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Photo by Crawford Jolly on Unsplash

So, I was just flicking through my Instagram posts and back in January I posted a caption that said “Here’s to stepping more outside the ol’ comfort zone in 2020” Well in more ways than one 2020 has thrown me a ton of uncomfortable situations. The most recent being taking voluntary redundancy from my job. I’ve just received my last pay and there is a certain finality about that. Seeing the words “termination” and now not having any connection to the company at all. For some people it was ‘just a job’ but it was more than that at times for me. There was a family and community environment about it. In the early days you felt like you were contributing to a higher purpose. You were incredibly valued. I was eighteen years old when I started there and I remember thinking when I applied that I would just stay there for six months, earn enough money to pay for University and then be on my merry way. I ended up staying with the company for eighteen years. That’s exactly half of my life at this point in time. …


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Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

I was 18 years old when I started at my first store. As an introvert, I very much dislike interacting with people, so how I ended up in a job in retail and customer service and stayed there for half of my life is beyond me. I’ve never been particularly driven by money or career, and I guess my perception of work can be summed up in the old adage “jobs fill your pockets, adventures fill your soul.” That is a whole other story, but the actual job has never really been about the work itself. Sure I love merchandising, I love solving problems and I like helping people — but for me it has always been about the people I work with. …


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As things begin to wind down in my working life, I keep getting asked what my plans are for the future. To be honest, I really don’t know what my next steps are. I mean, I do have plans around how my bills will be getting paid for the next few months, and so, this has given me the opportunity to have a short sabbatical from ‘the grind’ and to perhaps find out what I really want to be doing with my life. My problems are that I’m not driven by money or status or power. I only really work to fund my hobbies, and a friend of mine always jokes that I could live on the smell of an oily rag and two minute noodles. True story. The safety and financial security of my job has always been good to be fair, but in the last few years I began to feel trapped in a job that wasn’t fulfilling enough. Don’t get me wrong, I once loved this job and the challenges it presented to me, I like to think I am bloody good at what I do and the support of the people I work with has been amazing — but I wonder a lot about whether I should be dong something with more purpose. …


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Lately, I’ve been delving deep into this concept of the unknown and uncertainty. As a natural over thinker and worst case scenario type of person, you can imagine uncertainty doesn’t sit well with me. I like plans and lists and spreadsheets. I like knowing that I am safe with food, water and shelter. Google gives us this great definition that uncertainty is “something that is uncertain or that causes one to feel uncertain…” Okay, it’s not that great of a definition really, but I mean you get the gist right — we all know what uncertainty is and what it feels like for us, and particularly at this point in time it’s a word that is getting thrown around everywhere. I think what annoys me most though, is that uncertainty is almost always put out in the public sphere alongside fear — and that really doesn’t sit well with me. Because if it is anything that I’ve learned, is that in any situation there is always always hope. There’s an opportunity to learn and grow and do better next time. When we are afraid, we tend to back down and just let things happen. …


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Just a few weeks ago, I took on an enormous challenge of hiking the length of the Christchurch Port Hills in the dark. For eight hours I wandered on 30 kilometres of trails that I knew like the back of my hand in daylight, and yet in the darkness my mind was filled with doubt and uncertainty. Familiar landmarks were non existent and the little light I had only illuminated a few meters of the trail in front of me. My eyes were constantly tricked by the shadows and I wanted to give up so many times. Was I scared? Absolutely. …


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Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

I feel sorry for you, though, you don’t deserve my sympathy. It must be awful for you that I live rent free in your head all the time. Well that’s how it seems. If it’s any consolation, I don’t like being around me either.

I’m sorry that my work ethic bothers you so much. I wish you would elaborate and give me specifics on how I can improve in my job. I am always open to feedback and willing to learn more.

I’m sorry my personality bothers you so much, I can only suggest that perhaps you should just ignore me. It’s quite easy to do, many people do it. …


Hector’s Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori) along with it’s sub-species Maui Dolphin are the smallest and rarest dolphins in the world. They are endemic to New Zealand’s coastal waters and while their population numbers approximately 10,000–15,000 individuals, they are classified as ‘Nationally Endangered’ by New Zealand’s Department of Conservation.

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Hector’s Dolphins in Lyttelton Harbour, New Zealand (Photo by Jai O’Hagan with permission)

News was released today from Fisheries New Zealand that four Hector’s Dolphin deaths were reported by commercial fishers in December 2018. Fisheries New Zealand were informed that the dolphins were caught in two separate events of commercial trawl fishing off the East Coast of the South Island — one in which one dolphin was caught off the coast of Timaru, and another where three were caught in Pegasus Bay. The Canterbury coastline is a hot spot for the Hector’s Dolphin and most of it is part of the Banks Peninsula Marine Mammal Sanctuary which extends from the north bank of the Waipara River to the mouth of the Rakaia River. …


Moana Williams is the owner and Jack-of-All-Trades at BodyFix Gym in Christchurch, New Zealand. An incredibly humble person and always active behind the scenes, Moana has a huge passion for helping people and her mission at BodyFix is to help people live healthier lifestyles for both mental and physical well being.

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Favourite thing to cook:
M:
To cook? Oh God. I don’t mind cooking eggs on toast. If you’re on the closed BodyFix Nutrition page you’ll see that eggs and crumpets are pretty much where it’s at with me. So… I’m not bad, I’m pretty good at cooking French Toast, but otherwise… It pains me having to cook to be fair. …


The Maui’s Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui) is the smallest and rarest dolphin in the world, and they reside only in waters off the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. A subspecies of the South Island Hector’s Dolphin, the Maui Dolphin population is estimated to be between 55 and 65 individuals and is facing a substantial threat of extinction within the next decade.

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I’m going to say it straight off the bat, that up until last year I had no idea just how threatened the population of Maui Dolphins actually were. It was the 26th of November 2018. It was the same day that news broke of 145 Pilot Whales stranding on Stewart Island. I was helping my 11 year old nephew with his homework when it came through on my news feed, and after reading the article out loud to him, he asked about other whale strandings in New Zealand. Eventually, after trying to explain that I have no idea why whales strand themselves, we landed on the Department of Conservation website where he made me read out to him all the information on all the native marine mammals. When we read about the Maui Dolphins he first asked “how could we have let the population get so low?” …


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Photo by Jehyun Sung on Unsplash

I am fascinated with leadership and the way that people develop their own personal leadership style. I have been very lucky to have worked and learned from some fantastic and inspiring people in my lifetime. While they all had different personalities and approaches in their leadership and management of teams, here are some of the things that most of these people did really well that kept their staff engaged and performing at a high level.

Say Hello

Don’t ever think you’re too high and mighty to say hello to the people who work for you. Not only do you make yourself look like a complete snob, they will most definitely talk about you behind your back, which is never a good thing. Your personality, general mood and perhaps even your integrity will come into question when you disregard a basic courtesy. Ignore the workers and it’s a very fast track to losing respect from your employees and your peers — because they most likely say hello to all of their staff. FYI: Even Her Majesty, The Queen greets everyone. Don’t be shy, be polite. …

About

Corrine O’Connell

Bananas.

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