, which I considered as somewhat of a temporary placement. Years went by and I was absorbed as a full-time staff, and this was this time when the thought of getting promoted was introduced to me by the company. I did get it eventually, but it never crossed my mind that it would be given to me amidst a pandemic.
I’ve been working for RareJob for almost 9 years, and I currently hold the position of Applicant Evaluation Team Supervisor. Our team handles the screening of tutor applicants on a day-to-day basis, which mainly revolves around conducting interviews and talking with aspiring tutors online.
It is very fortunate that our team has the opportunity to earn while working in the comfort of our own homes. It wasn’t easy at first but we were able to pull through. The team was able to adapt quickly by coming up with a new set of guidelines while working from home. With everyone sharing their ideas, it wasn’t long before we were back on our feet and operating just like when we were in the office.
I dare say that the situation this pandemic caused helped me with achieving my promotion. Everything happened so fast, and we needed to act fast as well. When the pandemic started, as the officer-in-charge, I was tasked to ensure that the team could still function given the resources we had while my then supervisor ironed things out with the management. Guidelines were revised over and over until we got the most suitable work-from-home setup. We supported our colleagues to ensure that we cover our day-to-day operations. The pressure was on, but we were able to get through the most difficult times since we trusted each other and felt we can depend on one another.
As for my tasks, they are pretty much the same now compared to when I was an officer-in-charge. One difference, perhaps, was the amount of authority and responsibility I am now accountable for. I’m still getting used to people seeking my approval since I was more accustomed to being the one asking for approval.
Working from home has its own pros and cons, especially for someone like me who just recently got promoted. Everyone from my team wanted to stay working from home. Aside from the safety and convenience, they get to spend more time with their family and loved ones. This proved to be a double-edged sword on my part since the distance made it very difficult for me to check on everyone.
As the supervisor, I am not only accountable for meeting the team’s objectives and targets, I am also accountable for my staff’s individual growth and well-being. As a person, I am that guy who doesn’t talk a lot but observes everything behind the scenes. Back in the office, it was very easy to notice if someone was having a tough time, and for me, physical cues make concerns easier to address. Having regular meetings and touch bases helped, but a virtual interaction can only do so much.
To keep everyone motivated and involved, we needed to give them a special avenue to do so. We needed to ensure that everyone felt that they belong and what they say matters. On top of meetings, we have regular cultivation activities, wherein the staff gets to facilitate a discussion or activity of their choice. They are given the creative freedom to do what they want as long as they can facilitate the cultivation activity well. This initiative gave us the time to interact more and the opportunity to see each other’s strengths and talents.
Getting to where I am right now was such a wonderful journey. It was a very long and fruitful learning experience, and I wish to share two of the countless wisdom imparted by my mentors through the years: Do your best and forgive yourself.
Simply do your best. It was during my 4th year in RareJob when I expressed my desire to be promoted. My then Assistant Manager told me not to aim for a particular promotion and said: “Do your best and if you deserve it, it will be given to you.” This mindset saved me from a few disappointments since I know I would have done the same thing regardless if I am up for a promotion or not.
Learn how to forgive yourself. My mentor-friend told me this when I got promoted. He told me that there will come a point in time that I might feel that I failed in my new role. It may feel as if despite doing everything, my efforts will never be enough. True enough, it did happen and I am very grateful to have been given this advice. I was still discovering the path towards becoming a good leader and there’s still so much to learn. Not knowing what to do and learning how to do it is part of the journey.
Committing mistakes and discovering how to overcome them is part of the job. Knowing that it’s normal even for people in leadership positions to sometimes stumble; what’s important is the ability to rise up to the occasion and prove to yourself that these are just emotions and not your reality.
A Year Without Destinations: Beach Bound during the Pandemic
As we reach a year into the pandemic and the work from home setup, it’s understandable that some of us would feel antsy, not being able to move around as freely as we used to. On top of that, canceled vacation plans from 2020 still weigh heavily at the back of our minds, as if they were a vacation itch we just could not scratch.
A Virtual Hug: Keeping Employees Involved
When I was still planning for college, I honestly did not see myself working as an HR professional because I had other plans in mind. It was my mom’s idea that I pursue a BS Degree in Psychology and go into the Human Resources field, which she believed was the most suitable job for me. I did not understand what she meant at first, but I chose to go for it. As years passed, I came to realize that she was right – I am actually happy with where I am now.
Far From Home: Conquering Distance as a Family
With plenty of opportunities available in NCR, quite a few job seekers from the province find themselves entering the market in the metro. This does not come without its own cons, however; most of the time, people end up moving away from their families, only being able to visit them a few times a month. After the onset of the pandemic, we can only imagine how much more challenging this has become.