Thursday, 10 June 2010

Swamp land

It's a strange feeling, treading water in a swamp.

I started a new job yesterday in a different field to my previous career. While the job requires applying many (or most) of the skills I have acquired in a particular area, it feels like I have landed on a foreign planet where the natives are friendly but don’t really know what I'm doing there.

Having mostly worked from home for the past three years on various different contracts, the thought of an on-site working week was enough to come to terms with, let alone a change in career. The contract is temporary (until the end of this year) and offers me specific skills and experience which I will put to good use when I start my own business soon. Also, I've heard that the organisation is an extremely supportive and pleasant environment to work in. So there are plenty of good parts to it.

I've heard that if you manage to find the toilets and then successfully navigate your way back to your desk on your first day at work that you have met, or even exceeded, expectations. I got these basics sorted by lunch time, then was handed a couple of 'essential documents' and let loose on my first project. And that's when I came down with a serious case of imposter syndrome. What on earth was I doing there??

I prepared to dive into the swamp. The waters looked neither warm nor inviting. I immediately fell under the surface, gulped down some sludge, then tried to work my way back up to the surface. A couple of hours into it, I was starting to see daylight. Just. After chatting to another person who had started the same job as me just the day before, I was relieved to discover that I wasn't alone. She had texted her husband at around the same as I texted my sweetie to say "I've made a terrible mistake. I wonder if I can get out of this". Whew, it wasn't just me feeling that way!

The pounding headache I went to bed with last night (and subsequently woke up with) is receding a little, but reminding that I'm still going to be treading water in this swampy marsh for a while. I've now managed to successfully log into my phone(!) and fill in various pieces of paperwork. When I asked a colleague to cast his eye over the project I'd just finished, he seemed surprised that I'd even started on one, saying he'd left me alone up until now because he thought I had enough to deal with before even starting work. So maybe the headache and swamp swimming wasn't necessary after all?

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Good luck for your first week at your new employment! You seem to be exceeding expectations already - you rock!