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Empowering Inclusion, with Olla Jongerius
Episode 1413th January 2023 • I'm Back! • Serena Savini
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Serena talks with Olla Joungerius, Founder of the BerLearn Community & Inclusion and Global Learning & Development Architect at Nortal, about the role of HR in welcoming back employees, about the new challenges on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and about the role of vulnerability to create a meaningful work environment.

You can discover more about Olla here:

Transcripts

Olla:

I think it's the focus for everyone should be creating psychological

Olla:

safety and which means inclusion in many ways and other things is outcome

Olla:

yeah.

Olla:

Innovation, creativity and diversity, that diverse group of people

Olla:

um, that come to your company.

Olla:

It's a, It's a result.

Olla:

Retention is a result, innovation is a result.

Olla:

Creativity is a result, and engagement is also a result.

Olla:

Welcome to this episode of I'm back today, we are going to talk with all our.

Olla:

diversity and inclusion, consultant, learning experience designer.

Olla:

And really experienced in.

Olla:

Building communities of practice.

Olla:

We are going to discuss about the role of HR.

Olla:

In welcoming back employees.

Olla:

I'll can we create.

Olla:

A welcoming environment in the workplace..

Serena:

My first question is,

Serena:

What means I'm back for you?

Serena:

Oh, that's you're starting with big guns already, I'm back.

Serena:

It's in my understanding it's coming back to the same place, but

Serena:

coming back as a different person.

Serena:

Coming back either by having overcome difficulties or from which you have

Serena:

learned and have grown and not being the same person anymore, but coming back to

Serena:

the environment that you have been before.

Serena:

But others don't really know that you're a different person now.

Serena:

So I will see it this way.

Serena:

And how can you explain, how can you explain to others that

Serena:

you are not the same person?

Serena:

I guess it really depends on the situation, how sensitive situation is.

Serena:

For some people who go through traumatic experiences, it'll be

Serena:

very difficult to explain it.

Serena:

. And for others, it's very uncomfortable to ask a question for

Serena:

others who go through just a life experience like having children.

Serena:

That could be a bit easier to explain.

Serena:

But at the same time, questions will be also perhaps that normal

Serena:

not might be comfortable for others or after prolonged sickness.

Serena:

That might be seen as a norm for others but might not be comfortable for you.

Serena:

It really depends on the relationship also that you have with a person

Serena:

or perhaps after gender transition.

Serena:

Yeah.

Serena:

You are also physically very different person.

Serena:

Or it could be that someone who went through divorce.

Serena:

Or someone who lost a child.

Serena:

Yeah.

Serena:

Someone who went on parental leave and they came back from parental leave much

Serena:

earlier, and everyone congratulates them on a baby, but there is no baby.

Serena:

Yeah.

Serena:

So it's very difficult.

Serena:

Or someone who lost a loved one.

Serena:

So for some things, it's obvious for people that you are a different person.

Serena:

For others it's not so obvious.

Serena:

. So sometimes it's organization that makes it also, it needs to make it easier

Serena:

in a psychologically safe environment.

Serena:

For both parties, for both the receiver, someone who went through this experience,

Serena:

you were saying about not being the same person.

Serena:

Do you think we can still be the same performer at work or also our

Serena:

professional identity will shift when we are coming back to work?

Serena:

We definitely could be the same performer or even better because

Serena:

we understand different aspects.

Serena:

Grow, have more empathy for others to become better listeners.

Serena:

Depends on situation, of course.

Serena:

We perhaps might need some accommodations that we didn't need earlier.

Serena:

For example, someone who is a parent might not want to have late evening meetings.

Serena:

So it's, it really depends on environment that you're in.

Serena:

and whether you have an opportunity in psychological state to also communicate

Serena:

your needs you could still be exactly the same performer or even better but you

Serena:

sometimes do need to have those s needs.

Olla:

Sometimes sometimes if I think about my personal story when you are

Olla:

coming back to work, you have a lot of self doubts or yeah, you are feeling not

Olla:

good enough or and it's so hard to feel that you can contribute in the same.

Olla:

even when, as you said, maybe you can perform better.

Olla:

Do you have any advice for people that are coming back to work and feeling

Olla:

that their contribution is important?

Serena:

It's definitely a lot of imposter syndrome for those, especially

Serena:

who been on a leave for a long time.

Serena:

Or for those who.

Serena:

Generally have self doubt in terms of am I good enough?

Serena:

Am I in the right place?

Serena:

I think my first recommendation from also my own experience

Serena:

will be to share those feelings.

Serena:

It really depends on the, on your team.

Serena:

But if you're comfortable but share this, say it out loud.

Serena:

And also have some role models, those who've been through exactly the same

Serena:

experience, to also learn from them.

Serena:

There is enormous amount of information on the internet through blogs through

Serena:

podcasts the hear podcasts YouTube videos for those who've been through

Serena:

similar experience and came back.

Serena:

From organizational point of view for myself who work as organizations

Serena:

a lot of good organizations also offer specific programs for people

Serena:

who have been on for a long time.

Serena:

So like reintegration process, not meaning that those people need

Serena:

to be reintegrated and need to be upskilled, but more for slow way to not

Serena:

necessarily build the tech skills or the knowledge but more for emotional.

Serena:

And a mental understanding that they are there, they're smart, they're talent.

Serena:

This a good performer.

Serena:

And they're also surrounded by peers who are inspiration but are also struggling.

Serena:

So hearing the stories of others is extremely important because you might

Serena:

be looking at someone who is absolute inspiration or who can do it all, and

Serena:

you hear the story like, oh, they're also struggling, and that inspires you as well.

Olla:

In your work in your work as an HR person what is your impression

Olla:

on the ability of companies in welcoming back employees?

Serena:

I don't particularly work in hr, so it's more luan development and

Serena:

diversity inclusion, but I do definitely have operational aspect as well.

Serena:

In many cases.

Serena:

It really depends on the team.

Serena:

There is so much importance on a manager who your manager is and whether you as a

Serena:

person have the psychological safety to tell them what's going on in your life.

Serena:

I had situations where my team members shared some stuff with

Serena:

me that if that, if they wouldn't have shared, I wouldn't have known.

Serena:

So it.

Serena:

Responsibility of a manager to have the psychological safety and also be

Serena:

vulnerable yourself and talk about mental health and wellbeing, and show your own

Serena:

weaknesses and your own doubts as well.

Serena:

And that opens the door for others.

Serena:

And many organizations I could give you an example of one organization

Serena:

that I worked with as a fin.

Serena:

I bought 300 people based in Berlin and one of the employees few years back

Serena:

they went through the gender tradition.

Serena:

And when she came back to work before all the employees started asking

Serena:

questions and having a bit of gossip and having some interesting thoughts

Serena:

and some assumptions, the word of the company decided to send a company wide

Serena:

email posing the statement in terms of what happened, and acknowledging the

Serena:

situation and not warning people about.

Serena:

Not making any discrimination, but basically taking a stand on.

Serena:

This is what we accept and you will love I can't remember exactly the name, but as

Serena:

in he's now, she, and this is the name.

Serena:

Please respect that.

Serena:

If anybody has a problem, please talk to us directly.

Serena:

So it was a stand of the company.

Serena:

And that helped to eliminate any gossip or assumption or any uncomfortable

Serena:

questions to the person as well.

Serena:

And the person obviously was discussed with the person before,

Serena:

say, was not out of the blue.

Serena:

And it made so much easier for this person to come back and to feel comfortable.

Serena:

And little by little people started asking question.

Serena:

Also, the person started feeling more comfortable sharing, but also

Serena:

setting the boundaries for themselves.

Serena:

So that's what organization can go through.

Serena:

I also know the situation where one woman went on a maternity leave and there was

Serena:

a baby died, so there was a sleeping.

Serena:

And she came back to work obviously much earlier than expected.

Serena:

And the way the company dealt for that was also very beautiful.

Serena:

They have sent an email from her, so she was the one to initiate that.

Serena:

She worked with HR and that explained the situation and

Serena:

like frequently ask questions.

Serena:

And to avoid these questions happening, because people are curious

Serena:

curious creatures, sometimes you are realizing you ask very uncomfortable

Serena:

questions, especially when this question was asked many times before.

Serena:

She made it also easier for herself and also opened up the door to others

Serena:

and to avoid this conversation.

Serena:

So it really depends on your HR team or like people in culture team the

Serena:

relationship you have with them, but with advise every company to have a bit of a.

Serena:

What to do in this situation because crisis happen on a global level as of war

Serena:

or pandemic or on a person level as well.

Serena:

So your communication team needs to prepare as well as your people and

Serena:

culture team needs to prepare because.

Serena:

The life is so unpredictable and if you have it all already thought throughout,

Serena:

as well as resources and action point, it makes it a lot easier for everyone,

Serena:

both for you trying to in the middle of the night trying to figure out how to do

Serena:

that as well as for the person to come back and feel comfortable coming back.

Olla:

And something that I really like about the two examples

Olla:

is the collaboration part.

Olla:

It sounds like a collaboration between the person and the company.

Olla:

An open collaboration and an open conversation Also to empower

Olla:

the person in deciding how.

Olla:

She wanted, for example, to discuss about something so personal.

Olla:

And at the same time, I still feel that in some companies we are not even opening

Olla:

the door for this kind of conversation.

Olla:

Yeah, absolutely.

Olla:

Upfront.

Olla:

Any suggestion on.

Olla:

How to open the door for this kind of conversations and why do you

Olla:

think it's still so difficult?

Serena:

I think it's difficult because it's just uncomfortable for everyone.

Serena:

Uh, Because you think about, even people in culture seem, they're also humans.

Serena:

There, many of them are women and.

Serena:

Even having to talk to someone who went through experience,

Serena:

it's also emotionally difficult that they don't know what to say.

Serena:

So the answer, my answer will be that there is a lot of empathy there is

Serena:

needed and more, most importantly, it's active listening skills.

Serena:

Yeah.

Serena:

Understanding and, but companies, most companies, you're right, most

Serena:

companies are not prepared for that.

Serena:

And for companies that don't have this culture of welcome people who come

Serena:

back some people might not come back.

Serena:

And it's for you as an organization to think about it.

Serena:

If something, it's a risk mitigation no matter how how hopeless it sounds.

Serena:

But it's also risk mitigation.

Serena:

And I'm not even talking about traumatizing experience.

Serena:

I'm talking about someone having a child and whether man or woman, and coming

Serena:

back to an organization and thinking that I don't wanna work 80 hours a week.

Serena:

There is no way I'm coming back.

Serena:

I have other priorities in life.

Serena:

And for you, just losing talent.

Serena:

I work with many organizations and I interviewed people and they.

Serena:

I love my company.

Serena:

It pays well.

Serena:

It's a cool culture, the hipster, fun Berlin startup.

Serena:

There is no way I'll be working here when I'm having children.

Serena:

That's it.

Serena:

So also for you to understand that.

Serena:

There's risk mitigation.

Serena:

Yeah.

Serena:

And not about only women having children.

Serena:

Yeah.

Serena:

Men also have different priorities when they have family.

Serena:

Yeah.

Olla:

And we always forget about them.

Olla:

It's super interesting for me that the risk mitigation part because it's

Olla:

something like hidden because you think, oh, I'm applying the law, I'm

Olla:

following the rules, and it's enough.

Olla:

What is missing for me is also the impact of how you are handling

Olla:

certain situation on other.

Olla:

Because I had the experience of one person going into a burnout, coming back with

Olla:

a horrible situation with her manager, and everyone else was seeing that.

Olla:

And finally enough, a lot of people left because of this, even if they were not

Olla:

directly experiencing the situation,

Serena:

because they could see, if it happens to me, this

Serena:

is gonna be the consequence.

Serena:

So I'd rather go before that happens.

Serena:

Yeah.

Serena:

Yeah.

Serena:

Escape.

Serena:

Yes.

Serena:

Escape, run.

Serena:

Yeah.

Serena:

Absolutely.

Serena:

Absolutely.

Serena:

I've, I work in a in a very high paced environment.

Serena:

In my company with hyper growth and I was going through very personal experience

Serena:

recently and I'm extremely lucky to I have felt very comfortable sharing both

Serena:

with my manager and all of my reports, my indirect reports that I'm going through

Serena:

difficult time and I might be taking time off and I might not be as productive.

Serena:

And I'm very lucky that, first of all, I.

Serena:

The psychological safety through that.

Serena:

And second, all that, the amount of support I receive was overwhelming.

Serena:

My managers straight away say like, don't worry about work.

Serena:

Work is not important.

Serena:

Screw work, don't work.

Serena:

Go sick, leave, take time for yourself.

Serena:

And that was that would actually kept me going because I needed work for me was a

Serena:

good distraction for me, was very nice.

Serena:

But knowing the fact that you're surrounded by those people.

Serena:

That was extremely empowering that supports you.

Serena:

And at the same time, after sharing my personal updates, a couple of

Serena:

team members came to me and said, thank you for being a good leader,

Serena:

because I feel more comfortable even more comfortable now also sharing.

Serena:

So thank you for sharing your vulnerabilities.

Serena:

Yeah, it was beautiful.

Serena:

It was a win-win

Serena:

, Olla: we are always talking

Serena:

but how can we really feel.

Serena:

There is psychological safety in our team.

Serena:

To me psychological safety is having difficult conversation

Serena:

and feeling comfortable having a difficult conversation with

Serena:

someone regardless of the security.

Serena:

Regardless of the hierarchy, regardless of your channel in the company.

Serena:

So it's for you being able to ask a different, difficult question for

Serena:

you to challenge someone and not have repercussions, and for you to be able

Serena:

to bring your whole self to work, right?

Serena:

So it's not just about professional self, but the whole self about.

Serena:

Talking about kids, talking about a person life, talking about

Serena:

health, talking about everything.

Serena:

Because we spend so much time with work and most of us are online, in

Serena:

front of our computer at home, so we can't really separate work and life.

Serena:

So, okay, now, nine in the morning, okay.

Serena:

I'm a work self and then at 5:00 PM I'm a person self.

Serena:

So those words I merged a long time ago.

Serena:

So psychological safety is when you don't have to put a mask.

Serena:

, you don't have to code switch.

Serena:

You don't have to change your accent or change your clothes or put your

Serena:

makeup on in the morning specifically because it has to be pretend someone

Serena:

that you are not just to fit in.

Serena:

But it's when your whole self is appreciated and you more for

Serena:

cultural contribution and culture.

Olla:

Wow, this is so powerful.

Olla:

And I'm curious on what do you think about linking these to diversity inclusion?

Olla:

When we talk about diversity inclusion, often we have some

Olla:

categories in mind, but for me, having the courage to bring your old.

Olla:

It's contributing to diversity and inclusion.

Olla:

What do you think?

Serena:

Yeah, absolutely.

Serena:

To me, diversity inclusion, I think is a bit of overused words in a way that a

Serena:

lot of people use it interchangeably, but actually knowing the meaning behind that.

Serena:

So to me, diversity is a fact.

Serena:

It's obvious that all of us are different.

Serena:

Gender, sexual orientation, religion.

Serena:

Age, marital status.

Serena:

It's, you know, when the company say, oh, we have a diverse organization.

Serena:

Okay, amazing.

Serena:

Yes, the world is diverse.

Serena:

What's the be to be proud of?

Serena:

is important is whether those people can be themselves at work

Serena:

and actually not put a mask on.

Serena:

I think for many organizations they see diversity as by default

Serena:

and advantage by default.

Serena:

That's submitted leads to creativity, innovation.

Serena:

I don't know all those amazing things that Deloitte will tell you,

Serena:

but the reality is that diversity does not really work with inclusion.

Serena:

Diversity by itself is a conflict.

Serena:

Yeah.

Serena:

Because there are different people with different perspectives.

Serena:

They don't really understand each other.

Serena:

Diversity is a slow decision making because you need to

Serena:

find so many consensuses.

Serena:

So what I usually look at the company is that you really to focus on inclusion

Serena:

first before you go into diversity.

Serena:

So inclusion is, can we have a difficult conversation?

Serena:

So not manage diversity is chaos.

Serena:

It doesn't lead to innovation, it leads to chaos.

Serena:

So managed diversity is inclusion.

Serena:

And inclusion is a fact.

Serena:

Diversity is a fact.

Serena:

Inclusion is a choice.

Serena:

So thinking about it from a perspective of diversity is an apple.

Serena:

Banana peach and including this, a fruit salad.

Serena:

Yeah.

Serena:

It's when all of it me mixed together and it tastes good and it's nice and it's

Serena:

all colorful and beautiful and not really being, not, no one really being single

Serena:

handed for the, for their diversity.

Serena:

Huh.

Serena:

I think it's important to, for companies to really focus on

Serena:

the inclusion, focus on the.

Serena:

How and what can we actively do?

Serena:

Because if you don't consciously include, you unconsciously exclude.

Serena:

And I think it's very important.

Serena:

It's not enough just to bring people together and say, okay,

Serena:

now we have a diverse team.

Serena:

Now, do you diverse things, , , , ? I think diversity should be.

Serena:

Second step after inclusion, even focused on the psychological safety first,

Serena:

and having difficult conversation and having different perspectives heard.

Serena:

And then diversity will come naturally.

Serena:

Diversity is small for result.

Serena:

In many ways.

Olla:

Yeah.

Olla:

And for me if we are able to create psychological safety and real inclusion,

Olla:

we are also allowing everyone to exactly be themself and be as diverse

Olla:

as they are without mask, as you said.

Olla:

But it's still a process where people needs to feel

Olla:

comfortable to show themselves.

Olla:

For example, I just discovered something about one colleague that I know since

Olla:

two years ago, but it was a process and it's okay and it's beautiful like this.

Serena:

Yeah, absolutely.

Olla:

I think it's the focus for everyone should be creating psychological safety

Olla:

and which means inclusion in many ways and other things is outcome Yeah.

Olla:

Innovation, creativity and diversity, that diverse group of

Olla:

people that come to your company.

Olla:

It's a result.

Olla:

Retention is a result, innovation is a result.

Olla:

Creativity is a result, and engagement is also a result.

Olla:

Yeah.

Olla:

But how can you.

Olla:

Wait.

Olla:

In the sense that we want to have everything immediately, the results,

Olla:

the retention, immediately the engagement, and immediately when we

Olla:

know really well, that is a long term process and something that you need to

Olla:

build, and it's not really something that you can grab like in one month.

Serena:

No, it's definitely a process's.

Serena:

Everything else it's in the same way.

Serena:

It's a culture.

Serena:

What kind of company culture do you have?

Serena:

It does, it's not born overnight.

Serena:

It's all about small things, small rituals of.

Serena:

Do you have interrupt?

Serena:

Is it normal to interrupt people during a meeting?

Serena:

Is it normal to ate?

Serena:

Is it normal to challenge leaders for someone who is also very junior?

Serena:

Is it normal to um, make some remarks that are not very inclusive or make some

Serena:

jokes that are not very appropriate?

Serena:

So it.

Serena:

, it grows and it grows.

Serena:

It's like wheats in a garden.

Serena:

They wouldn't grow overnight, but if you don't get rid of them, they're gonna

Serena:

contaminate the whole garden and all the good flowers are going to die out.

Serena:

So it's for you to having consistency, make checking yourself, are those the

Serena:

behaviors he want to see in organization?

Serena:

Those the behaviors he wanna promote others, those behaviors.

Serena:

He want to educate.

Serena:

. And then building on that you have your culture chain, you have

Serena:

your expectational behaviors.

Serena:

So if you realize that one day, oh, we have a toxic environment, toxic

Serena:

organization, how did that happen?

Serena:

It took years and years, and very often leaders are the one

Serena:

who either turn a blind eye towards that or did not call out.

Serena:

Unconscious bias.

Serena:

Did not call out microaggressions, did not call out some remarks

Serena:

and say, oh, it just a joke.

Serena:

Oh, she didn't mean that.

Serena:

Oh no, it doesn't matter.

Serena:

Oh, I will be silent this time.

Serena:

Or, yeah, I will ask him in private.

Serena:

It's all those small things.

Serena:

Or some comment.

Serena:

That are normalized.

Serena:

Oh, you should smile more.

Serena:

Yeah.

Serena:

All the small, small, small things, uh, that actually make up, the weeds of

Serena:

the garden and that it's very hard to if you don't call it out, if you stay

Serena:

silent, don't call out some behaviors.

Serena:

It's not only the person not going to learn, but anybody else who

Serena:

has observed this behavior, they will unconsciously clock in and

Serena:

say, oh, okay, so this behavior.

Serena:

Since saying this and that it's normal.

Serena:

So I will practice it as well.

Serena:

So suddenly, instead of dealing with one person, we have to deal with five people

Serena:

who also gonna adopt this behavior, and that grows very quickly and spreads

Serena:

across, across the whole organization.

Olla:

We are talking about coming back to work after life changing experience,

Olla:

but we are all experiencing, I think, things around the world that can

Olla:

have a big impact of on us, like the pandemic, like the war in Ukraine,

Olla:

like what happen in Korea right now.

Olla:

And so I'm wondering what is your perception on.

Olla:

Creating the space at work to discuss big things that are

Olla:

happening in the world that can have a big impact on our wellbeing.

Serena:

Very good question.

Serena:

Tip number one, don't ignore it.

Serena:

. I think the organizations that kind of pretend that it will pass let's

Serena:

just sleep on it and that'll go away.

Serena:

That indicates that you don't care and that you don't really.

Serena:

Understand what people could be going through.

Serena:

So this the silence of our friends is worse.

Serena:

There was there was a very good phrase It was not the words of our enemies that

Serena:

hurt us, but the silence of our friends.

Serena:

So it's extremely important to acknowledge that because people

Serena:

do go through different things.

Serena:

For example, in the war Ukraine, the first thing that I did Working with a

Serena:

lot of organizations, also in my own organization that I work in is to send

Serena:

out an email for companies saying, please, you have to say something.

Serena:

You have to say, you have to acknowledge both.

Serena:

First of all, the situation.

Serena:

Acknowledge and support your Ukrainian employees, as well as not to forget

Serena:

your Russian employees as well, because they're also going through a

Serena:

lot of very drastic things that you would want to go through as a person.

Serena:

So silence does not help.

Serena:

So it's important to to take a stand and I know many companies

Serena:

now say taking too much stand

Serena:

I also know situations where in, in 2020 when the Black Lives Matter

Serena:

move and started in Europe, a lot of companies started posting on

Serena:

social media and Black Lives Matter.

Serena:

And the employees commenting, saying, duh, is it like we don't

Serena:

have a single black employee?

Serena:

Don't be so two-face.

Serena:

So ization also needs to be careful don't jump in a bank wagon.

Serena:

You also need to believe and trust what you're doing.

Serena:

If, if you, If you say, who were posting about and then all those spread, but

Serena:

then ended up with, and then uncover that actually working with fashion

Serena:

companies that were supporting that.

Serena:

Be careful what you say, but it's important for you to answer your question,

Serena:

to communicate your standard as a company because silence does not work.

Serena:

And number two, To have to have a channel for people to discuss those issues.

Serena:

And I know some companies ban it.

Serena:

For example, there was a situation of base camp two years ago,

Serena:

the ban to have any political discussions on the internal channels.

Serena:

Straight away, 30% of the company left.

Serena:

And then it was another company that said that you're not allowed to discuss any new

Serena:

social political issues and then people leave because you're being silenced.

Serena:

How can you not discuss that?

Serena:

And yes, it does distract people, but it's better for people to discuss

Serena:

that in a safe environment rather than develop distrust also towards the.

Olla:

And what do you think about the boundaries that are important

Olla:

between your personal life and your work life, but also the fact that

Olla:

you are bringing to work every day?

Olla:

What is happening in your personal life, internal or external?

Serena:

It's a very good question.

Serena:

I think here I have to be also honest and say that I'm a little bit torn

Serena:

between those two because in the past we used to go to work clock and clock

Serena:

out, come back home and that's it.

Serena:

Now we are so invested and companies understand that.

Serena:

And also, to be honest, they take advantage of that.

Serena:

And so now if you want to leave.

Serena:

In the past, you live work, you change the company you live, but now you're

Serena:

stuck because you live with your friends behind you, leav in your gym,

Serena:

behind perhaps your health insurance.

Serena:

Maybe your kids go to school sponsored by a company or kindergarten sponsored

Serena:

by a company, or you have some sort of.

Serena:

Stock options, or you have a health package or this or that or that, or some

Serena:

sort of subscription to, all the small things as in, they don't cost that much,

Serena:

but it's, it makes a lot harder for a company for a person to make decision.

Serena:

As in look at Google, it's as simple as offering food to people.

Serena:

It's a very simple thing.

Serena:

Google, Facebook, but people end up staying there.

Serena:

Why would you wanna leave?

Serena:

The office, if there is food there, there is gym, all your friends are there.

Serena:

So it's a trap.

Serena:

So I think for people who are really excited about all these perks offered by

Serena:

the company, they also need to be asking themselves, am I being trapped as well?

Serena:

You what?

Serena:

Realizing am I setting my soul?

Serena:

And be careful.

Serena:

Be careful in companies.

Serena:

Say we have family, the family, the family don't lie.

Serena:

Families don't disown someone when they don't have money

Serena:

when you're not behaving well.

Serena:

So it's extremely important to set boundaries and also, Not being let

Serena:

on by a company to to take advantage of that consciously or unconsciously.

Serena:

Having life outside of work is extremely important, and I'm the one guilty of

Serena:

that because, work in learning and development, so I'm the one, offering

Serena:

exciting, cool bells and whistles for people to retain people and to

Serena:

engage people, and to grow people.

Serena:

So they stay in a company.

Serena:

And also having community building, the sense of belonging organization.

Serena:

So I'm torn because both my work at the same time, I see the negative consequences

Serena:

because it is a double edged sword.

Serena:

So for you as a person, you need to understand what are

Serena:

your boundaries and whether you.

Serena:

Don't have friends outside of work.

Serena:

If you don't have anything going on outside of work, if on Friday night

Serena:

you check your teams or your Slack to see what's going on, that's a very

Serena:

big sign that you probably need to set your priorities straight because.

Serena:

Work is just very temporary.

Serena:

And you need to have a more, a long term perspective on yourself

Serena:

and your, don't put all X in one basket and have your boundaries.

Olla:

What I have seen, especially with startups, is that often your mission in

Olla:

life is aligned with the mission of the company, but this is creating an issue if

Olla:

you want to live, because it's like giving up on your mission, your personal mission.

Olla:

If you give up on the company and there is a discussion.

Olla:

It's important for me to have about, you are contributing to the mission,

Olla:

but it's your personal mission.

Olla:

It's not only the startup mission or the company mission, and sometimes

Olla:

I feel that there is a big exist crisis for people that are leaving the

Olla:

company also because they are feeling.

Olla:

They are giving up their personal mission.

Olla:

Do you have a similar experience or different?

Serena:

Yeah, definitely.

Serena:

I don't have a hundred percent like when I left the company and I really

Serena:

felt, but I think what you do give up.

Serena:

Because you develop such a strong attachment to the company you feel like

Serena:

you're giving up a part of yourself.

Serena:

And that's the danger I'm also talking about in terms of you

Serena:

feel like you cut off your limb.

Serena:

And it's always very dramatic, but it is, it does really feel this way

Serena:

that you feel you also betray your dreams and you betray, but it does not

Serena:

necessarily mean that the whole worlds around this company, your mission.

Serena:

You know, The company's mission, unless they're super unique in what they do

Serena:

and only company in the world that does that, and hopefully they're so enterprise

Serena:

rather than corporate then perhaps, but there, there are ways for you to seek

Serena:

self-actualization than just to work.

Serena:

And there other ways you can do to feel empowered and have a mission.

Serena:

Yeah, so seeing other ways in having this mission is very important and

Serena:

not just something that you can also be in control because, let's be

Serena:

honest, organizations nowadays in this economic situation, the redundancies

Serena:

and layouts is such a normal thing.

Serena:

And then even yourself, if you decide because you wouldn't leave, it's

Serena:

sometimes it cannot be in your control.

Serena:

So it's important to take over the control in your life and not just kind depend on

Serena:

someone to own you and to decide also on your mission and on your happiness in.

Olla:

It's like coming back to yourself.

Serena:

Always.

Serena:

Yeah.

Serena:

Coming.

Serena:

Exactly.

Serena:

That's a very nicely, but coming back to yourself, and it's in the

Serena:

same way as anything, it's in the same way as also relationships.

Serena:

Yeah.

Serena:

You don't need to have someone to fulfill you.

Serena:

You also need to be happy with yourself, and if you need someone

Serena:

to fulfill you, to make you feel happy, that you need to also look on.

Serena:

Maybe there could be a problem.

Serena:

Someone could, make you happy and make you even happier.

Serena:

But someone does not need to exist for the sake of, for you to be dependent.

Serena:

It's very unhealthy.

Serena:

Other, it's company a relationship or material goods or social media.

Serena:

Yeah, being, coming back to yourself and being also like

Serena:

content it's extremely important.

Serena:

Very healthy.

Olla:

Do you want to add something else to the conversation for our listeners?

Serena:

No, it was really enjoyable and I really enjoyed that.

Serena:

And I think for me it's important to say that if you are listening

Serena:

to that, you are not alone.

Serena:

Sometimes you could feel like we are the only person in the world to go

Serena:

through this experience, but we are not.

Serena:

What helps?

Serena:

It's um, talking about that, what person helped me is to talk, to,

Serena:

say it out loud, talk with friends, people you can trust, people you're

Serena:

close with about the situation.

Serena:

The more you talk about it, the easier it becomes.

Serena:

And also writing it.

Serena:

Like journal reflect on that and it helps you to put your thoughts together and

Serena:

to say, okay, that's life that happened.

Serena:

. Thank you so much.

Serena:

Thank you.

Serena:

Thanks for having me.

Serena:

Thank you for listening to this episode, please share it with friends then needs

Serena:

to hear this important conversation.

Serena:

You can find more information in the description or on the website.

Serena:

pod.link/welcomeback.

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