Individual Initiative = Strength in Numbers

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Join other Student Affairs colleagues on Friday, May 13th, 2016 for a division-wide “Community Check-In” that will provide a safe space to share your concerns and impact of the current budget situation on you and your colleagues. It will be held on the 5th floor, Tilden Room of the ASUC MLK Student Union from 10:00-11:20 a.m. The Community Check-In will be hosted by AVC and Chief of Staff Andrea Dooley, along with the GO BIG team.

What we’re going through as a community and individually may be stressful for some of us. Perhaps you feel stuck not knowing how to respond, or how to support colleagues. 210ec3a

Laura  Kocourek, Business Operations Assistant recently took the initiative to reach out to the GO BIG team when asked how she was feeling about the current budget. Laura was moved by the care she felt in the room that day, and knew that some of her colleagues were also experiencing stress. She recognized that people needed to talk in a supportive environment. Laura later reached out to the GO BIG team, who offered support where needed. She then approached Business Operations’ leadership, and they planned a brown bag luncheon for the team to discuss their thoughts.

Several of the Business Operations team members attended the brown bag this past Tuesday. People openly shared their perspectives, and modeled a sense of vulnerability. Laura shares a key takeaway:

“The biggest difference I felt after our meeting was the feeling of hope. Before, I felt like a victim in this process, and I didn’t realize how my mindset was affecting my daily life, or more so–how my mindset was my choice and that I could choose to live a happier life by taking ownership of my position. I also learned that I had more support than I realized, and that I could find support here at work. We can all support each other, not necessarily by having the right answers or being brave, but just by showing solidarity and compassion.”

We also asked Laura for any recommendations or words of advice for other colleagues when taking initiative during this time, even when the future is unknown. Laura states:

  1. Taking ownership of your situation can do wonders for your mental health. Instead of thinking what is happening to you, think, what can I do? The ability to give yourself power over your situation is an amazing feeling.
  2. Realize that others probably feel similarly; reach out to coworkers, grab a coffee with them, ask them how they are doing– you can have a huge impact on their day.
  3. Think about the impact of your own mindset. An inactive mindset may be based in fear or denial, whereas an active mindset can be based on empowerment and taking ownership.
  4. Recognize that it is normal to have doubts or be afraid; you don’t have to be fearless in order to move forward.



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