Monday, February 22, 2010

Getting on Top of the Pile

I’ve mentioned a couple of times now that I changed jobs during my time not posting. Without going into too much detail about my old job, leave it to say that the job challenged me in all the ways I didn’t want, but didn’t challenge me in ways I craved. I felt stuck and stranded and when someone offered me a change I jumped at it.

I’ve been at the new job for about 6 months and while it did fulfill all the promises made at the outset I think it may be OVER delivering. Because even though I work too many hours and scramble through my work day like I’m racing someone and have lists 2 pages long of “to do” items every danged day I still end most days feeling like I’ve failed. Or like I can’t do anything but.

Part of the frustration for me is this feeling that the target moves on me constantly. Whether it be priorities or goals or even expectations I just can’t seem to get my sights set correctly. This leads to a few things, not the least of which is a general sense of panic every day. A few months ago I took part in an executive coaching thing. Now normally I go into such things with a very LARGE grain of salt, and this was no exception. But as opposed to so many that are ‘here are 20 questions – answer them and they will tell me everything there is to know about you.’ this was just me and a guy chatting for an hour, followed a week later by me and this guy chatting for another hour. The first hour our chatting was all about him asking me questions. The second hour was all about him cracking open my head and reading me the contents in a most freakishly psychic fashion. He NAILED it.

The big “aha!” moment of that for me was the a revelation about how important it is for me to have clarity. I need to clearly know what is expected of me; what is happening around me; what my targets are. When I have this clarity I go forth and make it happen; I engage people and they will follow me, oh yes they will! Without that clarity I flail around trying to make anything and everything happen; my energy gets manic and frankly I drive people away. I have felt the panic from the lack of clarity but never understood it for what it was. Unfortunately now I should be able to see it when it happens and all too often I know I’m feeling something bad, but I don’t know what.

I think I can do this job. The part that everyone else seems to boggle at – namely the people management – is the part I KNOW I can do. But where I’ve begun to worry that I’m failing, or doomed to fail, is the other stuff. The scope of the job is more than I can do – this much I know for a fact. Since the start of the new year I’ve been on a never-ending quest to get the picture clearly defined so I can even understand what the whole scope is, but even that seems beyond me. For the first time in a very long time I’m worried that I’m about to get officially dumped, and no amount of hours or scrambling seems to be able to make the difference. What’s more, as the days and weeks go on I find myself resenting the job more and more because it’s not achievable yet achieve it I must.

But in the end the realization I’ve been making is that at some point I’m going to need to stand my ground with those above me and draw a line. Say to them “I cannot work more than I am, nor can I do more than I have been. If this is not enough then you either have to hire me an assistant or leave me the fuck alone. Or fire me, but I don’t think you’ll find anyone else to do it any better.” Wish me luck when the time finally comes! (and if you have an awesome job that requires less than 10 hours of work a day let me know, ‘kay? I might be in the market soon…)

1 comment:

Mildred Ratched said...

What I've found in my many years in the workforce that there is no perfect job...only high expectations for Wonder Women like us!