Last week was a really crappy week at work. The honeymoon period at my new job wasn’t very long; maybe a day or two at the most. I unfortunately demonstrated competence, and got completely overloaded with work as a result. I learned that my full-time project actually isn’t even a project but a program [the difference being that I am managing 10-15 smaller overlapping projects at a given time and not one, requiring a rather skilled juggling act].
As I’m learning how much my job actually entails and how different it is from what I was told and what my boss thought it was, he gave me another project because the person managing it isn’t managing it at all and it’s “off the rails”.
I do appreciate the vote of confidence, but my 45-50 hour a week job just became…??? I have no idea, but it certainly isn’t the 40 hours that I expected and very clearly stated that I was offering when I interviewed. I’m not very good at saying no traditionally, and not very good in situations where I feel that I can’t succeed.
Talking with my boss twice didn’t seem to help, and I was told that once I get over the learning curve, it’ll be fine.
Then the other Project Manager’s boss, my boss’ peer, called me to discuss. I had interviewed with her and we connected well, so she called me to say that she was concerned with my running both projects and asked how I felt about it.
She then arranged a call with the four of us (including my boss and the other Project Manager) to talk about roles and responsibilities and to walk through expecations for these projects. Apparently she had done some work on my boss in the meantime, and it appears that his expectations may be reset.
Apparently my big learning from this job is going to be saying no and setting boundaries regarding my work/life balance. I don’t want to have another week where I’m working more than 50 hours, exhausted, cranky and feeling like I’m climbing a solid-faced wall with toothpicks. There’s no time like now to begin my lessons, and my work computer will remain shut for the weekend. I’m learning.
Better late than never.
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