If there is only one constant since I began working, that would be the never-ending work-related stress.
Through the years, I experienced different levels of stress and various reasons behind them. Sometimes I was stressed with a co-worker or my boss, other times from overwhelming workloads and overtime, and oftentimes caused by the horrible Metro Manila traffic.
However, those times were almost always bearable, thanks to my teammates, who usually also experience the same.
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The season with wonderful teammates.
When I was deployed to my first project in 2015, I immediately felt at home with my teammates. We mostly had the same sense of humor and vibe, so working with them is easy.
They were also unselfish in helping new hires like me with the things I need to know. These are also not limited to technical skills or company policies but also extend to doing better at work and life.
Though we were mostly doing fine, there were still times when we messed up and got reprimanded by the higher-ups. Nonetheless, we always maintained a positive outlook and even completed the project with flying colors.
Even though that team has only been together for 6 months, the relationship established never disappeared.
After my first project, I bounced around several others. Some were as short as one month to as long as more than a year. Fortunately, in every project I was rolled in, I was always blessed to be included in a group filled with great people.
There may be times when we needed to work overtime or have some arguments among ourselves. At the end of the day, we were still a team, winning or losing as one.
I think the company culture, constant team-building activities, and close age gaps positively impacted our cooperation, camaraderie, and success at work.
The start of the end of shared stress.
From 2015 to 2017, I was always a part of a team ranging from 5 to 30+ members. We also mostly had the same skillset, so reuniting with a past teammate to another project is inevitable.
Then in late 2017, I was transferred and “retooled” to another skillset. Along with that shift, I was deployed to a different location.
For almost 3 years, I worked in McKinley Hills or Uptown BGC, Taguig, then suddenly, I was transferred to Eastwood City, QC.
In my new project, I only have one teammate, my supervisor, working thousands of kilometers away in Bangalore, India.
Being under pressure from the higher-ups, my supervisor turned to micromanage me, pushing me to the edge. Every day, we would connect via a video call in which I have to present my screen.
During most of my 10-hour shift, he will just literally watch me do the troubleshooting or programming needed to complete a current task.
However, since I had limited time to learn the necessary skills to complete my current assignment, I was often required to work overtime and double-time. Eventually, I burned out.
Aside from the stress that I was experiencing, I also had no one to talk to, so I turned to social media, particularly Twitter, to vent and rant.
To add insult to injury, commuting from Mandaluyong to QC along with the thousands of other commuters during rush hour is one of the worst experiences of living in the Metro. So I had to move closer to my office.
But to be fair, I believe that that challenging experience was a step towards God’s plan to guide me to my vocation of returning to my home province to teach.
Having someone to share your stress with.
Stress is constant in our adult life, and for many of us, we need to find a coping mechanism to lighten our burden.
From my experience working on multiple projects, having a friendly teammate can be a game-changer.
If I’ll compare my micromanaging, pressure-causing supervisor with my friendly and understanding teammates, the difference is vast. It can even be as far as staying and resigning.
A single person can really be the difference between holding on or breaking down, especially in times of trouble or significant stress.
Often, the connection we established with our teammates is enough reason to stay in a stressful situation.
Where I am now.
I’ve been in the academe for three years, and I can say that I am blessed with many wonderful people who reminded me of the teammates I had before.
Though I am still often overwhelmed with work, personal life, side hustles, and graduate school, having someone to talk to is a difference-maker.
I may have exited the academe recently, but the experiences and memories I had with my team are something I will cherish forever.
Work-induced stress is almost unavoidable, but how we react (or not react) to them can make the difference, and having someone to share that stress with makes it even more bearable.
I also believe that most of the things that stress us out today will most likely be irrelevant a year from now, so we only have to persevere. Eventually, it shall pass.
Hopefully, we can all be in a job where we can get along with most of our workmates, doing something that serves our calling or purpose while providing service to others, even if we’re not fully compensated for it.
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