Thursday, June 9, 2011

New job, new stress

It has been a long, long time since I have had to deal with these particular feelings.
That’s because it has been a long time since I have changed jobs, and this is not only a job change but a complete career shift.
The problem with switching jobs after 21 years is, initially, you feel as useless as man boobs. In my old job I rarely became stressed out because I knew it so well. There was not much the job could throw at me that I hadn’t seen or dealt with before.
Now everything is new - new passwords, codes, computer systems, guidelines, office and people. Fortunately my new co-workers are really great. They are good people and are all very accommodating of the new guy who, for the first few days anyway, looked like a deer caught in the headlights and is about to become a hood ornament on a ’72 Buick.
In fact, I have not seen one person duck for cover and hide under their desk when they see me coming.
I’m not saying they are not doing it, I have just never caught them doing it.
I am just not used to pestering my co-workers about things.
In the old gig, I was the one being pestered and I almost miss it. Life was a lot easier in the old, boring routine.
Changing course is challenging – but that is a good thing. I was getting kind of stale at the old newspaper gig. I could have done the job in my sleep, and if I had an office with a lock on the door, I might have tried to.
But now the only thing that is the same at work is me. I’m still the same bald, loveable, handsome, witty and charming me. Well, I’m me anyway. It don’t think I was any of those things at my old job either (except the bald part).
I don’t know how people switch jobs on a regular basis, but I guess if you do it more often than once every 15 years, you get used to it.
My brother-in-law is a successful mineral engineer who worked his way up the mining industry ladder to become the CEO of a major company.
He is a smart man with good business savvy, but he is also a nice guy so I am not sure how he will do as the top gun in management, because most of the really big bosses I have met are, well, um, moving on.
His company even has a skybox to NHL games – including the play offs. I still have not forgiven him for that, but a sizeable birthday present would go a long way in changing my attitude toward my wife’s big bro.
But to get to the top of the corporate food chain, he had to change jobs and companies several times over several years.
I would be a basket case, curled up in a ball under my desk, singing ‘I’m a little tea pot’ and begging mom to let me stay home from school that day.
A lot of the stress associated with a new job is wondering if I am doing what I am supposed to be doing, should I be doing more and what the hell am I supposed to be doing anyway?
But learning all this new stuff, new systems, new routines and having to prove myself to a whole new crew is part of the reason I left the old job.
It was time for a change, time for new challenges, time to throw a wrench in the gears and do something very different from the norm of the past couple of decades.
It is challenging, but it is also exciting to tackle new areas and as time marches on and I become more familiar with my new surroundings, things are getting better.
And that’s a good thing because I was never really crazy about that tea cup song.

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