Quarantined, But Not Alone
Hey! I’m Kelsey Wilson and I’m a Field Marketing Manager at Appian. I’m based out of our Northern Virginia headquarters, and am looking forward to celebrating my three year Appian anniversary coming up this January. This is my first time writing a blog for AppianLife, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share my story and how my peers played a huge role in what was quite an eventful 2020.
How your team impacts your work experience
We’ve all received the advice to “surround yourself with good people.” In the past, I always thought that expression referred to your life outside of work, to your significant other, and your friends. However, I’ve realized more recently that it definitely applies to the people you spend time with at work too.
After all, “back in the day” pre-COVID times, we spent at least 40 hours a week with the people we worked with. Being so close together for so many hours each week means that the people you work with can make or break any job. Regardless of the company, role accountabilities, and compensation, if you really dislike your colleagues, you’re probably not going to love your job.
However, I am one of the lucky ones. My team is incredible, and I could not have picked better people to work with if I tried.
A good team supports you: through the good times and the bad
I always knew I worked with good people, but my appreciation for them grew exponentially in February of 2020.
During what I thought would be a regular doctor appointment, I found out that I would need further testing to determine if I had cancer. Initially, I kept my follow-up appointments pretty quiet, but once my manager and team found out about the uncertainty I was facing, they started checking in on me constantly. More often than not, they were the ones reminding me to call the doctor to check on my test results.
When I received my diagnosis, my team were some of the first people I told. The amount of support and love I received from them was incredible.
Going through treatments during COVID-19
My “unofficial” team shirt!
My treatment started right after Appian went into quarantine for COVID. For my first treatment, I wore my unofficial team shirt as a reminder to calm down my nerves, to tell my cancer to calm down, and to feel like my team was with me.
I texted with my team throughout most of my treatment. I think if they were allowed to be in the room with me, they would have all tried to be there.
What should have been an excruciatingly lonely time was spent with Google Meet Happy Hours, group texts, Backstreet Boys lip sync videos, and even a parking lot socially-distant hangout session.
During this difficult time, one of the most special gifts I received was a video from a ton of people at Appian naming themselves “Kelsey’s Krew.” This video really showed how much they cared and helped to lift up my spirits during this challenging period.
All in all, in the five months of my treatment, I never felt like I was going through this by myself. I have an amazing fiancé, family, and friends; and to have the added layer of love and support from my team at work meant more than I could say.
And the support didn’t stop with my immediate team! All throughout Appian, people have been amazing during the course of my treatment. I’ve received many notes of encouragement, books, dinners, flowers, treats from Appian’s most fabulous baker, many TikTok dances, as well as support from other people going through treatment currently or in the past. To say that Appian shows up for their people is an understatement.
This whole experience has made me even more proud to work with my team at Appian. In addition to being amazing at all of their roles, they are some of the kindest people you will ever meet.
Going through treatments during a global pandemic is definitely not how I thought I’d be spending 2020; but because of the people I get to work with every day, there have been more highs than lows.
Working for a company with people you respect and admire makes all the difference in your life. Professionally, I get to learn from my team every day. And, even better, I get to spend my working hours with people I consider real friends, people who fill my days with laughter and joy.