“Caregiving” in the Workplace

Operationalizing in the character role of “office psychologist”

As a seasoned civil servant of 40+ years, I was elected into this honorary role from colleagues representing generational differences. As an established baby boomer who raised her four children while at my career, my relationship with engaging colleagues developed into listening sessions, gripe sessions, caregiving and free advice sessions.

In combination with demonstrated evidence of knowing how to “get along with all on the job” including senior leadership, contributing “added value” to the organization, maintaining a resourceful relationship with outside office personnel, stakeholders, the general public, my church and community and factual caregivers, one can proudly remark to the importance of imparting quality sound counsel around the workplace.

While ensuring positive end results with daily business operations, I keep in mind when in conversation with peers, not to favor the idea of a “stand-alone” working relationship that benefits neither the individual nor the office mission. To this contrary, my goal is to always foster a more “fortified” effort among all in the workplace.

When I look at today’s workforce with their respective work ethic, ideals and philosophies, transient lifestyle, working from home in pajamas custom, entrepreneurial spirit and book taught confidence, I ponder over how long will this stage of life endure and how much will one obtain from this behavior for one’s future sustainability?

Well, when my contemporaries inquire with me as to how I managed to complete 40+ years of civil service, I begin to recollect on my personal and professional accomplishments. A solid performance should not require a justification. The non-baby-boomer professionals become fascinated and find my slow progression antiquated.

Non-baby-boomers cannot see the realization of hard work and maintaining the status quo. They want the great life now and in a hurry. They expect answers to come directly from Google. Some cannot fathom the idea of processing information. No, they want here and now responses to life’s questions.

Sadly enough, “caregiving” has become an important and well-needed support system for those in the workplace who are becoming “burned out” after a few bad experiences. I sit down and walk peers back through my memory lane and how each bad and good experience prepared me for another one of that same type.

After a while, you learn what to do by way of processing the real relevance of each raised matter. Do I need this job or not? If yes, keep trekking forward but maintain your position. If no, don’t need the job, as many are flexible, inventive and adventurous, do your thing! Startup a new one in your own space.

To this end, looking at life through my eyeglass lenses, I was not absorbed in the “100 first kisses” condition, (like in the movie with Drew Barrymore). I continue in confidence on the path I began, embracing life at a smooth and enjoyable pace!

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough”…..Mae West

Alice Boone is a GovLoop Featured Contributor. She has 40+ years of distinguished service in the federal government. Ms. “M” began her career in 1979, with the Department of Transportation, D.C. In 1984, Ms. “M” accepted a position with the Department of Defense. In 1993, she accepted a position with the National Science Foundation (NSF). Ms. “M” joined Veterans Affairs in 2008. In 2009, Ms. “M” volunteered at the White House under President Obama for three years. As of February 2020. Ms. “M” continues to display treasured skillsets as a Program Analyst.

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