As I grow in my professional career, I often wonder what I’d be like if I was a supervisor. So in my vivid imagination I wrote some odd things down. In addition to all the formal stuff, here are 10 things I would say to my future supervisees…
1. TRAVEL - Whether it is local travel or international travel, please go and explore other cultures, eat new food, learn how another language is spoken. When you travel you detach yourself from your daily routine. I need you to do this so that you realize you have a life besides work. Train your brain to be in new situations/challenges and to still be at peace. The more fulfilled you are in life the better for me because you will produce outstanding work. So please travel to nice places...
2. FOCUS ON YOUR WORK- Yes I give you full permission to ignore office politics, especially the kind that involves bullying. I think we’ve all been victims of relational bullying at some point. People can spin their webs so slyly that you don’t even know you are trapped! I have a No-Tolerance-Policy for bullying in my Unit. Three strikes and you’re out. Focus on getting work done. That doesn’t mean that you should ignore developing your interpersonal skills. Don’t get it twisted… it’s important for you to harness healthy professional relationships with your co-workers. It’s very vital that you learn how to work in a team but please focus on getting your work done.
3. TAKE TIME TO WORK ON YOURSELF – practice REAL self-love. I know for some people it may be difficult to understand why this is important, but honestly I have watched people act vindictively towards a colleague because they are reluctant to deal with their own personal issues. Preying on those you consider ‘weak’ doesn’t make you stronger. Behaviour like that can disrupt the whole team’s progress. As my supervisee, I would ask you to take time outside of work to sort out your issues and to get help if you need it. Build a good support system around you.
4. TAKE 10 MINUTES A DAY FOR ACTIVITIES THAT FEED YOUR SOUL- Please, please please make time to do the small things you love to replenish the soul. Pray, meditate, scream profanities at no one in your backyard, watch movies, read books or take long walks. Whatever. Find what makes you feel this utopian sense of love and do it regularly. The people around you won’t always make you feel good about yourself. In fact they might ignore you most times because they are more focused on stuff. So this needs to come from you. You are in charge of your own well-being. Try not to spend so much time looking for unhealthy approval in others. This goes back to number 2. Learn to ‘love and approve of yourself’ in the words of Louise L Hay
5. GET ENOUGH SLEEP - I recently took a very insightful training on stress management. Dear Lord thank you for such a wake up call! I trust that you can manage your time effectively because you are an adult…. if not then we shall factor in some time management skills training. Ensure you get time to rest, get to bed before 10pm for good quality sleep.
6. EAT GOOD FOOD- I need you to be healthy and productive at work. Eat good food. Eat healthy food that makes your mouth water, eat food that inspires midnight cravings. I hired you because you are good at what you do. Kindly ensure you strive to be at your optimum best as much as possible
7. SCHEDULE SPA VISITS- This is related to number five and requires special time put into your schedule. Yes I will sign your leave form for this, but you must bring the receipt as proof of purchase. I need you to get into the habit of taking care of yourself so that you can better take care of others.
8. RUN YOUR OWN RACE – Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing or achieving. What would you like to achieve? That’s what matters!
9. CUPCAKES FIX EVERYTHING– Each week someone will be tasked with bringing in goodies to office. Cake makes everyone feel better so put aside some money for your week. It will be your ‘random’ act of kindness for your colleagues. It will be how you show them appreciation. Do nice things for each other. It will make for a better work environment.
10. DO YOUR BEST – Give your best effort. 100% makes a difference. Listen. Learn. Don’t take feedback personally. Be sincere when you give feedback. The best people grow from their experiences.