When I first began my job at PLTW, I told my supervisor that I desired to develop professionally from my experience, something that is continually encouraged within the organization.
Now, a few months later, I’ve been able to reflect on the ways in which I have developed. First, on a basic level, I have learned about the company, our mission, and the everyday tasks carried out in my position. Although we constantly work as a team, I don’t need to run to my co-workers to learn the answers to callers’ questions as often. Others have even commented that I sound much more confident when communicating with the network than I did a few short months ago. This leads me to a second way that I have developed in my time at PLTW: in my communication and interpersonal skills.
While I have always been proud of my ability to work with others, working in a customer-service position within the organization has given me a new appreciation for this type of communication. It is here that I believe God has inspired my growth.
About a month ago, we experienced a high volume of communication with our network regarding all sorts of topics, including some of our much-anticipated initiatives. (Remember, people don’t always like change.) Quite honestly, my job got to be stressful at times. I felt that I was on the phone for eight hours a day, while watching the Outlook inbox grow exponentially. However, after a day or two of feeling anxious, I learned to treat each communication individually, without worrying about the next. I feel that I served our network better when I took the time to concentrate on my conversation with an individual, rather than try to answer their questions as quickly as possible before moving onto the next. I began to think about how the quality of each interaction mattered, and how that affected the overall quality of my work.
After some time, I realized how much my faith had impacted how I handled these situations. I begin each day with prayer, and very often ask God to grant me patience and compassion when dealing with even the most harried individuals. A particular reflection during this time that stands out to me is this one:
Thank you for guiding me through a good week at work. Thank you for the people that show your qualities, and thank you for giving me your qualities to deal with those people who need attention. I hope I can open my heart, even in a small way, to those who are upset.
I remember that day I had some particularly difficult calls, and upon driving home from the office I realized how a little bit of kindness can go a long way. Being able to truly, actively listen to people is something they appreciate. It’s something they notice and may even thank you for. I believe I have God to thank for giving me a compassionate heart, a quality that has impacted my development both personally and professionally. I hope these skills of confidence and kindness are ones that I will continue to develop throughout my life.