I 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).
Unfortunately, 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?