Tuesday, May 30, 2006

New Job: First Day Wrap-Up (Brief)

As mentioned previously, I recently left my job of (nearly) seven years. More specifically, I left on May 22, which -- by a strange coincidence -- was my father's birthday ("Hey Dad, to celebrate your 60th birthday, I quit my job!"). Of course, I had a new job lined up. But that little break between gigs sure was nice. It was like one loooong Memorial Day weekend. I did a few things around the house. Finished reading some magazines and book or three. I made the 5+ hour drive to visit the folks and see my niece. Oh! And I sprained (or possibly broke) my left foot. Guess how much fun the first day of work is ... on crutches. Actually, the whole crutches thing hasn't been so bad. On the drive back from my parents' house on Sunday, I have to say that people were overwhelmingly polite and helpful, going out of their way to open and hold doors for me. And today, my new co-workers regularly offered to carry or retrieve items (lunch, some water, a notebook, etc.) for me, and changed some meetings so I did not have to travel as far (though I insisted I could make it and didn't need special treatment). The only downside to this whole thing is twofold: For one, my pits hurt. For another, traversing via crutches is damn hot in 80+ degree heat! OK. One more downside ... I cannot retrieve a cup of coffee on my own. Well, maybe that will somehow work out to be a positive. Anyway, back to the "first day of work" brief. My first several hours were spent in orientation with about 10 other new hires including three summer interns. Our orientation covered:
  1. Overview of the company (company history, vision/model, strategic direction, office locations, etc.).
  2. Overview of company benefits.
  3. Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. And ...
  4. A brief tour of the office.
Our supervisors were then contacted to take us to our work areas and we had a lunch break. The rest of my afternoon was spent observing my first weekly status meeting, setting up my computer, checking out the department templates, and working through tutorials. The status meeting was the only nerve-wracking occasion ("Oh my gods, what am I doing here? What the heck are all these abbreviations and dates?! How will I ever know what is going on here????"). I suppose that is normal; some nerves are to be expected when you strike out from the familiar into the unknown. And I took this job because I wanted new challenges to conquer and new technologies to learn. But I wonder .... Did I feel this nervous seven or 12 years ago? Did I doubt whether I had what it would take to do the new job? Did I question my reasons for leaving the former job? Perhaps the size of the company has something to do with it. During my job history, I have worked for fairly large -- even global -- outfits, both private and public. But this is the first one that has 500+ employees in one location -- my location. I'm used to somwhat small offices ... sort of satellite locations. Now I'm at the headquarters. And there are more people and locations I have to learn than products! I guess this is what change feels like. It felt pretty good to say goodbye to one place where I felt stuck. So, in freeing myself, I should probably expect to feel almost completely unglued, eh?

1 comment:

sully18 said...

Congratulations on quiting your job.I obviously don`t know you but I do know of the wisdom and joy of stopping the quest of self-destruction that accompanies a shitty job.You`re better off for it.
Good luck in your future and I wish you peace and serenity