This week marked a milestone in my career: I was promoted to managing director. Hurray! Right? Well, as it turns out, maybe not. But we’ll get to that in a second. First, a little background.
(Also, a warning, this post is basically a whole lot of self-deprecation and whining. Oh, and there’s some swearing. Proceed at your own risk.)
Structurally, the new role doesn’t change much as I’m in the same group and even reporting to the same manager. The significance of the title, however, is a bit more meaningful to me. Or, it was at one point.
When I was hired in July 2016, I naively promised myself I would move up to managing director within a year of being hired. Hey, all of my peers were MDs and I already reported to a VP. How different could the role really be from what I was already doing?
Then the next 20 months or so happened and when the sacred role presented itself in the form of a conversation with my manager, I had to think long and hard about whether I actually wanted it (the fact that it included taking on an area of responsibility I basically knew nothing about was also a consideration). Quite a lot has changed since making that promise to myself a few years ago and, as a result, my priorities have shifted significantly. Things such as quality time with my fiance and pup and carving out space to read, write, travel and connect with friends have taken the place of the importance of a title or a raise. Pair that with my newfound knowledge, through observing other MDs and knowing a bit about the new role, that it was going to require a lot more work.
So, if all of the above was true, why did I accept? Was it to prove to myself that I could, in fact, have that title? Was it to prove to others? Did being back in an office mean that much? Do I need a new challenge? Was I batshit crazy?
Regardless of the reason (and there were many — I had a weighted pros and cons list), I accepted. And this past Monday was day one — which went pretty okay. I came home feeling good about my choice and optimistic about the role and the opportunities it held. And then Tuesday happened. And Wednesday. Luckily, Thursday was on the upswing. But then there was Friday and, as I closed my laptop for what was likely not going to be the last time before Monday, I found myself wondering what the fuck I had gotten myself into. Seriously. WHAT THE FUCK.
And now, as I sit here on a beautiful Saturday morning when I should be writing about whatever I want, I am unable to shake the events of the workweek from my mind. Admittedly, I didn’t stop checking my email until well past business hours last night — just in case — even though I promised myself over and over again that I accepting this position would not equate to work taking over my life (I even told my boss this — turns out I’m a liar). But, after the experiences of the past week, I’m honestly not sure how that’s not going to be the case. Ugh. What the fuck have I gotten myself into?
And, at this point, what I’m probably supposed to say is that Monday will be better and things will start looking up and that this is was only week one and I have so much to learn and I can’t put so much pressure on myself. But, I’m honestly not so sure — about any of it.
In the back of my mind I do know this role — and my roaring success or utter failure in it — do not and will not define me. I will be okay either way — no matter what. And, it’s not to say I’m giving up, but I am making a promise to myself that I’ll be true to me and what is important to me, even if that does mean admitting this isn’t the right role for me. Maybe, along the way, I’ll even figure out what I really want to be when I grow up. Maybe.