Figuring out the job in 2016
It is probably not a coincidence that I often find myself in similar situations at work: what exactly is my role, who is my boss, what am I doing, what are my priorities? I’ve found myself here again!
I have several “bosses”, or maybe I have no boss, and maybe that is just how I like it. I have an official manager who I see when I run into him in the hallway, stop by his office, or have some manager-y type need. We don’t really work together, we could go months without talking, but I like him a lot.
1. In the chaos of my recent project, I was absorbed onto the team of someone who runs his own independent team. I’m signed up to help him, but roles & responsibilities aren’t clear yet. I’m not totally sold on being part of his team – it was just something that happened in the chaos, and I agreed at that time that I would try it out. Between holidays and other scheduling issues on both sides, we haven’t really figured out our operating rhythm.
2. In the meantime, I signed myself up to help a remote team on a different piece of the same project. This move was essentially against the advice of everyone I asked (except one guy who is relentlessly optimistic, cheerful, and generous). Yet, I really like the work and really like the people. The guy who I’m reporting to is only a couple years older than me, and I like the way he works and the way he manages. I just couldn’t help myself from getting involved! The whole “not my monkeys” thought didn’t seem to sink in. Mostly due to geography, I don’t know how it will work out in long run – we are trying it right now.
3. Last month, a new opportunity popped up, and I said I was interested. It’s about a 2 year project, the role is a good fit for me, the team seems fun, and who doesn’t need another challenge? I’ll know in ~2 weeks if we’ll move forward, and my fingers are crossed! I chatted with the boss for this role, and she is awesome. Like, I’m actually kind of in awe!
My main concern is whether I’m over-committing myself. In the long run, maybe the answer is yes. In that case, I have to figure out how to phase out the work for the remote team or keep things scaled back with the new boss. In the short term, I’m juggling all the things, and it is fine.
A huge benefit is that my workplace’s culture is in sync with this way of operating. Generally, each person is left to manage their own time and their own career, with some support from a manager, and more support from their own internal network. This can be good or bad, depending on personality. For me, it is great – basically an INTJ paradise.
I expect that by the end of 2016, my job will be a little more clear, but I’m happy with the direction and possibilities.