Liveops Agent Spotlight: Sharon, improving people’s lives by prioritizing human connection
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TW: loss of a child
While a deeply human experience, discussion of grief is historically taboo in personal interactions, let alone in a professional environment. When Sharon suddenly lost her 20-year-old daughter, she wasn’t sure how she’d survive with such a gaping hole in her heart. Through her work as an independent agent, though, she unexpectedly found healing for both her and her customers.
Sharon had been working in North Carolina’s criminal judicial branch division for 25 loyal years when both her sister and daughter passed within a few months of each other. She’d become eligible to retire at age 50 and did so after her bereavement period, to the surprise of many colleagues. Despite appearing okay on the outside, Sharon had begun to experience hairpin triggers and hypersensitivity at work.
“People would say ‘Sharon, you’re so strong,’ and I’d say ‘I really wish you could turn me inside out and see how broken I am.’”
She was amid an emotional transition and wasn’t sure how she could also embark on a professional transition at the same time, but she took a leap of faith. To supplement her retirement income, she tried to work part-time at a brick-and-mortar store, but it wasn’t the right fit. When she started contracting from home as a Liveops Independent Contractor agent, she “was looking for people therapy,” she says with a chuckle, something “to pull the pain in a different direction.”
“I just feel like [Liveops] was a catalyst. I stumbled upon the company in the right time, in the right season.” She went on, “If I was helping somebody else and solving their problems, I would be able to internally process my pain simultaneously. I don’t know how to explain the balance between helping someone and feeling that reward, balancing your pain from the loss of a child.”
Able to work from home on her terms, Sharon snapped up as many Liveops opportunities as possible, going into everything with an open mind and a strong work ethic. In October 2022 she began providing services for a luxury fashion retailer with an egalitarian culture she loves to be a part of, on top of the already resource-rich foundation of Liveops Nation, a supportive community of independently contracted agents like Sharon. It was there she made a dear friend, a fellow agent, who she’s since flown to see to spend her birthday with the new friend’s family.
Connecting on a basic level while finding a solution is Sharon’s prerogative. “Every person I talk to, I want to be able to touch them in one way or another, by resolution, but also a little piece of personalization. That’s the rewarding part in between my tears.”
Once, she laughed with a woman named Sarah who’d just moved to Sarah Street. Another time, she picked up a call from a frazzled FedEx driver who finally revealed she was bereft because her son just died. “There was a connection right there, and I was able to share that moment.” One customer was frantic to find her daughter’s address. Without sharing her story, Sharon relieved the customer’s stress by reminding her how precious any time with a daughter is, and there are almost always bigger fish to fry. Customers regularly tell her she has a soothing voice.
Sharon’s generosity of spirit is most apparent when she shares deep vulnerabilities. Why, ‘no matter what you experience, you’ll dig your way to a management system, which is what I like to call it, cause you never really get over some things, you just have to find a way to carry them.”
Sharon has bravely charged past conversational taboos with her valuable perspective in tow. In a way, it grants others permission to be true to their mental state. Taking care of others and making someone’s day better make Sharon’s heart sing, which directly correlates to the positive experience customers have when finding a resolution with her. When she’s sad, she focuses on how she can help others. To her, compassion and connection are imperative.
Contracting with Liveops has granted Sharon space to both heal and thrive. She feels Liveops Nation’s support and is inspired that so many sincerely want her to succeed. Liveops’ in-house team works alongside agents, enriching experiences with one-on-ones and coaching sessions, and when agents need a break, they are enthusiastically encouraged to take the time they need. If Sharon needs to tackle some housework or quell the joyful ruckus of her new puppy, that work/life balance is at her fingertips. Liveops aligns perfectly into Sharon’s life, amplifying her strengths, interests, and recuperation.
Sharon’s story is a master class in repurposing pain. In the wake of tragedy, her perspective on quality of years over quantity has been redefined, and her ethos aligns with the Liveops mission, which is to improve people’s lives. “That’s how you should be with every person you get the chance to meet, get the chance to serve, and come in contact with. You only get one shot, that’s it. So that’s my takeaway of [my daughter’s] death, [contracting] with Liveops.”
She typically shies away from attention, but Sharon felt her story needed to be heard by someone out there. “I know I’m not the only one. I know somebody feels like giving up. If my story could help somebody hold on when they are dying on the inside, then I have to share that with love.”