First Week at SEAMEO

SEAMEO’s Regional Training Center

The first week of work at SEAMEO presented the job’s main challenge, How to encourge a team?

There was no introduction to the work, no clear duties, nor an explanation of what the team was doing. I had to investigate all this in a friendly manner. When my team got an assignment via email, the email was addressed to me and I didn’t instinctually delegate the tasks to anyone on my team. Accustoming to being a subordinate, I fumbled to do it on my own.

By Friday, I finally gave my team their first assignment. Beforehand, we talked about their current schedules and when they could complete the assignment. Their time is matrixed and they are busy with their own work, and work from other departments, and individual responsibilities to the organization. Ultimately, I liked working here its a low-stress place for me to learn international management. The people in the photo are not my teammates.

Funny situation, I don’t have a clear title yet. Because of age/experience/ seniority issues. I am functionally the Head of a Department, but they call me the team leader, Deren, or as my contract says, “program officer”. I think that this vagueness is a part both cultural and reflecting the reality that I’m in a functional management role supervising people with significantly more experience than me.

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