Nothing Ever Stays The Same…

Nor should it.  That’s the mantra I’ve been saying to myself over and over the last several weeks during my extended work transition. After two months, I’ve learned quite a bit about what transition really is.  In keeping with my last post, here is a list of what I’ve learned so far.

I was right to do this interim step. It’s always nice to get validation for a major decisions, and in this case I have. It’s hard to walk into my home office every Tuesday after 4 days off, but knowing my still being here is helping my team with their own transitions has made it all worth while. Plus, I didn’t realize I had so many loose ends that need tying up. I’m glad I can get it all done before I move on.

Let them fly on their own. I mentioned in an earlier post that I had to accept that my team would do things differently from me, but I was a bit unprepared for the stark reality of that acceptance, and how hard it would be. Stepping back and saying “It’s your decision. I will support whatever you choose” was easy to say, and not as easy to do.  But, I have done it over and over, and have been pleasantly surprised at the outcome.  It helps that I have three incredible ladies who will carry the flag when I depart, and they all are whip-smart and very creative.

Get used to being left out. This has been a difficult one for me. I’ve spent the last 21 years in this company in management positions of increasing responsibility and increasing level of inside knowledge. To all of a sudden find myself excluded from those discussions, off email groups, and completely in the dark about decisions that affect my current responsibilities is a difficult thing. I tell myself if I had quit outright, I would be just as excluded, but it’s harder when you’re still here, and watching the parade march by.  It has become easier with time, but the first month sure was tough.

Keep to the schedule. This is the part those who know me best are having a hard time believing. I am remembering my PR agency days, and counting up my hours each day. If I go over one day, I take it off from the next, and so on. My contract states 20 hours per week, and by golly, that’s what I am doing.  I do not check work email during my time off.  True, I’ve had MiL issues to deal with, but that ended up a blessing in disguise. It forced me to separate my time, and now I have the habit formed, I’m feeling pretty confident I won’t slip in the coming weeks.

Let it go. In any dynamic business, there are always changes or decisions that can upset you, or make you shake your head in stunned disbelief. The knowledge that I no longer have the power to affect those situations was difficult, and contributed to an already pretty high stress level. Being sick and in bed this past week gave me some time for introspection. I have about 4 more months left on my contract and a long to-do list. Reviewing that has helped me turn this particular corner, I believe. I hope to able to separate myself more and more from what is going on at work, and look at everything with a much more dispassionate eye. Well, that is the goal.  We’ll see how well I actually do. I need to work on this one.

If I had to grade my first two months of transition, I’d give myself a solid B.  A grade that would never have passed muster with my parents when I was growing up, and is a bit uncomfortable for me even now. It shows I still have work to do, and there is room for improvement. I’m still a work-in-progress, and I’m OK with that. Maybe there is hope for me after all.