What are you thankful for at work?

In summer 2017, I felt restless and a sense of learning and trying to do other things as my work. This is not to say that my current work has not been fulfilling, in fact it has allowed me to achieved some of my dreams since years and decades ago.

In ubiquitous up-or-go systems, including my workplace, I know that sooner or later I have to bid farewell. While I prepare myself for the next chapter of my work life, I remind myself to prioritize people over work [1] and count my blessings.

I am thankful for:

  • the opportunity to learn new things (domain expertise, cultural nuances, transferable skills, communication skills [2]).
  • the opportunity to live in a city, a country, and a region where I have never visited before.
  • my earning that allowed me to save enough to pay for our mortgage [5], to treat my parents trips.
  • my own office space, though not sound-proof (it can be very noisy at certain hours of the day), but it allowed me to pump breast milk for Little Princess.
  • while there were periods of the days, weeks, and months when I was very busy, I had the flexibility to take a break [3] daily.
  • my colleagues in our team, who kindly shared information and responsibility [4], I hope that we continue to collaborate harmoniously.
  • my colleagues of diverse geographical, cultural, and domain backgrounds. I appreciate diversity.
  • the opportunity to travel for work and have some free time after work.
  • projects which I was solely responsible for.
  • projects which involve a lot of people, yet allowed me to learn from others.


[1] In A Company Man (회사원), Ji Hyeong-do, a hitman who was targeted by his ex-employers after he fell in love with a single mother and attempted to quit his job, adviced the single mother’s son “don’t work your life away,” after Ji destroyed the company as he could not see other ways out, following the death of his woman.

[2] For the list of things that I have learned, grep “20170609” ref2017*/gratitude*.txt

In spite of my natural challenges of projecting my voice and episodes of sore throats, I survived and completed my projects. Sometimes, I wonder if I should do work that use less of my voice, but I feel that somehow it makes my contributions not spreading as wide as I wish.

[3] I realized that I need to eat multiple times (breakfast, lunch, and dinner are not enough for me, else I will feel dizzy). I also need to drink more water than other people, and consequently I need to use the washroom every 30 minute or 1 hour (I prepared myself for 2 hours or longer meetings by visiting the toilet before meeting and taking less amount of fluid).

[4] As time goes, the amount of responsibility increases and each of us started to feel the tension, but I think we are still working together harmoniously as of the end of spring 2017.

[5] In summer 2017, we made partial capital repayments of our mortgage loan. I used my hard-earned saving from almost half-a-year of work (demanding on me according to my colleagues). Through this daring decision, our mortgage decreased from a 6-digit sum to 5-digit sum. While this experience made us feel less restrained, we will continue to do our best to be debt-free.


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