There are many different shades to being part of the tech world. I feel grateful for having experienced many moments of feeling home and part of this world thanks to some of the smaller communities. It is a wonderful feeling to meet likeminded people and together geek out about the things we are passionate about.
On the other side of the coin are the tensions and struggles I notice for myself and the larger collective of people working in tech. It starts with stress and performance anxiety and often ends in interpersonal conflicts, burnout and a general sense of imbalance and discontent.
I consciously choose the tech environments I put myself in. For me, the key is human connection. If I find people that I resonate with and who share similar values like mine, I know I’m in the right place. From there, anything is possible and things flow with more ease and harmony.
What are some important ingredients that make a healthy work environment for me?
Patience. Listening carefully to each other. Giving everyone space to express themselves without the fear of being judged. Honest, direct and empathetic communication. Creating space for valuable and constructive feedback. Knowing that mistakes will happen and growing in resilience. Embracing things as they are instead of constantly fighting the given circumstances.
Collectively moving towards a shared vision and away from the things that have not proven to be of value. Meeting challenges and innovative ideas with openness and curiosity. Self care. Learning about our needs and boundaries, individually and collectively.
On the note of communication
The biggest challenge I see is communication. To be honest, communication is super hard. I have been focusing on bringing more awareness to the way I use language and express myself for the last years and still find myself in situations where I have no idea how to navigate myself back into connection and receptivity. I find it incredibly fascinating that sometimes, it doesn’t seem to matter what I’m saying as much as the place that I’m coming from when I speak.
So what does that mean? For example, am I trying to prove myself or instead make space for a collective experience and cocreation? Am I discharging my suppressed emotions in what I say instead of expressing what is happening inside of me?
This one has been a long journey for me and is ongoing. Growing up, I had been very disconnected from my body and feelings which made it hard to share what’s going on inside of me. It is like learning a whole new language in itself and has been one of the most rewarding journeys of getting to know myself better and being able to express what is happening inside of myself.
All of this to say is that we are all human beings and very messy in our nature. Our emotional body tends to throw us on a constant rollercoaster if we choose to feel instead of suppress the emotions that arise. I don’t see that there is a right or a wrong way of doing things. Much more, I see the importance of bringing more awareness to the ways we communicate and interact in a compassionate way. This allows all of us to reflect on what feels good for ourselves and how we want to be with each other.
Coming back to the essence of what I envision my work life in tech to look like. I want to be able to show up every single day exactly as I am, with all that is happening inside of me, because I know that this is the only way I can stay healthy, focused and productive in what I do. Self care is crucial and I am wishing for an environment where we can remind each other to take care of ourselves when we get caught up in the storm and overstep our own boundaries. That includes taking care of our bodies, staying hydrated, taking small breaks spread out over the whole day and practice what we know to be most nurturing for ourselves.
I am longing for spaces of more cocreation and closer collaboration in tech. I believe that sharing from our knowledge and experience is incredibly valuable and staying connected with the people around us allows for less conflicts and tensions that keep us from doing the things we want to do. I wish to experience the flow of creation on a collective level. I wish to feel motivated and inspired. I wish to feel vibrantly alive. Together.