Professional growing pains

Modern Belle Life Professional Growing PainsI am experiencing some real professional growing pains.  Next month, I officially will take a new title, Director of Support Services in the Office of Philanthropy. Fancy title that basically means, I’m helping run the office – budgets, events, general office work – I’ll oversee those tasks and the people that are over those areas. Finally, all my hard work has paid off…at least I think it did… Promotions are a tricky thing, they sound like a good thing, but you never really know how it will work out until you are waist deep and it is too late to turn around.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been working with my supervisor to train for the new position. Trick is…no one is taking over my old position. So I’m doing two jobs.  I don’t know if you have ever planned an event, maybe it was a surprise party for a friend or your own wedding, or maybe you plan professionally (or have in the past), but my point is, events are a full-time job. Especially in my office where the traditional timelines and rules of planning are tossed out of the window.  I have basically three months to really put together everything that is needed for an event and yet, no one seems to worry too much about it.

Last week my job took me to West Virginia again for a meeting.  The site of our event is actually being logged and graded (it started out as a forest at the top of a ridge).  So, before all the equipment, trucks, and people left the area, I had a meeting with our project manager to ensure the footprints matched the requirements for the event. So yeah, kind of important. Unfortunately, at the same time, budget items are due (deadlines getting moved up really messes with things).

Modern Belle Life Beach FantasyUnfortunately, at the same time, budget items are due (deadlines getting moved up really messes with things).  So I spent about 12 hours over two in my hotel rooms working on the things required from me.  After a series of meetings on, I then rush to the airport on Thursday, open the laptop and jump on a conference call to start plotting edits.  After an hour in the air, bolt off the plane, find a chair, open the laptop, make another call and talk until I have to leave so I can get to my gate.  Log onto wifi on the plane so I can continue to work – at this point, it is almost 8 pm.

The amount of frustration from my Dallas co-workers was only surpassed by my own frustration.  I was tired, cranky, and seriously hungry.  Trying to work on budgets on a tiny laptop screen, 5 different spreadsheets, two people asking questions at the same time…I seriously considered buying a ticket to Mexico and just getting the hell out of dodge and bailing on everything.  Obviously, I didn’t carry through with my fantasy (however, I might start researching areas I could live for next to nothing so I can get the hell out of here if I have another day like that!).

The only option is to ride it out, as miserable as it is. And remember, that growth is comfortable and that perspective is the one thing I can control to help make the challenge less overwhelming.  I guess I’m back to Fake until you Make it.   So here is where I ask for advice…I’m sure many of you have gone through these same professional growing pains, how did you handle it? How did you manage the expectations of your supervisors and from yourself?  How did you accept that for a while, you might suck a little while you figure out what exactly you are doing?

9 comments on “Professional growing pains

  1. My last job was my first job out of college that was supposed to be the start of my career. I honestly thought when I first started that I would advance and eventually retire from that company. I was a Developmental Specialist, working with children ages 0-3 with developmental delays. However, as the months wore on I started to realize that I really wanted to work with older children so I was beginning to work towards that. I was learning as much as I could with as little time as I had but it didn’t work out because my program director, for whatever reason, took a disliking to me (we got along great in the beginning and I still don’t know what changed), and long story short, I left the company. I stuck it out as long as I could but once the job started getting in the way of my personal life, especially my relationship with my children, and it seriously messed with my mental health as well, I decided it was time to bail and bail I did. The experience of professional growing pains though is different for everyone. Had I been younger and without children, I would have buckled down and settled in for the long battle to prove to my boss that I was worth keeping around. But I am at a point in my life where I want to be happy with my job and if I’m not happy, I’m not sticking around. If this is something you truly want to do and something that you are passionate about, stick with it. It comes down to what you want out of your life and your career. It’s a long comment but I hope this helps in some way. Popping over from #anythinggoes

    • Thanks for stopping by Michelle. I am lucky in the sense that I don’t have a family waiting for me at home otherwise I might feel a lot different. The new position is so different than anything I’ve done before. I love events, but I’m honestly ready to move away from those. This new position is a great opportunity for that so I’m really trying to give it a fair try. I’m am terribly impatient and hate trying to balance my personal life with what amounts to two jobs. I’ll end up sticking around…if for no other reason than just what you said about proving it to myself and others that I can do it. Who knows what I’ll say a year from now, but at this moment I know I need to stay and use the opportunity to expand my skill-set and make myself more marketable.

      Thank you for sharing your insights. Always helpful when you can hear from others.

  2. Sounds like a stressful time for you. But remember they wouldn’t have given you the promotion unless they thought you could do it, so believe in yourself and trust your gut when making decisions. I’ve found it’s worked for me when I’ve been winging it a little (should I admit that!!!) Hope all goes well for you.

    Sally @ Life Loving

  3. I can empathize. Just hang in there. Try to relax your expectations of yourself a little and remember that as long as you’re learning something and learning how to handle frustrating situations a different way the next time (or how to prevent or ameliorate them), then you are improving. Improvement, not perfection is the goal. That is the hardest part…easing up on yourself. Reiterate to others whom you are responsible to what lessons or skills you’re learning and advancing and ask for their input as to your progress. That way, their expectations are known, evaluated, and met without you being left in the dark. But in the end, know that it is all going to work out and that you are going to be fabulous! #AnythingGoes

    • Thanks Regina for stopping by and leaving a word of encouragement. You are right that the focus should be on improvement. Bringing the bosses in for a conversation on the status of things isn’t a bad idea either. I’ll try scheduling a meeting soon for that. Thanks!

  4. I would say that you should give it a shot. Trust your instincts. If your boss didn’t believe in your judgement then they wouldn’t have given you the promotion.
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes

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