Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Journey

During my internship period or the period before my appointment as assistant director, I went through phases that had challenges. The directorate that I was placed in had two interns: Mankwane, the other intern and I. We both commenced our internships simultaneously. A few months before the end of the internships our contracts were extended by three months. This was after a motivation by Mr Ando Donkers, the senior manager in our directorate.

In the middle of the three months extension the position of assistant director was advertised in the City Press and Sunday Times. I applied, and later four candidates were short listed. Of the four candidates two were interns, Makwane and I. The selection consisted of interviews and competency tests.

After a period of approximately four weeks following the assessment day, a human resources personnel called to inform me that I had been chosen for the opening. I commenced my new role as assistant director on the 1st of August of 2008.

In retrospect, I came to appreciate the fact that a variety of influences were at play in my selection for the position. As the main character in the whole evolution from being an intern to assistant director, I attribute the success largely to the quality of my work as well as hard work- sometimes I took work home to meet deadlines. I am grateful to my senior managers for if it was not for them I doubt I would be in the employ of my host organisation. Mostly, I am grateful to the almighty for the guidance.

Of course there were elements interfering with my work. This is the part that compelled me to resort to soft skills gained from the World of Work programme. At some stage one colleague made several attempts to create a hostile environment, seemingly hoping that it will affect my work. The sessions on emotional intelligence and conflict management during the World of Work programme reminded me that conflicts tend to undermine productivity at work places, and that it is crucial to avoid reacting instead of responding without emotions when a stressful situation arises. But gradually the situation mutated into an overt confrontation. I finally decided to be direct with my adversary, as result I made it clear that I am here to complement team work, not to compete. Later I approached the other colleague of mine who is someone close to my adversary to mediate between the two of us. I put it to the other colleague that it is not in my interest to create enemies for myself. Thereafter, relations improved. I must say I consider this water under the bridge, and the journey is still on-going.