New job so far. Fascinating, exciting, a real privilege. It’s project managing a whole new thing, which should eventually change the way a lot of things are run in the university. It comes with managing a six floor, renovated Georgian building. That building is gorgeous and everyone is bowled over when I take them round it. I get a shiver down my spine sometimes – I got this job, they gave it to me!
There’s still so much I don’t know, and it’s really interesting to learn it all. It’s a massive project and spans different departments all across the uni, quite different to my old job, a challenge and a pleasure so far.
I need confidence and I was doing well with that, up until the last two weeks. But my boss is a real worrier and this project and my role will take some control away from him. Just recently he’s been asserting his authority over me and repeating his worries whenever I so much as ask a question. I have not managed to integrate into his existing team and it’s been eroding my confidence.
None of this is helped by the rather odd working situation. I have been based at one campus but a lot of the people I regularly deal with are at the other campus. I’m not even supposed to be based in the building I will be managing! I’m supposed to jump between the two places, never really knowing where I will be based. Boss wants me with him, I want to be in the new building, partly to remove myself from his control freakery. Other boss (not line manager, but head of the new project – told you it’s odd) is happy for me to be wherever I want. I become quite down the longer I spend in my current office – nobody really talks to me and it’s hard to be proactive to speak to such a large crowd of people, fighting past filing cabinets to even see them and staring at a sea of faces when I do. This last week or so even boss has been distant from me during the stressful enrolment period. As soon as I go over to the main campus my spirits lift. My friends are there, the new people I work with are friendly and chatty. I love it there and I love my job when I’m there.
This week I’ve become so nervous that when I realised I made a mistake this morning I actually started trembling. I fumbled over how to compose a two-line email for about an hour, worrying that boss would be cross with me, that I would piss a bunch of academics off, that maybe they’d even move for a vote of no confidence and throw me out. Ludicrous overactive imagination. It’s fine, so I made a mistake, it’s hardly the end of the world and I’ve done what I can to rectify it. This makes me realise that I must do something to fix this situation.
So I’m thinking that I have to do whatever I can to reassure boss that I’m not going to skip off into the sunset and leave him in a hole in the dark. I will suggest next week that we set up fortnightly team meetings. In my last job we had them weekly, and it’s even more necessary in this job as we are such a broad team now. They haven’t had a single team meeting since I started three months ago! Weird situation. I hope that meeting together regularly will help me to integrate better, learn more about how they operate, keep them all informed about what I’m doing and help boss to calm down a bit.
And I’m moving out of that building. I’ll have to spend some time there but I need to get out, at least for a while to test different ways of working and to stop having to run back and forth all the time whenever I need to so much as check if a sign has been placed correctly. And mainly to be near my friends again!
I must not lose my nerve now. This is a fantastic opportunity and I will not let my old friend anxiety ruin it for me.