Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Embracing the Honeymoon

Ahh, being new.

Starting a new job is like the first day of middle school all over again - you have the perfect outfit picked out, you look around shyly, not quite sure of what to do or where things are, and you feel self conscious carrying your lunch tray across the cafeteria, frightened that you'll trip on the heels that go with said perfect outfit.

This held true for my first day at the new job yesterday - I really did get to carry a tray (my work has two on-site cafes....ummm, yeah, it's pretty freakin' sweet). I met tons of new folks, heard all kinds of new acronyms that I couldn't keep straight and had one heck of time learning how to do simple things like printing and finding the bathroom. My new work is huge, so it is going to take a lot of time for me to get used to it. I went from working at a 6-person agency to working for a 16-person agency to now being on a campus that houses thousands of employees. Intimidating? Yes. Exciting? Absolutely. There's nothing like a new chapter.

While newness is exciting - new co-workers, fresh start on projects, new office supplies, a change in routine - I find myself anxious to get through these next 6-12 months. I'd love to skip over all of the awkwardness, mistakes, blanking on names and cluelessness that comes with being new. I can't wait until I'm an expert, when I know the business and have a clear vision of what I'm doing.

This is similar to how I viewed my budding relationship with Ty. See, most people are all about the honeymoon phase. It's that time when everything is seemingly perfect, and you're so thrilled to keep learning new things about the other person. Don't get me wrong, the new part of my relationship with Ty was wonderful, but I remember thinking, "I can't wait until we've been together 1, 2, 5 years." Because that's where the realness is - you're relaxed, you've (hopefully) worked out most of the kinks and you don't feel so vulnerable like everything will go away at the drop of a hat. It's stability. It's comfortable.

So in that same way, I can't wait to be at ease at the new job. I like feeling like I know what I'm doing, rather than this strange floating-around-the-universe-aimlessly feeling I have when I begin something new. Thankfully, I'm working for a company that supports that gradual process - that first year of growing pains before you truly start working.

So until that mark when I finally feel comfortable, I guess I'll have to basque in the newness and honeymoon phase of the job. On the bright side - being a newbie means you get to screw up and not feel (as) guilty!

On a side note: the usual first-week-on-the-job awkwardness got kicked up a notch today when I was part of a meeting with - guess who? - my old co-workers. There's no feeling quite like the one when you introduce yourself with something like, "I'm Tracy. This is my second day. Previously I was with you guys. One week ago." Particularly when this past employer is feeling a bit bruised about your recent jumping ship. Oy.

Two days down. 178 to go.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Mind Full vs. Mindful

I'm back!

It's been forever since I've last written, and I've really missed it.

Frankly, I've had so much to say but couldn't get it from pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, rather). I know we all use the excuse "I've been so busy" pretty frequently, but how long does it really take for me to write a blog post? I'm hoping to be more back in action given some new developments.

Here's a recap of the latest:

The Career Front
In a little more than a week, I will be starting a new job! This is a pretty significant change in anyone's life, but surprisingly I've been feeling quite calm about it. I'm leaving the PR agency world and headed to the corporate life (also known as "in house" to us PR folk). I'll be joining a global eyecare company's amazing PR team, where I'll have the chance to manage projects of my own, media train C-level executives and assist in the company's philanthropic efforts. This shift from food to healthcare is an exciting one, as well as the change from having multiple clients to just working on "one" client (my company). Of course food and nutrition is fun, but I feel like this new job will allow to me to work on things with a bit more substance. Not to mention, my new employer is regularly voted one of the top places to work - it's truly an employee-centric place, so I'm excited to see how it all pans out! I have yet to mentally prepare for the job (since I'm currently still wrapping up my old one), but I took office supply preparation into my own hands yesterday. I bought some new pens and a work planner notebook - and yes, I'm aware the new job will probably have this kind of stuff on hand. But I'm a pen snob, and I geek out in Staples.

While this new move is exciting, there are always drawbacks. I'm sad to leave co-workers and place the burden of extra work on them. That's the by-product of this that I hate the most. I've also faced some awkwardness at work since I've given my notice. Some co-workers have expressed (not to me directly) that they think I'm just leaving because I wasn't promoted last fall. The bulk of my office was fairly shocked when I gave my notice, most likely due to the fact that I'm pretty cheery and haven't overtly expressed any issues with the agency (to their faces, at least). Oh, and not to mention I won the freakin' Team Player of the Year Award last month (don't even ask how my Catholic guilt is managing that one). Well, if that's the sentiment of some, then that's pretty short sighted. I would not uproot my career all because of some petty title change. Trust me, it goes way deeper.

I'm making the change because I want to do more than just survive at work. I'm always just trying to keep my head above water and hustle through the day. It leaves very little time for mindful, strategic thought. It's just one big to-do list. So I'm hoping this new adventure allows me to be more mindful, rather than just having a mind full of tasks to get done that day.

Oh, and it doesn't hurt I'm getting a fat raise too!

The Love Front
Ty and I are doing incredibly well. It's been just over a year and a half that we've been together, and I feel like it just keeps getting better. It's pretty smooth sailing all the time, minus little annoyances here and there (and not just me - I know how to bug too!). We're in a really good place right now where we are comfortable together and we've worked out a lot of the kinks. Sure, there are some things on the horizon that we'll have to figure out (like how will we live together one day when he hates rent, is allergic to my cat and I want to live somewhere with just us two). The future is not written yet, but I have a feeling it has a good ending! He still completely appreciates and cherishes me (and vice versa), and that is priceless to me. All in all, I'm one happy lady.

The Health Front
I'm sure I've written before how I have this irrational fear of throwing up (it's called emetophobia - Google it). Well, last week I came face to face with it when I found myself stuck with a stomach bug. Ty got really sick right before Christmas, and it freaked me out (yes, I realize how selfish it is for me to worry about myself and not my own boyfriend in his time of need, but like I said, it's called an irrational fear for a reason). Last week, Ty took me out to a show as part of my Christmas present. We saw a Chinese dance show at the convention center downtown, and three-quarters of the way through, I just didn't feel right. I felt it was an imminent certainty that I would vomit all over the sweet old man next to me. Thankfully, I held it in. Once we got back from the show, I ran to the bathroom. I won't go into all the details, but let's just say I didn't end up throwing up - just the dry heaves (ewwwww). But it was awful, to say the least. And in a way I wish it had just been the real deal so I could get over my fear. On the plus side, I feel I've conquered it at least partly. But don't think I'm giving up my hand sanitizer.

I'm hoping I'll make more time to blog once I start the new job. I have absolutely no clue what to expect, but for some reason, I'm not too worried about it. I know that everything will work itself out. I've worked hard to get this far, so it's only fair that luck will follow.