Tuesday, November 08 2022
I, worked in a toxic environment in the past and needed no soothsayer to tell me it was detrimental to my mental health and general well-being. It is an infertile ground for growth and personal development. It is counterproductive both to the organisation and their clients.Understanding my capabilities and mindful of my mental health, I made a decision to leave the job. In reality, I did not leave the job because of the organisation but because of the toxic environment.
On a particular day long after I had left the job, I was up in the city of Dublin shopping and someone spotted me in the crowd shouting, Ameeka, Ameeka, Ameeka and as I turned it was one of the clients, I worked closely with on that job I left. We both ran towards each other. The client held me so tight and said to me, “I learnt you left XYZ?” And I said, “yes I did.” She tried to probe into why I left but I did not go that route. I said it was time for me to move on. While she was still holding me, she said to me, I miss you and, I love you, Ameeka.” I struggled to contain my emotion. I responded back and echoed to her, I love you too, you really look great. I am so delighted to see you.” We parted.
As we turned our back, I felt this sharp emotional pain, mixed feelings and sense of accomplishment. The sharp emotional pain was based on the fact that such a good working relationship with a vulnerable person was jeopardised as a result of bad leadership. It was mixed feeling because I had to leave the job where I felt disempowered to support such clients any longer. I felt sorry for such clients because they are the ones who feel the loss more. Mixed feelings again because, I felt happy to see the spark on the clients face when she uttered those powerful words, “I love you,” that meant the world to me.
Lastly, I felt accomplished because that moment affirmed who I am and the connection mycareer has with my identity. I apply strengths-based and needs-led approaches to facilitate people presenting problems, that way, building relationships becomes naturally mandatory!