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District representative: Working in public service

Video transcript

In my job, like I mentioned, the communications aspect is very big. Not just being able to talk, but mostly being able to listen. And that's why I think that a lot of people focus on extraversion. I don't think that's truly it, because you can have someone that's very extroverted, and they can gain nothing from a conversations sometimes when they're just really on and talking about a particular issue. So... I will say that I'm, I'm a good mix of extroverted and introverted. You have to make sure to be prudent and tactful and respectful of others opinions and visions of their world. So it's, it's really about being able to carefully approach and turning around the conversation and letting the other person really take the, take the spot and making them feel comfortable to share a lot of the things that they may see as wrong or, you know, they may be struggling with at the time. Worst thing on the job, like I mentioned I'm not an extreme extrovert. Sometimes I gravitate towards being more of an introvert depending on how many people are in the room. So public speaking for me is a nightmare anxiety wise. I was wearing one of those Fitbits right? And I was monitoring my heart rate and I looked at one point right before I was about to speak and I was at 165, like almost to 170 which, you know its like running from crocodiles kind of heart beat or heart rate. So I noticed that it affects me a lot. I usually, a lot of times I don't remember what I said. But everybody's like, "hey, you know, you did a good job out there. That was good that was good." So that's probably the, the most, the toughest aspect of the job for me. The hardest part of the job is knowing that, no matter how much you could care and try to talk to as many people as you could, there are going to be a lot of people you can't help. And sometimes remembering. I don't do a lot of the constituent cases anymore because we have someone that is specialized in that, but out in the community you know, you'll meet people that are homeless that, are not getting immediate access to the services that they need. And you're going to have to put that aside when you go home sometimes to rest. And to be in your own personal life and sometimes it's difficult, and sometimes you don't forget that, and sometimes even within the job you know, it's hard to put that aside for a second. What I love about this job is something that I think I've been alluding to continuously and that's the range of the job. You can start the day doing something very different then, you know, how you end your day. And you can go from a gala to a very intimate community meeting in a community that doesn't have a lot of resources. You get to see the full spectrum of humanity, in a way, and you get to see how much people's views are affected by how they were raised. I would say in this job there is no true work-life balance. It's more of a spectrum in any job, but I think that we're definitely in public service, is farther to the no work-life balance. Because, I mean, issues don't stop happening. And people don't pause their lives and usually most things that happen, that need to be talked about, happen when you're out making plans you know? Like people are living their lives and it happens. For example, at any point you know, we just had the rains that happened. People, people pass away when there are there, there are storms that are strong. There are exceptional things that happen all the time and there are responses that community leaders need to have. So when Senator Allen needs to consult about something, or there's an event, or press conference, or a town hall that could come up. We need to be ready to assist them because, if we're going to be his eyes and ears in the community, then we need to be able to parlay that information in real time when something does happen there. All communities are different. So if we can't make sure that that's taken into consideration then we're failing at our job. So it has to be 24/7. And in the positive side, a lot of that 24/7 could mean, you know a late, a late gala sometimes for like events or for a non-profit and you know, I'll eat a little bit of dinner there and that's not too bad. You know, it's part of the job too and you have to be comfortable with that. A lot of people, when you work a state representative, will ask you, "are looking to go, are you looking to go in public office?" "are you going to be running at some point?" and I say "you know, right now I'm saying no" because I think that it takes very special people that are able to sustain that. And there is a lot of wear and tear and usually a lot of district representative tend to be on the younger side, because, you know, you get to sample a lot of different things, but it does come with those hours, and it does come with that wear, and it's hart to sustain for a lot of people. I would say that it takes a very small percentage of people can do that for more than five years or 10 years. And it's not that the people that can't, don't love it, or don't love giving back, or don't love public service, it's that, it's just, some people can sustain it and some others can't. People interested in what I do and being a district representative or working in public office should know that, they will get tired, and they're going to need to know when they need some time for themselves. A lot of the times, you may not plan for it in a week basis or daily basis, but, there are a lot of people here that also understand that it does take a lot of hours and it's non-stop so, don't forget to lean on your co-workers as well. And you know, they'll do the same as well. So a lot of the times it takes coordinating and saying, "you know, I'm gonna take this weekend. I can't this weekend. I need a little bit of time for me." And somebody else will step in and next time around, you know, you'll step up for someone else. If you feel passionately about, understanding people, and connecting people, and sometimes meeting in the middle even when you don't love what that may look like. I think that bringing people together is worth more than perhaps what you get out of the middle. You should get involved. You should work with people, get to hear different stories. You don't need to pick what you want to do when you do my job. And I think that that's beautiful too. I could be very specialized right now and I think that brings a lot of comfort to certain people, but I have a wondering mind and I always, you know, have questions about the world that I'm never, may never answer. But thinking about those questions fuels me and if you have a wondering mind and you want to learn more about the world and you don't want to get stuck on one path or do one thing for the rest of your life, then check it out. There are fun people along the way.
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