Yesterday, I found out that I am being recommended for the next Geoscience leadership position that becomes available. My reaction was pretty mixed, sort of like a dog that chases cars, and then finally catches one. “Hooray! Wait… Now what do I do with this?” Not that I’ve been chasing a management spot because I’ve told my managers I wanted to stay technical rather than go into a leadership position. I put the caveat that if it was a small team lead type of position, sure, but having 8+ direct reports sounds pretty horrid. I’m fine with staying on the technical side, but I have always thought that being a team lead could be fun. Like Mrs. SSC and I discussed, “Well, now that I’m in the twilight of my career, if I become team lead and it sucks ass, I only have a couple of years to deal with it, lol.”
Are “Bad” Changes Coming?
It’s exciting and scary and may not even come to fruition, but it’s nice to know I’m respected enough to even be considered if it doesn’t work out. My biggest fear isn’t about transitioning to a leadership position, my biggest fear is that it will suck. I’ve read multiple bloggers write about being promoted into a leadership role and hating it. This wouldn’t be good because I like my company, better yet, I like the people I work with, and I love the current work-life balance. I currently, don’t check my phone at night, don’t check work email after I leave at 3:30pm each day, I get every other Friday off, I can take my vacation pretty much whenever I want, and well, yeah, it’s a pretty sweet balance right now. Having more responsibilities could disrupt that, but I think I should be able to manage that if it becomes an issue. However, it seems very dependent on which asset/group I end up under.
I Love Work, Except When I Don’t
I love my current group and managers, GM’s, and VP’s that preside over us. Considering I’ve reported to most of them in various different roles over the past year or more, I know we get along very well work well together. What I like most about them is that they are not very reactionary or scattered in their thought processes. Some groups seem like they are led by someone with severe ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and they react to everything with little to no planning ahead of time. That does not work well with me or my style. Actually, I think it probably doesn’t work well with anyone’s style? Who likes being told, “Hey, work on Project A. We really need it done so we can drill a well and test it!” Then 2 weeks (or less) later you get told, “Stop working on Project A, Project B came up! It’s even better than A, much more shiny and distracting! Work on Project B, we need to execute Project B!” And repeat… Better yet, try having 2 different managers telling you to do competing things and both telling you that theirs is more valuable. Yeah…. That’s the group I’ve been lucky enough to avoid so far.
Succesful? Sure. Happy? Not So Quick…
Whatever role I land in and group I get assigned to, I’m confident I can be successful at it, I’m just worried about continuing to be happy. My last assignment at megacorp, I was very successful, but dreadfully unhappy. I proposed a great business reason to leave that group, got support from the supporting BU’s GM to get me over there and then got blocked by my manager. The worst part was that he took it personally that I wanted off his team and that I felt that it was unfulfilling work for me. Note to self, don’t say your current assignment is unfulfilling and you’d rather be drilling wells… To be fair, how was I to know he’d be unprofessional about it? Lesson learned. Play your cards close to your chest, and keep most if not all “feelings” out of it.
At Least I Have a Parachute
The beauty of getting offered this new opportunity (if it even comes to fruition) is that we are at an excellent place in our careers and more importantly, our finances! Yep, if this new assignment turns out to be horrid, I already have a parachute packed with my name on it and I can jump out of this plane at any time knowing that I will land safely on the ground below. That in itself is a great feeling. It lets me take a totally different attitude towards this possible new role than if our lives were dependent on needing that paycheck every month. Now my attitude can be, “What the hell? Let’s do this!” and I can charge forward more confident than apprehensive about it rather than, “I hope this is also fun, otherwise, I’m F’ed….”. ‘Yuge difference. Ultimately, I’m excited to see what comes of this potential new role and how it will affect our lives.
What about you? Have you gotten similar exciting news about a potential career change this year? Have you been in this situation before? Did you get put in a leadership position that turned out to be everything you DIDN’T want? I’d love to hear about it!