Saturday, April 15, 2006

Strange new world - Part II

Read Part I

The thing is, I talked to my boss four years ago (after working for him for about six months) and discussed the need for me to be on a career path that included advancement opportunities. Since I was widowed and my only source of income was my own job, I had to make sure he knew that when opportunities for advancement came along I would be pursuing them.

It was a good discussion. I felt we came out of that meeting "on the same page". But I was in for a shock when that first opportunity came along just a few months later. I went for it...and immediately and angrily got shot down.

You see, in my company it is policy that before you apply for a new position you need to discuss it with your current manager. It's a good policy in the sense that the manager should not learn from somebody else that you are looking for another job. It's a bad policy in the sense that it can prevent people from pursuing opportunities for fear of offending their boss.

Which was what happened in my case. My boss seemed to take it as a personal slap in the face that I would want to leave his team. He got angry and defensive. He brought up our conversation of a few months prior and (from my perspective) twisted it to have meant that he would let me know of opportunities that might be suited for me, and that I was NOT to pursue them myself.

Since then I had resigned myself to the belief that in order to advance I would have to leave the company. Which was not fair! Why should I have to leave a company with 30,000+ employees and plenty of opportunity for growth because my boss did not want to let me go? Why did he say that he would not stand in my way and then do exactly that?

(to be continued)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Strange new world

One of my favorite old tv shows was the original Star Trek. I was talking to a friend at work yesterday about mission statements, and he reminded me that Star Trek started every week by stating it's mission:

Space...the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
Her five year explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Nothing like knowing what your objective is when you show up for work in the morning!

My personal mission is to live long and prosper (God willing). So I'm about to explore a strange new world in my career. A job opportunity at my company appears to fit me perfectly. Had it come along even just a few months ago I might not have been ready for it. But today I am ready to overcome my fear and put myself out there.

My current boss does not think I am right for it, but that's OK. His opinion is no doubt skewed by the possibility of losing me. If I get the job I will proceed to prove him wrong (again) by exceeding his expectations.

If I don't get the job, that's OK too. What would NOT be OK is not moving forward because I'm scared. You sometimes have to take risks in life, and this is one of those times for me.

Wish me luck!

(to be continued)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Make today a masterpiece

I'm reading a book by John Maxwell called Today Matters. Not done with it yet, but I know I'll use a lot of the advice in there.

The main theme is that we only have today. Yesterday is over, behind a locked door, the key destroyed. The things I ate, the money I spent, the mistakes I made, the good things I did...all over and done with. Some consequences linger, but I cannot go back and change anything I did.

Tomorrow is a possibility, not a certainty. When co-workers say goodnight and "see you tomorrow", I always say "God willing" because we can hope for it, but we just don't know if we will see each other tomorrow.

But today...ah, what can we do with today? We can make it a masterpiece by practicing our faith, nurturing our relationships, learning, thinking, being responsible with the gifts God gives us, having a good attitude, and building on our knowledge and experience in our work.

Or we can just go along, living with regret, do the same thing over and over again expecting different results, harbor resentments for past hurts (real and imagined), not invest any time in learning and growing and fall into bed wondering what the hell was the point.

The decision is ours. Every minute of every day.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Schoolhouse rock

Yep, I rock! I got a big fat "A" on my very first college paper! 48 out of 50 points rewarded. The two points were withheld due to a lack of details in a couple of spots.

I am currently ranked #2 in my class (I get to log into something called MyGradebook to see my scores). That will change, however, when last week's test scores get posted (didn't study enough and I know I didn't do well).

Sitting in class for three hours every Tuesday night can sometimes be less than fun. But the overall experience is great. I'm loving school!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Wish you had an early warning system?

In 2001, the year my father and husband both died suddenly, lots of other bad things happened. I had to remind myself not to think things like "my life cannot get worse" or "what will happen next". But I did sometimes wish I had a warning that something bad was going to happen.

But did I really want that? Even if I had warning, I might not have recognized it. And if I did, and there was nothing I could do about it, it would have just caused more pain.

As described in today's Our Daily Bread, God doesn't have a giant siren that screams to warn us that we are about to be attacked. But He does give us tools to remain alert and deal with whatever comes our way.

And He sometimes sets things up to make it easier when the horrible happens. I only recognized in hindsight that the moves on my life's checkerboard put me on the exact right square when my husband died.

Yes, bad things happen. No, we don't always get a warning. But we can work daily on our relationship with God and trust Him to give us what we need, put us where He wants us to be, and shine just enough light to see the next step.