In 2018, I found myself suffering from a bad case of the blues. Being a person known for a sunny disposition, my mood didn’t go unnoticed, and I was lucky to have a friend ask the ever-invaluable question of “Is everything OK?”. Her willingness to listen and offer compassion gave me the long-awaited opportunity to open up. I realized that although everything in my life was going objectively well, something was missing, and I longed for another form of companionship.
Working at AS&K
The second a newborn is placed on her mother’s chest, their pituitary gland floods their bloodstream with the hormone oxytocin. The result: the triggering of an instinctual, lifetime craving for love-hormone which can only be satisfied by social interaction.1,2 From that moment onwards, social interaction will play a highly influential role in that child’s development, morbidity, mortality, mental health and even their ability to exhibit prosocial behaviour like empathy.2
In November 2021, my career trajectory did a full 180°. With a Pharmacy degree and a few years of med comms experience, I joined the Creative Club – taking my first big step into the cool and colorful world of medical copywriting. Before I had time to doubt myself, it was day 1 at the virtual office, and with Stephen King’s wise ‘On Writing’ words engrained, and my A-level grammar refreshed, it was time for me to bellyflop into the pool of the unfamiliar.
On 16 March 2020, we sent an email saying “The Prime Minister has just held a press conference where he advised people to avoid non-essential contact with others – and to work from home where possible. It seems therefore, that we should close the office from tomorrow. I’m assuming this might last several weeks or more, so remember to take all your gear home with you!”
As we enter the festive season, it’s time to get wrapping, cooking, and preparing yourself for the recurrent trial of explaining to your relatives what it is that you actually do for a living. If you’ve been working in account management for a while, chances are it won’t be the first year that you’ve had to politely explain that despite what Aunt Anne tells all her friends, you’re still, without a doubt, not an accountant.
There are several reasons why companies offer staff benefits. However, from my many years of HR experience, I believe that company benefits need to be relevant, engaging and enhancing. A lot of companies keep theirs under wraps. But at AS&K, we’re extremely proud of the benefits we provide.
We understand that our people are unique and that no off-the-shelf benefits package would support and enhance their journey. So, when it came to deciding what benefits to offer, we asked, we discussed and we listened, and then we matched our benefits to what our people really want.
October 10th is World Mental Health Day, and this year’s theme is Mental Health in an Unequal World.
You celebrated 10 years at Remedica recently. How has your career developed in that time?
I have been lucky enough to progress at Remedica and am now a Principal Medical Writer, with a wide remit, which allows me to work over several projects and disease states.
10 years is a long time – what have been your highlights?
According to a recent BBC report, 70% of workers do not expect to return to their offices every day, but will continue to work from home for some or all of their working week (presumably the other 30% have no choice – lifeguards, anesthetists, traffic wardens, and so forth). But working from home is like marmite – some love it and some hate it – and it has become controversial.
We can’t be right all the time – and perhaps we learn more from mistakes than we think. But it’s important to be wrong in the right way. Leadership that honestly acknowledges uncertainty and that invites opinion and feedback from the wider team is key to good decision making – and a strength rather than a weakness, even when the ultimate decision ends up wrong.
Thomas Edison said “I never quit until I get what I’m after. Negative results are just what I’m after. They are just as valuable to me as positive results.”