Finding My Tribe


Today, I was fortunate enough to sit in on a speaking engagement by Bob Chapman, CEO of Barry-Wehmiller. As he spoke about Truly Human Leadership and creating a work environment in which the organization’s main focus is in developing healthy and fulfilled people - whether it be the customers or the employees, I couldn’t help but think back to about 4 years ago.

Back then, I was in a weird spot regarding my employment. My work is contractual and at the time, the contract I was working under was being cancelled.  However, this kind of thing is not open and shut.  There had to be loose ends tied up on the project. This ultimately meant that I was expected to either show up to work but not have anything to work on or use up my built up comprehensive leave as needed. Either way there had to be some networking to be done in order to have somewhere to go once those loose ends were tied up.

So I started looking for jobs.  I was old/experienced enough, however, to view my task differently.  I wanted to work somewhere the was in my element.  When I applied for jobs, I wanted to interview them, not the other way around. I distinctly remember filling out applications or writing cover letters that stated that “I was looking for my tribe” or that I was confident that I could perform any needed tasks and could learn any new skills needed as long as I was in an environment that was aligned with my own passions, hopes, and beliefs.

I received word from my current employer that a contract had opened up if I wanted to start soon (and remain with the current company; I would also retain my current salary).  There really was no decision. Though this opportunity was to be a temporary employment, I needed to take it.

I don’t think that it was clear at the time that this was my tribe, but that temporary (3 month) contract has continually been extended, and I have been here for over 3 years. More importantly, I have been exposed to some of the most inspirational people and thinkers than I could have ever imagined.  Although this still doesn’t feel like ‘my tribe,’ it is definitely close; for now, it has affirmed that finding “the right place for me” is exponentially better than pulling in a big salary at the cost of time away from the ones you love and at the cost of your happiness. In fact, more than likely, being in one’s element will most likely bring spiritual contentment and the salary one desires in the long run.

image by DIAC Images via flickr creative commons

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