Alexander Borg, Co-Founder and Managing Director at GBU Ventures Limited, spoke up about how he experienced grief as an employee and how, ultimately, it ended up shaping his career.
Remembering his wife’s passing “a year ago”, Mr Borg noted how “grief heightens your senses” and forces you to “begin looking at life more squarely and truthfully.”
“To the extent that, beyond the flowers your employer sends you, you become less tolerant to the hypocrisy of form and colleagues who are nice to you the first few days, but then struggle to cope with the taboo of death,” Mr Borg wrote.
“Support is fundamental. You’ll catch yourself joking and talking about last night’s football to ease your colleague’s awkwardness. But the moment you face the screen or go home to get on with life, grief starts to creep in and eat at your senses, relegating your ‘productivity’ to the realm of absurdity,” he continued.
In July 2021, Mr Borg took the leap and started GBU Ventures Limited – a company that assists, advises, and coaches tech start-ups.
“Grief is ultimately what led me to quit my job and start on my own without that many qualms. When you look at death squarely in the face, surely little else scares you,” the Co-Founder wrote.
Currently, GBU Ventures Limited is led by a three-person team, with each member stemming from different walks-of-life and specialisations. Alongside Mr Borg, Co-Founder Etienne Goffin serves as Director for Strategy, and serial start-up Founder Jarek Bialek serves as Advisor and Entrepreneur in Residence.
Looking back at his experience as an employee, Mr Borg had some words of advice for employers:
“[Employers] should put on a humane face, get someone with the right training to interact with you, and tell you not to worry if sometimes you’re feeling down and not so productive. They should offer grief therapy for as long as you need it.”
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At the time of writing, his journey has led to £24,849 (€28,665) being raised for mental health charities.
He remarks that people tend to mistakenly view failure as a ‘setback’ or ‘disappointment’.