There are several aspects in my early life that have a significant impact on my professional life. Growing up In New York City was both magical and unusual for a child. From a young age, I learnt that life was somewhat competitive and fast-paced. I acknowledge that I lost a fraction of authentic childhood to the cumbersome nature of the city. Nonetheless, the city has been a source of inspiration and opportunities for me. I have accumulated valuable skills as a result. This includes social skills and analytic skills as well as flexibility. I also developed a sense of self-awareness and independence at an early age. My interaction with diverse cultures in my early life has granted me cultural competence that is valuable in the current global economy. Exposure to diversity additionally improved my critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The fast-paced nature of my background has enabled me to demonstrate resilience and keep up with pressures in today’s job market. This paper shall discuss the various stages of my life that were most impactful and the experiences that I found the most inspirational.
The first position I ever held was that of a recruiter in the New York Fire Department. This is the position that ushered me into the professional world. My role as a recruiter entailed providing consultation services to hiring authorities. My duties also extended to providing information to applicants and responding to their needs. This position, therefore, called for social skills. In the current labour market, there is a growing demand for social skills. This is because, despite technological advancements, there is a need for human interaction. Reading signals and actively reacting to them is an unconscious process that computers cannot (Deming, 2017). The current workforce also emphasizes teamwork. Workers have varied abilities, and consolidating them through teamwork improves organizational productivity. Social skills are learned at an early age, although not applicable for academic outcomes, are helpful in both professional and informal environments. The social skills I learned in my early life, and professional life would further institute leadership qualities in my life. My work as a recruiter equally involved accumulating and maintaining comprehensive knowledge on organizational regulations, pay administration and recruitment of candidates. This provided a learning opportunity for me to understand the dynamics of a professional environment.
A major turning point in my professional life occurred while working as an executive assistant in the New York City Medicaid Office. This position was essentially challenging and presented a unique learning opportunity for me. My duties under this position necessitated leadership attributes. As an executive assistant, I was required to direct staff members on program evaluation and quality improvement projects. Staff member, therefore, relied on my experience to execute some of their duties. I was also required to lead meetings with leadership teams to identify their needs and ensure the achievement of departmental goals. The experiences I got while working in this position had the greatest impact on my career. The challenges that I faced in taking up leadership roles are an integral part of any leader’s life. Bill George in “Discover Your True North” indicates that every leader undergoes a leadership journey. He states that it is natural for many leaders to face experiences that test their values and sense of self (George & Gergen, 2015). In this phase of my career, I accumulated leadership experience and took greater responsibilities. Accordingly, one of the qualities of true leaders is finding meaning in the midst of adversity and learning from them (Bennis, 2002). This level of my profession remains memorable on account of the barriers that I overcame and the impact associated with that success.
Cultivating Emotional Intelligence as a Call Center Agent
The next stage of my professional career took place while working as a call centre agent in a medical institution. My responsibilities included informing patients on vaccination controlled requirements. Additional duties included assisting in discharging patients and providing them with the necessary information for their follow up visits. I was also required to assist patients with the completion of their medical forms. As the Medical centre was open to members of the public, I interacted with different people daily. I subsequently dealt with different personalities. It was essential that I managed my emotions while dealing with new people. Each patient had a different history and specific needs unique to the other. In this case, I had to cultivate emotional intelligence. Goleman maintains that emotional intelligence is something that one can learn (Goleman, 1998). One of the fundamental aspects of emotional intelligence is self-regulation. I was intentional in processing my thoughts before acting. The job was, in certain circumstances, unpredictable. There was, therefore, a shift in moods. Consequently, emotional intelligence was useful in managing negative impulses.
Empathy is yet another fundamental component of emotional intelligence. To communicate effectively with patients as a call centre agent, I had to express concern for their needs. It was my duty to make patients feel understood and valued. According to Goleman, empathy in leadership does not constitute pleasing people but rather taking account of other people’s feelings (Goleman, 1998). The thoughtful consideration of other people’s emotion is influential in making conclusive and effective decisions. This position was thus an inspirational moment because I understood the interplay of emotions and their outcomes in people.
My role as supervisor at Elmhurst Hospital was both a stimulating and inspirational moment in my career life. The leadership experiences accumulated in my previous positions provided me with the confidence to conduct my supervisory duties exceptionally. I was competent in managing the affairs of staff members and evaluating their performance. Under these positions, critical thinking and prudent decision making were essential. Critical thinking supports smooth operations and improves communication among organizational members (Egan, 2017). The demonstration of my ability to solve problems and accomplish goals earned me the confidence of my supervisees and co-workers. The supervisor position was stimulating because I could provide in-service training to staff members. I would use this opportunity to encourage a culture of accountability and teamwork among staff.
My life story is encompassed with patterns that were instrumental in my personal growth. From a young age, I learned prominent skills that have been useful in my adult life, especially in my professional life. The different positions that I have held in the course of my life presented me with new challenges and learning opportunities. I have, as a result, developed some of the qualities of true leadership. This includes emotional intelligence and the ability to rise above adversity. The lessons and experiences accumulated throughout this journey shall be useful in achieving my career objectives.
Bennis, W. G., & Thomas, R. J. (2002). Crucibles of Leadership. Strategy & Leadership, 39-45.
Deming, D. (2017). The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labor Market. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 132(4), 1635-1640. https://doi.org/10.1093/qje/qjx022
Egan, B. (2017). The Role of Critical Thinking in Effective Decision Making. Uploads-ssl.webflow.com. Retrieved 19 May 2021, from https://uploads-ssl.webflow.com/5d024b052b8dd5c1a487d582/5ec55c033a09a644a8e82d9f_criticalthinking.pdf.
George, B., & Gergen, D. (2015). Discover your true north (pp. 31-32). Jossey-Bass.
Goleman D. (1998). What makes a leader? Harvard Business Review, 21-35.
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