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By giving me opportunities for both rest and growth, Avanade strikes the perfect balance in my employee experience

  • Posted on November 8, 2021
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
By giving me opportunities for both rest and growth, Avanade strikes the perfect balance in my employee experience

What does it take to be happy in a job? For me, the answer has always been a delicate balancing act. As an ambitious person, it’s important for me to feel like there are opportunities for growth and that I’m always working toward a next step. I like to be challenged, and if I’m doing the same thing for too long, I tend to feel restless or bored.

On the flip side, running too hard for too long can leave me feeling burnt out. As a working mom with two small kids, a husband, friends, and passions outside of work, if work becomes so demanding that I neglect other areas of my life, I can feel dissatisfied professionally.

Over the course of my career, there have been times I’ve strayed too far to either side. Finding the balance requires that I’m in tune with what I need and how I’m feeling so I can effectively steer. But – and this is a big but – it also requires working for an organization and on a team that values employee experience. If you’re working somewhere that doesn’t care about your development or isn’t interested in creating the circumstances you need to do your best work, no amount of “taking the reins” on your part will fix it.

I’ve written before about how Avanade has been incredibly supportive during challenging personal moments like during my pregnancy and maternity leave or during the frightening, disorienting start of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a lot of value in feeling supported by your employer during those pivotal moments. But that opportunity for challenge, growth, upward mobility is just as important.

In September, Avanade held an internal all-employee broadcast to kick off the start of our financial year. We hold these broadcasts twice a year, and while I’ve helped with them since I started, this was my first time serving as the project manager and seeing it from beginning to end. It was a massive challenge that pushed me creatively, full of the good kind of stress that leaves me energized and thinking of new ideas in the shower. When the broadcast aired to a strong positive response, my inbox filled with messages of congratulations. I felt thrilled – and exhausted.

As we came down from our high and final sprint to the end, my manager encouraged me to take it easy the following week. In fact, she told me to take a day off to totally recharge away from work. I dropped my kids off at school and went to get a massage – a rare day of no work or parenting. When I got home, I found a beautiful bouquet of flowers, thanking me for my hard work on the broadcast. I felt celebrated and acknowledged on all fronts.

This is what I mean by balance. What a gift it was to be given the opportunity to stretch and develop new capabilities in my job, and what a gift it was to be part of a team that prioritized rest and gratitude once the big lift was over. These two things work hand-in-hand, allowing me to drive myself forward on a full tank, understanding that sometimes I need to pause to refill. When I look at what I’ve both accomplished and learned over the past few years at Avanade, I feel very lucky to be here.

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