One ball rolling

One thing I really wanted to change this year was my work.  I am bored!  Bored, under-utilised and uninspired. During our long holiday in May and June I wrote and wrote about what I wanted and how I might get it.

I came up with some steps:

  1. Make my CV shiny.
  2. Speak to a bunch of people I respect in my industry and ask them for inspiration for a new direction, based on my skills and experience.
  3. Find out about teaching at university or some of the technical colleges around here.  I know I have the skills and experience, if not the letters after my name.
  4. Figure out if I could do my current job part-time, and spend one day a week focussing on teaching/writing.
    Then procrastination set in.  I polished my CV and realised I have almost ten years experience in my field, and my current job still has opportunities for me to learn technical skills.  I looked at some brilliant jobs that looked inspiring, and then sadly realised they don’t pay what I’m getting here.  Basically,  the more I thought about leaving this job, the more I could see it’s benefits.

So I did something scary.
I arranged an appointment with my manager’s manager.  He’s a busy guy, but he oversees about 12 projects like the one I work on.  I told him how much I enjoy working here, what a great organisation it is.  He told me how much he appreciated my work, and how well regarded I was in my role (I know it was just ego stroking, but it’s still good to hear it).  I told him I didn’t want to leave, but I was ready to take on something new.  He freaked out a bit, asked if my leaving was imminent.  I said no, I was only beginning to look, but thought I should see what was available internally first.  (I mentally crossed my fingers and hoped I wasn’t committing career suicide).

This lead to one of the most constructive conversations I’ve ever had about my career.  He wanted to know what sort of projects I wanted to take on, and we discussed some really exciting possibilities.  He got really, really specific about what sort of work I could do – and asked really specific questions about what I wanted.  I was chuffed.  And glad I’d thought out my response.

This meeting led to another, and then a third with my direct supervisor.  The plan is that I keep doing my current role, but take on another project two days a week.  I am happy and terrified!

The new project hasn’t eventuated yet. There are a few things I might be asked to work on, depending on other resources and approvals and things.  But I can stay in my comfort zone, and always come back to this work if it doesn’t pan out.

So I haven’t committed a career limiting move.  And I haven’t lost my job.  It turns out that sometimes, to get what you need, all you have to do is ask.

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2 responses to “One ball rolling

  1. Good for you. Sometimes speaking up is better than mulling in private. It must be great to have that validation.

  2. Wow, I’m impressed. That’s the sort of thing I would always advise a friend to do and then never really manage to do myself 🙂 Hope it leads to great things.

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