Monday, September 6, 2010

"Y" I'm Not Happy One of My Fave Co-Workers is Leaving

Jason Mollica was mostly kidding (I think) when he tweeted this last week:

Jason's tweet was a follow-up to my comments about my coworker Niki Pocock's blog post about leaving her position at Healthy Kids, where we have been coworkers for almost a year. 

I had commented to Jason and Niki, that I was "bitter" about Niki's departure.  This led to Jason's suggestion.

I need something to blog about tonight, so even if you were kidding, Jason, here it is!

Here are three things that I am taking away from my relationship with Niki, one in which a frequent topic of discussion was "Gen Y" in comparison to Baby Boomers and other generational issues.  I should mention that when she started working at Healthy Kids last year, one of the first things I did was to see if she had a blog (isn't that what we all do?!).  It was a good sign that she did and that I really liked her writing style.  This was a very good omen! 

Social Media 101+

When Niki and I met, I was an avid Facebooker and blogger.  I had a Twitter account but I really did not use it much.  Niki helped me understand how to more effectively integrate my presence on social media outlets, how to utilize analytics (still learning on that one), and how businesses and organizations can better respond to customers who expect to be able to engage via social media.  I learned to speak more knowledgeably about hashmarks, retweets, and the most enjoyable part of Twitter:  meeting people through Tweetups!  Here we are at the August Tallahassee Tweetup:

(Photo Credit Adrienne Bryant)


Hierarchy Isn't Everything

I have worked at my employer for 16 years.  In that time, the org chart has had all kinds of expansions and contractions, but in general it has always been clear what the official pecking order is (as well as the unofficial).  As I observed Niki navigate relationships with co-workers, I became aware that there are times I have stopped advocating for particular positions, resources, or changes based on not feeling like "fighting that hard," or by assuming that because a superior held a particular position and professed to intend to keep that position, I should keep quiet if I saw a potential downside that could affect our enrollees because it just wasn't worth it personally to rock the boat.  Niki had a fresh perspective -- if someone did not comply with a deadline for a project that required input from several different parties, she was quicker to advise that co-worker that their project may have lost some priority as she moved on to other obligations.  She didn't question her right to expect timely cooperation. 

Say It - Now!

A couple of times, I chuckled after Niki and I would have a conversation, and the topic would appear in her blog within hours.  My approach to my blog is very deliberate.  I think about the topic throughout the week, collect any images that may be appropriate, debate how to word specific phrases, etc.  Case in point -- when Healthy Kids was asked by one of our payment vendors to permit "pay by text" (in which the enrollee gets a text message saying "your payment is due" and can press "1" to pay, etc.), Niki and I had a conversation about this.  I mentioned that I might blog about it "someday."  She blogged about it by the end of the day. The reminder for me is that my message does no good if it is still in my head as I dissect the perfect wording.  If I take the leap of going ahead and writing what I have to say, I may be surprised what interactions await me.

Jason suggested my post be "Why I'm Not Happy."  I am happy for Niki - her new position at the Florida Department of Education gives her fantastic new growth opportunities and, fortunately, will keep her in touch with Healthy Kids and KidCare.  I am disappointed, personally, to lose the day-to-day contact with my friend and fellow social-media fanatic.

The good news is she is only a tweet away! 

3 comments:

Richard said...

That was a fantastic post. I really enjoyed how you connected your learning experiences from someone younger and how you adapted to them. It shows great things when an older generation is able to connect with a new generation. Adapting can be hard, but being able to gain a better understanding of twitter and to put it into play shows good things. Props to you for listening and changing.

I'm the co-mod of #genychat a weekly generational chat(from 9pm EST) that focuses on various topics each week - would love to see you there and input our advice from a different perspective.

NPocock said...

Thank you so much for all of the kind words :) I really liked reading this because it gave me fantastic insight on how others perceive me at work. I worry so much that I make older colleagues (even if by only a few years) crazy - it is nice to know that at least one doesn't think I am (too) insane :) 

You have been such a joy to get to know and talk with every day. I know I am not supposed to play favorites, but I will miss you the most :) I promise to stay in touch often!!!!

oneguysjourney said...

Well, I'm glad that I was able to help inspire a post. Both of you are wonderful women and I've learned a ton from both of your blog as well as chatting with you on Twitter.

I never look at age because there are so many, young and old, that can help shape our world.