From texter to volunteer: how Empower Work helped me at a tough moment
By: Laura, Empower Work texter turned peer counselor
I found Empower Work by accident. I was job hunting in a Facebook group and stumbled upon an ad about Empower Work looking for volunteers. I looked over the website and realized this was an amazing resource and the one I needed for myself at the time.
I was having a rough time at work and was tired of talking to my coworkers about it. I felt like my coworkers were tired of listening to me as well--especially with the added fear that someone might accidentally slip up and mention something to our mutual supervisor.
I needed a sounding board outside of my company to talk to about how I was feeling and what to do. Empower Work was that sounding board for me.
I didn't get advice--which was for the best. The conversation was based entirely on my strengths and what I was already thinking about. At the time, I was considering leaving my employment due to some interpersonal issues and generally feeling “stuck” in my position. I was agonizing over the best way to leave my job and tell my supervisor.
The Empower Work peer counselor helped me realize that perhaps what I needed most was not necessarily leaving my job--but figuring out what I need to enjoy my job. The fact that the conversation was anonymous and via text allowed me to be more open. I was able to answer questions more honestly without fear of judgement or embarrassment. During such a difficult time, it was really helpful for me to use an anonymous platform to get it all out there to be fully supported in the best way possible for me.
I realized that miscommunication and generally feeling like I wasn't being heard were the biggest reasons I was thinking about leaving. My peer counselor helped me to realize this, and together we explored ways to discuss it with my director. She even offered to role play with me so I could be as prepared as possible. I walked away with a plan on how to have this conversation with my director, and I’m now much happier at work.
I now realize how helpful this resource is for people who need to talk to someone confidentially. Knowing someone is there when you need to talk about struggles, vent, or grapple is a luxury many don’t have in their workplace. I’m excited to call myself an Empower Work volunteer now. It's been a great experience so far and I'm looking forward to many more conversations with texters who need the support that I needed.