After spending nearly a decade training as a tradesmen and working odd general labour positions I found myself between jobs and working at Starbucks. A friend of mine offered me some side work painting offices for a non-profit one day so I went for the extra cash. When I was finished I was offered a part-time position working for the non-profit organization.
The people orientated culture in the non-profit suited much of what I felt was lacking in the profit driven industrial construction industry. People not only took care of themselves but they served the need of others here as well. Time and money didn’t see to be as much of an issue. Everybody was friendly and wanted everyone else to succeed as well. People’s achievements were celebrated and when failure occurred it was not shamed or ridiculed. Instead a sense of family was present, when one person rose we all rose together. The reduction in remuneration was replaced with an opportunity to live my values and adhere to the drives of my conscience. My creative spirit was an appreciated and needed resource. One drawback that should be mentioned was that hard work never directly equated to a pay raise. Everyone is paid the same amount. The people most committed to the program take the majority of the workload. Burnout was common.
The most negative places I have worked were organizations which had a strong culture of cognitive bias. Some people only see in black and white. This is great for surviving but terrible for thriving. Whenever faced with this type of environment I remind myself of my own purpose and reason for being present. Having developed a strong sense of self and healthy personal boundaries other peoples ideologies have a much harder time penetrating my core. One of my favorite inner mantras is "If they knew better they would do better.’ I try not to let my personality drawbacks get the best of me. The last but not the least of tactics I use to combat other peoples negativity is to lead by example.