Putting Things in Perspective

At my job, I’m a mid-level manager supervising about a dozen staff and 8 clients. All of my staff are older than me, some by a few years and others by decades. The newest member on our team was hired about a month ago and when I mentioned that I had started driving 5 years ago after I moved from New York to this area she said to me, “I started driving in Lagos in 1970.”

In 1970, my parents had not even met and I was just a word written in al Lawh al-Mahfoodh and now I’m her boss.  SubhanAllah.

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Author: Ify Okoye

Muslim woman, RN, & rebel with a cause.

7 thoughts on “Putting Things in Perspective”

  1. I hear you. I feel strange when I have to interview and supervise people older than me. I just did one such interview yesterday and it was WEIRD.

  2. Salaam,

    I thought it would be difficult to manage people much older than me due to the difference in age and experience (some of their children are older than I am) but they are actually some of my best and most supportive staff.

    The real challenge for me is to be an effective leader because there is a huge difference between having a title and being a leader.

  3. Don’t worry … in time it will be your turn to be the object of some younger person’s boast on their blog.

  4. Your observation about the real challenge is very perceptive. I’m impressed. Are you having to figure out for yourself what works, or do you have some kind of support group or training environment? And, have you ever considered writing up your experiences in that regard?

  5. Yeah Bill, for the first six months it was pretty much trial and error for me, meaning lots of trials and lots of errors but I think I’m beginning to find my way.

    Recently, my company has begun offering a series of mandatory leadership trainings for all managers and senior-level staff, which has been tremendously enlightening and has renewed my enthusiasm for my career path, as well as providing constructive skills, information, and feedback on how to become not only an effective manager but an effective leader with a vision for improving the agency.

    I’ve thought about blogging about some of these things especially things I’ve garnered from the leadership trainings and perhaps I still will but am a bit wary of blogging too much about my work, because it may get me fired especially since I have this reputation at work for being a rebel or whistleblower that speaks her mind (although I call it the truth), fights for her staff and clients to the point of seriously annoying my supervisors, and doesn’t care to brown-nose to get the next promotion or that extra raise.

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