Angella Byykkonen

When asked to do this story about myself and my position with Yankton Media I laughed, no, really, I laughed hard! Who on earth would find that interesting? “I’m an open book,” I’ve always said.

So, I thought about this long and hard, maybe I could share a day in the life of an advertising sales rep, hour by hour. But that is a bit egotistical to think anyone would find that interesting! Instead I’ve chosen not so much to share about my personal life; likes, interests, goals, hobbies, family, etc. But to share about who I work with, my work family, I call them.

Now I know most of you reading this have at one time or another complained about your job, your boss, your coworkers, who hasn’t for Pete’s sake! What are we robots? It’s only natural to have those days where we hate our jobs, the stress and demands, the nagging bosses or the annoying, nosey coworker. But the positive moments outweigh the negative ones at least for me.

Recently I just celebrated 10 years working for Yankton Media in my current position as a Media Consultant. Now in those 10 years I’ve seen amazing changes and not so amazing decisions. I’ve seen faces come and go of those I don’t even remember their names. But I’ve also fortified bonds and relationships with those individuals who have moved on to greener pastures and the work family that are still here, many of them with 15 years to 20 plus years with this company.

These men and women (mostly women) will give you the shirt off their backs and pick you up when you fall down, literally pick you up off the ground in my case. One winter at the end of the work day I half stepped out the door at the office to automatic start my car to warm it up and slipped on the icy sidewalk doing the splits, and not in a pretty way! My coworkers not only picked my sprawled out body off the ground, but loaded me in a vehicle and drove me to the clinic. And when the clinic couldn’t help me, drove me to the emergency room and helped undress me so I could get an x-ray. I’m glad I wore clean underwear that day!

There have been countless injuries (mostly me) and illnesses with some unusual ailments (again, mostly me) over the years that we’ve endured together. As a work family we’ve been through the birth of a child or grandchild and deaths of loved ones. From birthdays to graduations, to weddings and funerals, we’ve celebrated and we’ve mourned together. At times we poke fun of each other (yes, again mostly me) and have laughed till we cried or peed our pants, yep, I have actually done this! We have also problem solved serious situations or issues that have arose together.

Now I am not delusional to think that other places of business employees should be or could be this way with each other as it is about the working relationship that you choose to have with your coworkers. Mine have not only become friends but my work family. Some of these individuals are the strongest, smartest, humorous, most caring and generous people I know. So, love who you work with and you’ll love where you work!

My 5 Keys To Successful Work Relationships

1. Respect is not demanded, Respect is earned.

• Respect those around you, if you give it, it will be returned.

2. Be honest.

• This I say loosely as I’m a bit too honest at times, I don’t really have a filter for my mouth.

• Honesty is the best policy, they say.

3. Compliment your coworkers.

• Everybody deserves to be told how fabulous they are or when they’ve done a great job on something.

• Saying please and thank you for even the littlest things can go a long way.

4. Don’t take everything so seriously, don’t overreact.

• If you find yourself in a situation and you’re frustrated, ask yourself; is it going to be the end of the world or is it life changing?

• Let it go; don’t add fuel to a fire that didn’t need to be started in the first place.

5. Have a sense of humor. (I should’ve had this as number one as this is the most important)

• Learn to laugh not only with your coworkers but at yourself as well.

• Laughter is the best medicine, a cure for deescalating almost any situation.