Why you need to put your family first

It was 4pm and I couldn’t stop thinking about my mother. She was in a hospital getting an intensive medical care. I went to the office to get my jobs done and soon went back to the hospital. My mother was in a very weak condition. At 7pm, I was there, beside her, tried to talk to her about anything, while I prayed for the best. She didn’t reply or answer my questions but I knew she heard me. She was unconscious for the rest of the night. Finally, around 11.30pm, she left us, left the world, to meet her Creator. My sister, my father, and I gathered around her. That was a very sad day for all of us.

A few months later, one of my team told me that his mother was sick and need to be checked to the hospital, so he needs my permission to left the office early. I said, yes. A few days after that, he frequently asked my permission again to left the office early and I said, at that time,

“You don’t need my permission every time to leave the office early if this is all about your mother, your wife, or one of your family. Just go. I’ll try to back you up. Don’t worry about the work, it can wait. Your mother can’t.”

While I was working extra hours to finish his tasks on Trello (yes, we use Trello), he worked on his own (from the hospital and home), doing a pull-request, and still moving his tasks on the Trello board. One day, he showed up at the office around evening and I asked him about his mother’s condition. He said that his mother was unconscious at that time. I was silence for a few seconds and then I said,

“Leave the office, right now. I need you to be there, beside your mother, not here in the office. I’m ordering you to take a leave for 3 days or more and get back to the office until your mother gets better. No negotiation needed. Go. Now.”

3 days after that, his mother passed away.

You don’t know what you got until it’s gone

Family is one of our precious “things” in life. We can’t live without them. Work is just a “tool” so you can stay with your family and be happy with them. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t work hard. You should and you must work hard so you can achieve what you want to achieve in life.

I always encourage my team to put family first. Again, work can wait, and as a team, we need to back up each other. As I grow older, I realized that going home after office hours is really important and it pushes you to be effective at working hours. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t love your work. Again, you should. That’s why you need to be more effective and efficient in solving your problems.

Don’t wait until you lose them. It hurts.

Within ups and downs, your family stays with you

Ever realized that you were sometimes going up and down, and who’s there beside you? Correct. Your family. No matter what you feel, happy or sad, they always there for you. As for colleagues, they are just like friends. Sometimes they are available, sometimes they don’t. It’s natural, nothing wrong about that. Just don’t depend on them. Depend on your family only.

At The Jakarta Post, we encourage the good culture of supporting each other. You can invite your family, your husband/wife, or your children, to the office. Our work matters because of them so why not inviting them to the place where we spend a big portion of our time every day?

Last words, if you’re looking for a job…

If your current office feels like forcing you to have a steep distance with your family, why not join us? we’re hiring!

Final words

And by that, I just want to tell you: “Love your family. An office is where you make a living, but a family is where you truly live a life. Family comes first and office comes afterward.”

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