Hello there, I am a student at the University of Wollongong and I am currently attending a class called ‘The Future of Work‘. Within this class, we have explored many different aspects of work, including (but not limited to) work disruption, change management, relationships and self-work. We consider these concepts and explore them through a range of storytelling methods.
Fortunately for us students, within the last couple of weeks we have welcomed three guest visitors to come to our lectures and share with us their personal experiences. This was an absolute honour, as it really allowed for me to personally improve my listening skills by grasping the exact words being said, while also capturing the raw emotion from a story while someone is telling it. This is important as the language being used is the vehicle of the narrative process, it is used to construct and attribute meaning to a story.
The first guest to attend the lecture was Bailey Bond. Bond spoke of a workplace disruption he had experienced and explored how he managed the change. To give you a brief understanding of what he does, he states ” I talk to our future students who are deemed high performing, about different opportunities that the university has to offer them”. The workplace disruption that occurred to Bond was when his faculty was being removed, meaning the university needed to cut down on staff members. Bond states that “we were significantly impacted… it was quite an experience waiting for the phone call… I hate the unknown… a rollercoaster of emotions”. As I was listening to Bond, it brought out a number of his professional values, I could see that he was passionate, has a strong work ethic and is very dedicated and connected. This was also proven through his words “I decided both times, i’m in it for the fight… I’ve put too much blood sweat and tears into this organisation, I wasn’t ready to go”. Listening to Bond helped me understand the concept of ‘Absent but Implicit‘, by reflecting on my own personal experiences. I realise that I have also been in a workplace disruption similar to this, I learnt that these uncontrollable frustrations eventually help you to learn what your values are, as not only an employee but also as a person, and become aware of what you are not.
The second guest that visited our lecture was Patricia Davidson. Davidson dove into her experience when choosing the right career opportunity suitable for her. When beginning her story she states that “the job found me… You can’t chase every offer… I had a plan to come back to Australia”. When change occurs, you are obligated to take part in decision making. Fortunately for Davidson, she had people within her ‘club of life’ that supported the decisions she made. She states that “my friends and family supported me… I had a real feeling my family wanted me back”. These decisions were also influenced by the people surrounding her, which essentially show her values as she quotes “I feel a great sense of responsibility, I was making decisions that influence people’s lives”. I resonated with this, as the decisions I made for my education pathway was definitely influenced by my parents. Davidson made me realise that our community needs us, and that “money you can make up, buildings you can rebuild but you can’t buy your health” and this is something so important to remember when you are put in a place to make a decision.
Finally, the last guest to visit the lecture was Layne Brown. Brown talks us through his experience proving that relationships definitely matter in a workplace/environment. When Brown was asked to tell us a little bit about him he states that “I am an aboriginal man but Im part of a bigger picture and a bigger puzzle”. As soon as I heard these words I related to it as I feel as though my ethnicity, religion, or hobbies don’t define all that I am. For Brown, the fact that he was aboriginal affected him when he was working in the police force as he states “I left there because I guess in hind sight, I didn’t feel valued by my workers… I think if I felt more valued, I probably would have stayed”. A similar experience has happened to me where I had quit a job, as I didn’t feel they respected me. This was a ‘moral moment’ for me as the values I uphold were evident to myself and this was due to the way the people surrounding me were negatively reacting.
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Carey, M., Walther, S. and Russel, S., (2009). ‘The Absent but Implicit: A Map to Support Therapeutic Enquiry’, Family Process, Vol.48, No.3, Available at: <https://narrativepractices.com.au/attach/pdf/Absent_But_Implicit.pdf> [Accessed 26 August 2021].
Frank, A.W., (2004). ‘The renewal of generosity: Illness, Medicine, and How to Live’, University of Chicago Press, Available at: https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.7208/9780226260259/html [Accessed 26 August 2021].