On my first day at work, I was the minute, insecure kid with my laptop trying to not get in the way. Well, at least that’s how I felt. Our CE came to me with a basket of cookies and said, “Here you go. This is for you.” Was she being serious? Did she really give me a basket of cookies? She then went further and said, “Can I make you a cup of coffee?” Of course, I declined the offer politely, but she insisted. She insisted to serve me.
Certainly not what I expected on my first day at work. Or even my 45th day at work. Or 250th day. But occasionally our CE still pops up at people’s desks with fruits, or chocolates.
I am a millennial, and we have a reputation of jumping from job to job, but I have worked at ROHEI for 4 years. And it’s not because of these little treats that I stayed. It’s because I really do love my job. Here are a few reasons why:
VALUE: They showed how much they valued me, even before I did anything for them
Even before my first day of work, I knew this was a company of givers, not takers. They invested months trying to secure a pass for me in Singapore. They did not give up on me and after I was offered the job, they treated me like one of them, even before I signed a contract, or was granted a work pass.
VISION: A shared purpose, a cause to fight for
Vision, as I was taught and as I have come across it in school and other companies I’ve worked for, was simply a piece of writing on a wall. It probably means something to someone—maybe the founder or CEO —but not me.
ROHEI is not the multinational, billion-dollar conglomerate every college student dreams of working for. But it does have a vision that resonates with me personally. They have a vision that I would throw my life into.
Something inside of me just says, “Yes! Sign me up!” Transforming the global workforce is a cause. It’s a chance to be a part of something larger than my own life. Work became more than a job, it has become a calling.
I realise that because I have an understanding of this vision, and how my work contributes, I would do just about any kind of task, no matter how menial, so long as the vision is realised. My work has purpose.
CULTURE: The culture and values of the organisation are all aligned with my own
The amazing thing about a great vision is that it will attract people who believe in it. The vision and values of this company attracted like-minded individuals—people like me. No, they weren’t all like me in that we like the same music, or wear the same clothes, they are like me in that we are passionate to see the vision come to life.
I love the game of football. When I meet someone new and realise that my new friend shares the same passion for the game, a unique relationship forms. We can talk for hours, no matter where he is from, or who he is, young or old, a CEO or a janitor, a bond is formed by our shared passion.
At ROHEI, the passion is not for a game, or a sports team. Our passion is to see a flourishing workforce, where every person can be whole and successful, not only at work, but at home as well. With our shared passion for our vision, differences suddenly don't matter so much. Tolerance for each other’s quirks and eccentricities increases, and even appreciated.
The bond formed between us is much greater than that between sports buddies. I liken it to soldiers in an army, fighting side by side. The bond I have built with the people in this company is one that I don't have anywhere else. They know me—my strengths, and my weaknesses. I can ask for feedback without fear of judgment. A true team, where we don't fight for our place, but we fight for the cause; we don't defend ourselves, we defend each other.
And because of the way the leaders served, I began to trust them with my life. They invested in me not out of courtesy but out of a genuine desire to know me, my desires, my value. They caught me and my trust.
With that trust I was able to accept it when they challenged me. They would ask me to do things I never thought I was capable of. They believed in me.
Almost four years after that first day at work, nervously nibbling some chocolate chip cookies, I’m so thankful for how far I’ve come. The company has allowed me to excel both at work and at home and I am excited about playing a key part in ROHEI's global expansion. I love my workplace because I love what I do, and I know I'm valued by those I do it with.