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Catch-up + Career

August 18, 2008

Vacation == good.   Spending analysis to come, once I feel like my head is screwed back on straight.

My kitchen is a mess, though I did leave it clean before we left.  I guess I made it messy in the short time I’ve been back.  My laundry basket sits at the foot of my bed, full of camping dirty clothes.

This week is going to be busy.  Work is busy, we are preparing for some sort of little review next week, and since I was gone four 4 days, I’m feeling behind.  Luckily, I’m trying to work some extra hours to keep my vacation balance at a maximum level.  Oh, and that second job thing…  I can probably start to do some small amounts of work this week, though to be really effective I need my coworker to ship me something.

I also signed myself up for a little after work career development class.  My manager forwarded the e-mail to me (and others), so I figured I may as well go to it.  It is just four nights for 3 hours each night.  It is supposed to be for young professionals at my company, and in theory, I’m trying to meet new friends my age, so it can’t hurt.

I say “in theory”, because it takes so much energy, and I just am not interested in the normal things I see people my age doing to meet each other.   (Namely, sports.  I hate sports, and I can’t help it, and I don’t want to!)  I like running/swimming/outdoors activities, but should I really join beach volleyball just to meet people?  It isn’t that I hate beach volleyball, I just don’t love it enough to devote an evening a week to it.  You know?  I’m a nice person.  I’m fun and reasonably normal (T may disagree…).  I don’t talk about personal finance in inappropriate situations.  It just is difficult starting from scratch, and sometimes, doesn’t seem worth the social effort.   Also, there is a bit of what I consider a “boys club”, still.  Maybe that is just an excuse, but I swear I always see groups of guys hanging out.  It just seems easier.  A larger, more prevalent pool of similar people to meet.

Oh, is this a personal finance blog? Well, let me steer back towards career development, at least.

The class will likely be worthless in material (maybe not though!), but all I have to sacrifice is my time.  It can be one tiny mark on my year end review.  We had mid-year check-up reviews, and all the feedback was positive.  It is good, but I still feel new and I have a difficult time quantifying what I do.

By years of experience, I should be eligible for a promotion this fall, but I’m not sure how to ensure I get one.  I’m not sure how difficult it is.  I know the company policy, but I don’t know the politics.  If I ask, I get a BS answer like “do the work of the next level up, then you’ll be promoted.”  But the description for one level up is essentially the same, except do the job with more expertise and experience.  So, what specifically do I have to do?

I sort of liked college, where you’d get regular homework and grades with constant feedback, and it was clear what needed to be done in order to ace the class.  I guess it is sort of the same in the work world–do what you do better than everyone else.  Excpet, in school, you actually could just do the best, and it was objective.  At work, you have to make sure the higher ups know (or think!) that you are the best.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 19, 2008 5:12 am

    I’m with you 100% on the adjustment from school to work. School guarantees you regular feedback, (usually) clear targets, and objective evaluation. In my first job out of school I went 18 months before I finally got a review, depsite my requests at regular intervals. Not only does being without feedback make it difficult to figure out what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong, it’s also very discouraging.

    And trust me, meeting new people is no easier for guys!

  2. August 19, 2008 5:54 am

    Ugh…I know what you mean about the boys club!! I get along fine with guys, but when it comes down to it I’m not going to go sweat with them at the basketball court, or down some beers with them after work (unfortunately I hate both, lol). Besides, the BF gets a tad bit jealous when he remembers that I work with a bunch of guys all day (even though he doesn’t like to admit it).

    Why don’t the girls hang out too?!!

  3. August 19, 2008 9:23 am

    I’m in a male-dominated industry, too, and I have no choice but to attend the all-male team events. Luckily they’re usually at bars and so the playing field is even, but still I have a hard time engaging in sports-related conversation and stuff like that. It’s obnoxious when they all start comparing muscles and stuff, but it’s important that I still put in face time or else I’ll get left in the dust on a professional level. Hopefully your industry is less political than mine. In any event, it’s probably a good idea to sacrifice some time and do the career development class, you never know, some good relationships might come out of it.

  4. August 19, 2008 9:38 am

    BF’s always great at making friends with a lot of his coworkers whereas I’m much less open to that in my current job. It’s mostly out of a sense of caution. You have to work with these folks and you’re going to see these people (generally) on a very regular basis during the week, hard to be sure you can spend weekend time with them without getting burned out on the same people all the time. Also, there have been a few instances when coworkers were less than trustworthy and I didn’t discover that until it was too late.

    I’m getting better at meeting people through known friends, and then *stealing* their friends! :)

  5. August 19, 2008 12:44 pm

    I know we’ve talked about the making friends thing before, so I agree with everything you’ve said here.

    As far as promotions, it is hard to get promoted here! They have to bring it before a board, which of course doesn’t meet very often, and they evaluate and prioritize those people. Definitely talk to your manager, since he’ll be the one pushing it through. Sooner is probably better than later. For example, I was told I would be promoted, and it took over 6 months for it to actually go through!

  6. Sarah permalink
    August 19, 2008 12:49 pm

    P.S. My sister and some people from San Diego are coming up for a visit this weekend, so if you would like to hang out (sorry, no idea what we’ll be doing, possibly going out in Hermosa?) let me know.
    No pressure! :-)

  7. tom permalink
    August 20, 2008 10:16 am

    The “one level up work” is a bunch of garbage. Odds are you are doing the work of people 2 or 3 levels up. It sounds like you’ve been asking about promotion policy… forget about that… that’s also garbage. I’d go straight to your manager and ask him/her what you should be doing to get a promotion. If you had a positive mid-year… you should be on the right track. Hopefully your manager can handle that type of candid conversation…

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