It’s that time of year when you start reflecting on what the hell happened to the last year. Usually it’s about our relationships, the people we love or loved, the people we found and those that we lost. The stupid arguments, the times we should have said we are sorry, the regrets in acting like an arse and not being there.
We also remember the good times. The joy in the success of our friends and sharing in their happiness, births, weddings, academic achievements. This year I’ve watched first hand as friends and colleagues dealt with death and cancer, some successfully, others are still fighting and some passed away.
I also find myself thinking about what I do and there’s no escaping that work is a major part of life. Did I use the privileged position I have to help others? When I think but the last 12 months I recall; looking after two interns last summer, working on an entry level recruitment program for young Australians, mentoring an individual from a disadvantaged background, supporting a recent immigrant undertake a work experience placement, and assisting Year 10 students develop application writing and interview skills.
This seem like positive activities and it got me to think about how my employer allows and even encourages these activities. I work for the Australian Tax Office, an organisation according toJesusthat rates below murders and adultery (!!!!) so for a very long time not seen as a great profession.
However I find and experience an organisation full of people who do care for their community and who do work hard. Staff who really pulled together to help during the various bushfire and flood disasters in recent years. My organisation commits resources for community programs (the events I’m involved in) and staff volunteer time to help the elderly complete tax returns and training other volunteers.
I know it’s probably uncool to say but I think I actually work for a positive organisation and that it’s possible to do good and challenging tasks and influence our community. Sure I had problems on the work side, I had an unpleasant interaction with one senior officer over some policy issues, most staff where disappointed with the recent pay agreement, and I had a negative experience over a criminal matter, but overall I think it is a positive place. Lots of work challenges and an overall attitude that we should provide help to our community. I think that’s worth more than a little more money each fortnight. Plus there are allowing me to take off for 4 months next year 🙂