Posts Tagged ‘career path’

Yesterday as I was packing up my office it really hit me, deep down I know this is the right move for me and for my future career path. I might be anxious and uncomfortable, but I’m not doubting my decision.

I know not everyone around me agrees. For many they just don’t get it. Right now, I’m managing people and in the new role I’ll only manage projects. To many, including my Mom, they think it’s a step down. A step back down the ladder I’ve been climbing for 6 years. And shouldn’t I want to keep climbing the ladder and getting to the top? Shouldn’t I want to keep going until I’m at the Chief level? Shouldn’t I want to use every relevant part of my masters?

The answer is no. I just don’t.

For a while I thought I wanted that. I wanted to want that. I felt pride in saying I wanted that.

But I truly don’t want that anymore – or maybe I never did to begin with. The decision I’ve made to switch career paths solidifies that.

I want to work hard and see the tangible results of my work. I want to spend my time pushing projects through deadlines, organizing tasks, and managing people’s roles. I want to see the start and end of each project. And most of all, I want to have a life outside of work.

I don’t want to spend more than half my time managing people and a budget.  I don’t want to worry about payroll, vacation requests,  or personnel issues. It’s not that I was bad at managing people, or really great at it either, I think it just doesn’t interest me at this time. I also don’t want to continue being in a support role – where I think I’m heading home at 5:30pm only to be still at my desk at 8pm.

I think there are parts of the new job I’m going to really excel at right away. I’m a great organizer, I can see the big picture and yet still hone in on all the little details, and I have no problem jumping in and getting my hands dirty. I also think there are going to be parts of the job that will throw my comfort out the window. Networking, socializing, building relationships, leading – I have a hard time doing all of those things with people I don’t know.  I’m used to being the quiet one, taking it all in and stepping in only when I was 100% confident in what I was going to say. I definitely don’t get to do that anymore.

But that’s when I remember what discomfort does. Obviously it pushes me to grow, but it also makes me feel alive. And that’s how I’m feeling at the end of this last day at my old desk. The anxiety and fear is still very much apparent but mostly, I feel energized and motivated.

Someone remind me of that in a few weeks when I’m crying out from the discomfort.

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Last Thursday and Friday I was in a fantastic and productive mood. (Big difference from my pickle day.)

It’s so funny how my mood takes a turn for the positive when I’m busy, productive and feeling motivated. I’ve always said, the more I have to do – the more I seem to get done and the better I feel. Burning the candle at both ends really brings out the best in me.

So this past Monday I gave my formal acceptance of the new role. I start on March 1st splitting my time transitioning between the current and new role, with a goal of spending 100% of my time in the new role by the end of March.

Yesterday I worked from home. As I sat in my living room typing away and not having much in person contact with others I started to feel anxious and flat out uncomfortable with my decision to make this career change.

Am I making a mistake? I have to give up more than I realized…

  • My own personal office
  • A boss I have had for 6 years and therefore know what her goals and pet peeves are
  • A team that is positive, hard-working and respects me as the expert
  • A flexible schedule in that I can state when I need to take lunch outside of the office, run to the doctor’s or take vacation
  • Working from home – I work on Tuesdays from home. I imagine for at least the first few months I won’t be working from home
  • Confidence – in every meeting, on every call, during each project – I knew the right answers, I knew the questions they’d ask, I just felt like I knew it all.
  • Comfort – after 6 years, I’m flat out comfortable. I don’t  worry or stress about coming into work. In fact, I’m pretty meh about it in general.

So what is the payoff to keep going through this discomfort?

  • A new skillset
  • A mentor I respect and am looking forward to working with
  • Training and certification for my PMP paid for by the company that will help me in my career forever (if I pass…)
  • Managing projects and no longer being in a support role (one that caused too many last second late nights, cancelled plans, 2 am calls)
  • A career path that will allow me to have kids, reduce hours or move up, move between industries (if I want)
  • The option to work two days a week from home (after a certain amount of time)
  • A career path that will allow me to higher my salary without fully losing my work/life balance

Fake it until I make it? I want to do this. I can do this. I will push past this discomfort and keep going.

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