Have you ever heard anyone say they are overworked and underpaid? Do you sometimes feel that way? I do, but then I always fall back on, “Thank God I have a job!”
In this day and age, many of us are feeling like we just don’t have enough time or help to get everything done that we used to accomplish. It’s true. Everything is being or has been downsized, jobs are being cut or scaled back, and the Armed Forces is faced with having to complete critical missions with fewer assets.
So, how do we cope with the hand we have been dealt?
I, for one, adhere to the Air Force Core Values by maintaining my integrity with each task assigned, putting my service to this great country, and to others, before myself, and displaying excellence in everything I do. Well, I try my best at least. These help me immensely when interacting with people and tackling the mountain of work and responsibilities in the office and at home.
In the public affairs arena, credibility is everything. If I publish a story that is not accurate in every detail, I run the risk of losing my credibility in telling the Air Force story. Integrity is the key to credibility. Without my integrity, I am, basically, not trusted.
As a wife and especially as a mother, if my integrity is questioned because I made the wrong choice or it was perceived that I was dishonest or irresponsible, my life becomes more difficult and those I love are negatively affected. Once again, trust is lost.
I choose to live my life with integrity because it’s the right thing to do. It may not always be the easy choice, but I’ve heard that nothing good comes easy. I hope that my friends, family and co-workers see that in me and pay it forward.
SERVICE BEFORE SELF
Service Before Self comes easily to me. I am the rule-follower. I think I learned this in high school, when my ‘friends’ convinced me to cut a class. I had never done it before and quickly learned my lesson when I was the only one to do so that day. I think they were playing a joke on me. It wasn’t funny. I won’t even sneak into another movie, after watching one movie, without a new ticket.
I try to respect everyone as a human being, no matter the age, rank or social status, trying to put myself in their shoes to understand them better. I do my best to stay positive and find the good in every situation. Negative thinking breeds intolerance and depression. When I give respect, it is usually reciprocated, yes, even with the teenager. That’s a good feeling that we all should share.
I am generally optimistic because I believe it’s my choice. If I give in to frustration, anger or other negative emotions, I cannot do my job as a Reservist or as a member of family and society effectively and in the end, it’s me who is affected. Negative emotions can fester and create physical illness.
I may or may not share the same religious beliefs or political views as you. But, those differences do not give me the right to treat you any differently than I would want to be treated. I choose to be as fair as possible to each individual.
EXCELLENCE IN ALL WE DO
Finally, it is my job to inform Team March members, our mission partners, and the community members who follows our story. It is my job to teach my children how to become good adults, able to care for themselves and others. In order to accomplish these things, there must be mutual respect. I need to make sure I have the entire story or the big picture before making decisions. I must handle the resources available to me in the best possible way. I must follow the guidance of my leaders and mirror that guidance to those who look up to me for the same.
Following the Air Force Core Values helps keep me on the right path personally and professionally. That doesn’t take away the feeling of being overworked and underpaid. It just helps me cope and continue to love my job, and thank God I have it.
(To read more about the Air Force Core Values, visit http://www.airforce.com/learn-about/our-values.)
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