the beginning of my #40til40 project is perhaps inconveniently timed. it falls straight in the middle of the busiest week i've had at my very, very new (to me) job. tonight was a networking event, tomorrow the start of a two day tax & finance seminar for which i spent a combined total of about 15 hours printing and readying name tags (and will attend to assist with registration and anything else asked of me). friday is our office holiday party.
after a blissful period as a freelancer, a time that went a long way in soothing my badly neglected introvert and fulfilled my need for a varied and self-managed schedule, i have returned to reception and admin office work for a renewable energy association. i like them. i feel ever certain they like me. but there are whispers about me. and i know what they are saying. they use code words like "capable', "impressive", and "self-reliant". my boss slipped up one day and actually said it, "overqualified". it's a word they have a clear distaste for - like they are worried they will insult me somehow by acknowledging what we all know to be true. yes, i am overqualified. i have over a decade of office admin experience, many years at the front desk for a high-profile law firm from which I was promoted and now, most recently, actual management experience. plus, you know, i've bossed some people around in theatre land :)
in my new job, i assist co-workers who are 15 years younger than me. some are just out of college and will probably be managers in a year's time. it's a little weird. but it's not off-putting and i'm embracing it partly because i'm simply so grateful to have a (good!) job after three months of unemployment and partly because i sense how easy it is to move up at this organization. all you have to do is dive in.
so that's what i did today that i really haven't done before. not at my other survival jobs anyway. i always looked at them as just that, jobs for survival. jobs that allowed me to pay my bills, keep the roof over my head and live my creative life in theatre to its fullest. i didn't seek to make them much more than they were. i punched in and punched out and usually didn't look for ways to expand my role or learn too terribly much about the work the company was doing outside of my inner administrative circle. but my time on tour changed this work ethic. because for a precious little while, my full time job was theatre and i dove in. i owned that position and all its inherent responsibilities. i talked to my co-workers as equals. i treated my actors and crew as a colloborative unit. when i made mistakes, i admitted them and immediately looked for a solution. i celebrated all success as "our" success. this made for an especially postive work environment and experience and i knew, even as i started looking for jobs again way back at the end of may, that i wanted to somehow replicate this - at least this feeling of acting as one unit all in service of a singular mission.
i met with a member of my team today. not just because i want to do more than answer the phone and make name badges but because i CAN do more. i offered my services and sought ways to make contributions that go beyond the scope of my job description. because I can. because i am capable. because a survival job has the potential to become a passion project. it's all in how much you want to invest. and today, i chose to invest.
#40til40 pic of the day for my dear friend David. it was a rainy and dreary day, colder by the minute but i found beauty in the rain drops falling against the window of my uber. nature's holiday lights
The Weeknd's Starboy is swiftly crawling up to the top of my "most played" list and is the first song on my #40by40 playlist