Saturday, March 5, 2016

About The New Job and The Work-Life Balance

I know I'm not a company kind of girl, so it never crossed my mind that I might work 9-to-5 (or more like 8 to 7) every day. Yet I have been for a month, and I don't dislike it.

This is a new experience for me. Working directly under the minister (as his delivery unit team) requires me to work fast and well, without any excuse. And the more I read and know about the issue I handle, the more I become even more baffled about how to make the education system in Indonesia better, because everything is just so intricate. 

The perks overcome the drawbacks, though. I learn so much from working for the prominent minister for a month. I learn through the way he treats his subordinates, the way he sets examples, the way he talks with such rhetorics, and the way he thinks outside of the box to solve problems. My family is so annoyed now because now I can't stop talking about him. I'm aware that he's also flawed; I'm just thrilled to know that the future of education is on the hand of someone with high values and integrity. And that I got to be a (small) part of it.

It's not just the minister that is delightful to work with. I have a great team consists of smart, ambitious people who are also passionate about education (or at least, about making Indonesia a better country). I love working with people whom I can learn in abundance from. Our background is so diverse, every discussion becomes fascinating. Through them, I learn a lot about policy making and beyond. I also learn that I need to be more assertive and decisive, especially when dealing with powerful people. And more importantly, that I need to always keep in mind that I cannot please everyone, and I shouldn't even try to.

Some of the people I work with.

The toughest part about this job is actually not the job itself, but the fact that I have to commute every day. The train is always so full of people, I can't even stand on both feet sometimes. Being stuck on a train and in a traffic jam on a daily basis make me a bit grumpy and both physically and mentally exhausted. But hey, if thousands of people can survive it, why can't I?

Despite the fact that I do enjoy working, this is not something that I want to do for the rest of my life. I enjoy working too much, I'm afraid I can't stop and balance my life. A doctor that I visited (yes, I went to the doctor for the first time in three years; within my first month of working) was shocked knowing that I had to go to the office on the day I visited her and on the weekend. That moment, I realized that I have been quite a workaholic - and that's not good if I want to have a balanced, content life.

I do love working at a company and I love myself when I work hard for a cause I care about, but I believe I can do that as a freelancer (in this case, as a psychologist) when I have a family of my own. Because prioritize is not about choosing something I like over something I don't; it's about choosing which one of the things I enjoy doing is more relevant to my aspiration. I admire working moms, though, especially if they have to do it to support the family. It's not easy to juggle between work and family, even as a sister and a daughter, let alone a wife and a mother. So, yeah, hats off to those supermoms who can find the work-family balance!

Still a few more months to go. I hope I have enough strength to survive, if not to thrive.

Don't forget to make time for yourself.

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