19 March 2009

Four Weeks Into Career #2

Life is great. I can’t really complain. I guess this means I don’t have much to say as I’m not tormented or desperately searching for amusement in my kids’ antics.

I started a new job five weeks ago. I spent the first four weeks actively seeking not to pass judgement on whether or not I liked it. I may have, this past Friday, mentally muttered something to myself about this job being a great fit. The weather was balmy. My Friday afternoon consisted of a staff team lunch and then being given the rest of the afternoon off so I could pursue my shopping hobby (seriously, living in this insulated city is great because what global economic slowdown are you talking about? We’re pissing money/investing too much in our house/kids’ teeth right now).

This is the most relaxed place I have ever worked. I feel valued as a staff member. This value is manifested in both what I can contribute to shaping the growth of this start-up not-for-profit and in the size of my biweekly pay cheque. While I’m at the low end of the salary range for a fundraiser, this is the first time in years that I feel adequately paid as an employee in this sector.

We have an awesome mission, no shortage of challenges, and it’s not a daily battle with red tape. The other big occupational perk is that I get to wear jeans every day to the office. Comfortable pants make me want to work.

After the weekend, however, I returned to the office slightly deluded and cursing the productivity of my colleagues.

I think I’m the only one who has actually done something of tangible significance during the past 4 weeks that will contribute to the future success of the organization - output as known as "ensuring that we all have jobs next April."

Four grant applications, two of those being major ones. An operating budget and annual activity plan. Serious progression on Board committee development. New website in development talks. Celebrating my rockstarness, I accomplished all of the above while I had a week-long flu and I haven’t actually really had an official orientation session yet.

The thing that is the source of this irritation is that I haven’t seen any output from my boss. Well, to be fair, she did do her dishes for the first time before she left today. And it may be because her brother has been incredibly sick in the ICU and skirting a terminal diagnosis which has totally left her understandably drained, exhausted and distracted. What I’m not sure yet, and trying to hold off passing judgement on, is aside from this illness would it actually be any different? I’m either a bad person for asking this question or undeniably intuitive and realistically setting my self up for disappointment.

I think at the root of this may also be a clash in working styles of type A and type B personalities. Anal retentive, high-achiever meets organic, uber-relaxed thinker and actor. It’s good to write this because I remember again why I choose to take with job and work with this person – we’re yin and yang – and in this will create leadership balance that will hopefully thrust this organization to success.

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