Thursday, September 17, 2009

2 Years And It Feels Bittersweet

Today marks exactly two years since I started in this company I work in. It's funny when the anniversary of something comes around, whether it's my birthday, the new year, etc., that I always take a step back and think about what I've accomplished, where I'm at currently, and where I'm headed. I suppose I did get something from my Atenean college education afterall. But I have yet to figure out whether that is a good or bad thing. ;)

What I've Accomplished...

In some perspectives, I haven't accomplished much. But if I look at the positive side of things (which is very rare for a pessimistic and cynical person like me), I have accomplished a great deal the past two years compared to the last 4 years prior to that.

  1. Joined a gaming company.
  2. Got a director title and a pay raise.
  3. Work shifts became a little more flexible (comes with the job title). Daytime shift! Goodbye GY!
  4. Working in a city that is spacious and way less bustling than my previous job.
  5. Cleaned up a department that used to be in disarray.
  6. Garnered the respect of all my people in my department.
  7. Increased company revenue.
  8. Elevated the reputations of some of my direct reports.
  9. Got promoted to VP of Operations (AVP by title, but VP by responsibility, and introduced to clients as a VP) and a pay raise.
  10. Garnered the respect of almost all my people in the additional department I was given to oversee (all except one actually, which I will not get into heehee).
I can go on and on about every last details of what I have accomplished in my work There is definitely a lot to be thankful to God for.

Where I'm at Currently...

Today was a weird day. I was extremely busy for 3/4 of my day. The weather seemed to be as confused as how I was feeling today. It would rain. Then the scorching sun would come out. Then clouds would come over cast. Then it would rain. Rinse and repeat.

I felt good about deciding to wrangle some of my people in one of the departments I'm handling by calling for a meeting. I finally decided that people come and go. But all the work remains and someone's gotta do it. I felt both relieved and worried at the same time giving those few responsibilities that they have never really handled before. I just kept telling myself that I have to trust my people because I'm no Superman. I need people to help carry the load, else I'll just keel over and die (figuratively, of course). By the end of that meeting, things felt a little more organized and allotted properly. I think I overwhelmed them. But I think it's high time those few stepped up to the plate and start learning more.

On the same day, the other department I'm handling coincidentally was bombarded with delays, setbacks, and reasons for those delays and setbacks. All those reasons are valid. But there's a 2 sided coin called "disappointment" with these setbacks in my perspective.

First side of the coin, is that delays are delays. Whether the reasons are valid or not, getting thrown off the plan or schedule does throw a wrench into things. A good leader can always navigate through those things and still come out on top. But that doesn't mean that one still doesn't get disappointed despite understanding and adjusting to delays.

For the amount of work involved, there seems to be so many spokes needed to make it happen, and the train seems to be chugging along way too slowly. Compare that to the other department I handle. There is A LOT of work involved. However, it requires less people and the work is being coursed through quickly (provided someone is managing resources properly).

The second side of the coin, is the fact that people can be so aloof about delays and setbacks. Getting it down tomorrow or next week, seems to be an easy option. Even I'm starting to slip into that aloofness (if that's even a word).

Delays and setbacks will happen. But it seems that pushing for alternative solutions doesn't follow suit. There are left as delays and setbacks. And it stays that way until I say something about it.

This aloofness also extends to people not doing anything beyond their field of expertise or comfort zone. I think I'm one of very few people in my company that picks up more work and responsibilities that I really know nothing about. Just a willingness to learn, and try because no one else can/will do it is my sole motivation. From sales pitches, to contracts, to simple video editing, right down to coming up with alternative solutions, it feels like I am the sole person trying to pick up the ball on a fumble while everybody is busy blocking or waiting for the pass (pardon the football analogy). This may not be entirely true beyond my perspective. It just certainly felt like it today.

I ended the day, with my to-do list knocked out, and setbacks adjusted to or accepted. Net of net, it was just another day at work. I just wished everything would've come together perfectly for once. At least for my 2nd year anniversary.

Where I'm headed

My long-term professional future, like my personal long-term future is always a haze. I have dreams both personally and professionally like anybody else. But I can't really see past the fog of the immediate future.

My immediate future seems bright and bleak at the same time. A few key people have left or are finishing off their 30 day notice in the company. Some of these people are the largest cogs of their respective departmental machines. Beyond understanding and accepting their motivations for leaving, they do leave work that needs to be done behind. This is where the bleakness of it all comes in. When I see a lot of value in a resource, I am convinced that they are not easily replaced. Unless I hire at least two people to replace them.

The brightness of my future is being able to keep the ship afloat by attaching floaters to it called "hope" and "perseverance". This job is one of the very few things I'm proud of in my life. And I'm not about to give in. I have to remain strong even at times when I feel weak because I realize that there are many that are perched on me for leadership. I am torn between two analogies to describe how I'm feeling. I feel both like a crutch and a tow cable to everyone. It feels great and sad knowing that. It comes with my position I suppose. So I have to live with it in order to keep the dream alive.

2 Years and Counting...

2 Years and counting has left me both living the dream and being surprised as I look over my shoulder and someone says "Hi, how you doing? My name is the world. I'll be on your back for a while." LOL!

Solitary resilience is both my strength professionally and weakness personally. A friend of mine told me today "Well, you can't have it all", which I've heard and told myself so many times in the past. And it still remains true.

As I open this can of San Mig light, I give myself a pat on the back and tell myself "Well done, Dos. You're doing well". Cheers to 2 years.


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