The Power of Feeling at Home in Your Workplace
Few people who leave a position feel comfortable returning to the same company after time away. However, if you left on good terms, a previous employer can be an excellent place to look for your professional advancement. Joe B. has built a successful career by doing just that — not once, but twice.
Joe started working at NJM shortly after high school, doing offsite file retrieval in the Central Files Department. At a time when computers were taking a more significant role in personal and professional environments, Joe knew that he needed to position himself for the oncoming digital economy. He left NJM to seek an associate degree in network engineering and telecommunications management.
After some time working for a telecommunications company, Joe returned to NJM as a member of the IT Department, where he continued his education and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Network Communication Management.
In 2004, Joe, who was at the time a non–commissioned flight operations officer in the New Jersey Army National Guard, was deployed overseas for eighteen months. He used the skills he had gained from his education, military training, and early employment to supervise the coordination of flights, monitor communication systems, and disseminate critical enemy intelligence information. While he was serving, NJM sent him care packages, communicated with his family, and supported his wife’s work schedule in NJM’s Medical Services Administration department. The company then worked with Joe’s military unit to host an honor ceremony commending the unit’s work.
Joe appreciates the support his coworkers and NJM provided to him and his family through this period.
“I’ve stayed with NJM because this is where I feel I belong,” said Joe. “The company supported me and my family during my deployment, and to this day, it continues to encourage my education, my professional advancement, and a healthy work–life balance.”
Feeling a sense of belonging is important to workers. According to a BetterUp study reported in the Harvard Business Review, employees who feel included work harder, receive twice as many raises, and earn an astounding 18 times the promotions as those who don’t.
How can you improve your own sense of belonging in your job? Look for the following opportunities:
New Perspectives — Talk to your coworkers about challenges they have faced in their jobs and how they overcame them.
Mentorship — Seek advice from a more experienced coworker and imagine how you would coach someone else through the challenges you have overcome.
Empowerment — Brainstorm ways to make your workplace and team experiences more inclusive.
For the past seven years, Joe has been an IT Audit Supervisor, overseeing all Information Technology audits covering the full spectrum of NJM’s Technology Infrastructure. He obtained certifications as a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and a Cybersecurity Auditor (CSXA), while working his way up from an associate auditor to a supervisor.
“In some ways, NJM is my home,” Joe says. “It’s rare for recent graduates to know exactly what they want to do with the rest of their lives — I never expected to find myself in this role. I’m lucky that I found a company that supports me through every stage of my life.”
Joe has been working for NJM for almost 21 years. As he approaches his 25–year anniversary with the company, he will soon enjoy the company of the 385 employees who have achieved the milestone of 25 years at NJM. He participates in a fantasy football league with his coworkers, supports HR in the recruitment of military veterans, and joins the company’s Veteran’s Day commemoration every year.
Knowing you have the support of your coworkers and your employer can make all the difference in your career. You can gain fulfillment from your relationships; advance in your career using employee–sponsored educational opportunities; enjoy the satisfaction of a job well–done; and do good work with a team that respects your diverse experiences and trusts your advice.
If you are interested in joining the NJM family, visit NJM Careers to apply for a position today.
SourcesCarr, E. W., A. Reece, G. R. Kellerman, and A. Robichaux (2019). The value of belonging at work. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 16 Sept. 2022 from https://hbr.org/2019/12/the-value-of-belonging-at-work.
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