Leadership

There's Always A Silver Lining

Clare Anderson
18th August 2021
 < 1 min read

RJ, Front End Designer / Developer

I’ve always been a loner and shied away from socializing. So it’s been a rollercoaster ride in programming for the last ten years. I’ve been through many companies, many roles, many colleagues, had few friends and lost some along the way. Facing the world alone has caused me stress - I’m only now starting to realize that a problem shared is a problem halved. So when my boss and friend went MIA (literally - he returned to his home country of Serbia, never to be seen or heard from again) as the pandemic hit last year, it felt like a sledgehammer had hit me. My Database Manager and analyst work - as well as my salary - disappeared overnight. I was planning my wedding and had ploughed all my savings into my wedding gift to my fiancee - a down payment on our marital home. The rug was pulled out from under me - I had no backup plan and had to cancel the wedding - and lost our future home. It felt like a sudden, unexpected and heart-wrenching break-up. It was a desperate time. 

My job-hunting began immediately and after a few weeks I had two interviews - within days of each other. One was with a very large, well-established, multinational technology corporation. You’ll have heard of them - they’re big. The other was with Sharesource. The interviews with the well-known global technology brand were curt, intimidating, bureaucratic and completely soulless. They offered me an enticingly high salary - in return for working six days a week which would’ve been problematic for my faith-based commitments. The Sharesource interviewers, on the other hand, were kind, considerate, friendly and made me feel like an actual human being - rather than a very small cog in a giant machine. Their company values appealed to me hugely, they understood we were living through unprecedented times and they were flexible with working from home arrangements. The interviews left me feeling calm and light-hearted. It was a no-brainer - Sharesource was the way forward.

Part of what’s led to me feeling alone in the world is having been born a Jehovah’s Witness in the predominantly and devoutly Catholic country of the Philippines. My school days were the hardest. I was made fun of for not celebrating Christmas or birthdays and taunted for how my beliefs differed from mainstream Christianity. I didn’t fight back though - kids bully anyone who’s different and my Mom had taught me to always be as kind as I could. Things got easier as I moved into adulthood thankfully - Filipinos are known for their tolerant and open-minded culture. Joining Sharesource I realized that inclusivity is truly part of their make-up. I could have been left out of the online Christmas party last year - instead our People Manager juggled it around so that I could join the beginning ‘meet and greet’ part - and could leave when they started the Christmas celebration. I appreciate this thoughtfulness and respect for my different beliefs more than I can say. 

So where am I now? Well my wedding is back on - my fiancee and I are getting married next month! As though this were not enough of a blessing, my future father-in-law has gifted us a home! Finally I’ll be getting to start a family of my own - and have my beautiful wife by my side to face down life’s challenges. I don’t hold any grudges against my former boss and friend who disappeared without a word overnight. He must have had his reasons and I’ve moved on and let this go. Besides, now I get to wake up every day genuinely excited about my work - and able to share my knowledge with teammates I care about. I’ve never felt that before. Do I still feel so alone in the world, being an introvert - and a Jehovah’s Witness? No. The right career path came my way - offering me a personal and genuinely caring environment in which to grow and not only do my best work, but become a better human being. Not only is my work meaningful and making a difference but my Sharesource colleagues make me feel surrounded by love and light every day - despite the physical distance between us. I’ve learned not to be afraid. To cry if I need to. To be angry if I need to. To keep close to God and to keep creating wonderful new pages in my life. Though you may not realize it at the time, there’s always a silver lining to every challenge life throws your way.

 

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