Sunday, June 21, 2015

Coming to the end

And so, tomorrow, I commence my final week (in fact, 4 days) in salaried employment - at least for the time being.

It's going to be a very busy week - I have real work to finish, especially handover documentation, and I've also got two lunches, an afternoon tea, and a few coffee catch-ups with colleagues. I have all the usual life commitments as well - it's not like you can just take a week off parenting because you're busy with other things. Friday, my first day of official unemployment, I'll be spending at two different doctor's appointments, which then rolls straight into a fun but action-packed weekend at ComiCon. I think this is good in a way - there will be no time for me to sit around and overthink myself into a funk.

When I first got this job, two years ago, I wrote:

This is kind of a high-powered job. If I am honest, I don’t think I really expected to get a job at this level of seniority ever again; not after 10 years of career taking a backseat to parenting. (A choice I have never regretted, and feel thankful for every day). I am going to need to really put my back into it, and there will be a lot of late nights and a lot of learning in my future as I get a grip on what’s required. I’m sure the delicate ecosystem that is our family life will need to adapt, and that might not always be comfortable.

My prediction was bang-on in most ways - the adaptation of family life has been replete with challenges and roadblocks over these two years, and the workload has been intense, exhausting and often overwhelming. Logistics juggling has never ceased to be a nightmare. Carrying the weight of a major and massive redevelopment project created pressures that were in excess of what I'd mentally budgeted for.

One thing I didn't predict was the level to which the organisational climate has been difficult - in my 2-year tenure, there have been several restructures and redundancy programs, with more to come. This creates its own kind of stress when you are dealing with it on a daily basis, and I think I dealt with it patchily, and that it's probable that it didn't assist my health crisis last year.

I also didn't factor in how much I would miss the variety I'd been lucky enough to get as a freelancer - the stimulus and interest of working on new and different projects, in lots of different contexts. I *have* missed that a great deal, and it's one of the things I'm most looking forward to in heading back to freelancing.

All of that, however, has to be juxtaposed with the reality that the job has also been very interesting intellectually, and I've learned a lot, both in terms of skills and in terms of knowledge, from doing it. I've also met some really lovely people who I am genuinely sad to no longer be working with - the having of colleagues has been an unmixed blessing. Steady money has also been a boon, as has the generous superannuation provisions of my employment.

The yin and yang of it has pivoted across the two years, to the point where I find it hard to say, on balance, whether this was a "good" job overall for me. I do know that I don't regret my decision to give it a try; that I've done the best work I could do for them while I've been there; and that, come what may after 5pm on Thursday, leaving now is the right move for me, and at the right time.

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