Sunday, October 24, 2010

Moving Back Home Task 2: Start New Job

Hello my lovely bloggy friends! This International Woman of Mystery has missed you so much! I'm sorry for being away for so long. It was not exactly a planned absence.*

Single I'm attractive friend C was nice enough to let me stay with her in Boston (while I look for a place) but she unfortunately has a situation with her wireless Internet so I was unexpectedly without Internet access all week (and also crazy busy so even if I had Internet, I'm not sure how much blogging would have been done) - although thanks to my Ipad (which totally rocks by the way), I was able to keep up with everyone's blogs although not able to comment as much as usual.

The task at hand this week was to start my new job (and also find an apartment but I think I will focus on the job part and talk about the apartment hunt in a separate post).

As you might or might not remember (depends on how long you have been reading), I have worked for The Company for close to 10 years in 5 different countries. I actually started out my professional journey with The Company in the very same Boston office that I'm working in today. But in true The Company fashion, I soon found myself working in Indonesia, China, Sweden and most recently London - all with The Company. If you are not well acquainted with my life, you can easily catch up by reading part I, part II and part III of the Making of an International Woman of Mystery. Seriously, it's a good read. Check it out.

The Company is obviously very big and very international (which is why I wanted to work for them in the first place). So, when I say "new job" I mean same company but totally different product. In fact, I'm working in a totally different industry than I was working in before.

So, I had the advantage of being quite familiar with the office, being familiar with the culture, being familiar with a few of the people there who I had met over the years.. But despite all that, I was still NERVOUS!

I was pretty comfortable in my old product. I'd been working there for a long time and had gained the "expert" status many years ago. I enjoyed being the one that everyone knew would have the answer. I enjoyed having all the answers. I like being asked to attend an enormous amount of meetings. I loved being able to contribute. Yup. Pretty much, I was a big "know it all" and I loved it.

So, needless to say I hadn't done the "new girl" thing in awhile and I was pretty aprehensive.

And to make it harder, in true fashion of The Company, the job I was hired for had changed already and I was going to work on something completely different then what I was initially told and report to someone different as well. I found this out the Friday before I started.

This actually didn't phase me too much and in fact, at this point I've been with The Company long enough where if it had been any different, I think I would have been truly surprised. Like all employees of The Company, I've figured out how to be pretty flexible and deal with major ambiguity (as well as work long hours and do hard work). So, while it didn't really upset me, it didn't really make things easier either.

The first day was a little bit awkward. People definitely welcomed me, but no one asked me to go to lunch on my first day -which is a pretty standard thing to do. However... I am now working with more technical "geeks" so I guess that I have to take that into consideration. And it's ok. I'm  a pretty tough girl and don't mind having lunch on my own - in fact, most of the times I prefer it.

My first assignment is to help this part of The Company "go mobile." Umm... Great. Except that I will admit that this is something I know next to nothing about. I've worked a lot with technology over the years, but my last role was more general management and working to create processes and improve efficiencies. There was of course a technology angle, but that was not my primary role. So, I'm not exactly up-to-speed on the latest tech trends. Believe me, part of the reason I've been so busy this week is because I've been reading A LOT of geeky tech stuff trying to give myself a crash course.

I do admit that it was kind of embarrassing this week when I could hardly manage to use my Iphone (hey it's new, I was a previous Blackberry owner - although let me tell you that the Iphone is soooo much better). So, I've been working on improving my Iphone skills so I don't look like such an idiot around all the geeky and super smart "just out of college" (oh man I'm old) kids who know all about all the cool technology and kept coming into my office telling me how excited they were about the mobile initiative and how much they wanted to work with me on it. And I'm sitting pretending to know what they are talking about... Oh boy do I have a lot to learn. But the first step is to master the Iphone and then try to get up-to-speed with all the lingo.

Other than that it was a typical first week of work. I listened a lot and tried to put all the information together. I tried to understand the structure and organization of this product (it's massive and a bit complicated). I tried to get a grasp out of all the acronyms everyone was throwing around (The Company loves acronyms). I . My cheeks hurt from smiling so much. I met a zillion new people and in most cases as soon as they said their name I forgot it in the next second. On Friday I did a quick analysis of how many people (outside of senior management - I got those down at least) whose name I actually remember and it was sadly very few. I did a lot of research. I talked to a lot of people. I bombarded every person I met with tons of questions. I took a lot of notes. I tried really hard to make a good impression. I tried to be a good and sympathetic listener. I tried to say the right things. And I came home every day completely exhausted from trying so hard.

I hope next week will be easier, but I think it will actually be harder. I'm really looking forward to sinking my teeth into this project and the ones that follow. I have a massive capacity and actually like working hard. I hope that I will be able to contribute in many ways. I get stressed when I feel like I'm not working hard or contributing. I am finding it very hard to be "the new girl."

I do have to say that it's really nice to back in the Boston office. It's a gorgeous office with amazing view - especially at sunset. And I'm loving the in-house restaurant with fruit salad, granola, yogurt, eggs, bagels, for breakfast and sandwiches, soups, hot options and a big salad bar for lunch. And of course there is also a fully stocked bar just waiting for employees to stop by for after work drinks.

And the benefits are pretty good too. $65 a month for Blue Cross and Blue Shield health car is not too shabby! And of course the people in the office are kind of awesome as they are all interested in traveling (and The Company is kind of awesome by giving all first years 3 weeks of vacation and upping it to 2 the second year then accrual up to 30 days). The people in the office are all very international and are interested in travel - most have lived abroad. Most are smart and ambitious. The Company has a strong culture and it doesn't seem to matter what office you are in, the people are similiar - which is great.

Overall, I found myself more excited to be back in the Boston office then I thought I would be!

By the time Friday rolled around though, I was tired. And I was missing my team in London (I don't have staff - yet - in Boston and while it's nice to have a break, I miss having a team). I couldn't help but think that if I was in London, we would have had Byron burgers for lunch and already be at the pub after work. And various colleagues and team members got me on Skype or email to tell me how much they missed me - which was sooo nice to hear, but it also made me sad and a little homesick. So, I was feeling a bit down on Friday. Missing my life abroad. Missing my friends. Tired of feeling like a stranger in my home country. Tired of living out of a suitcase (more on that soon). Tired of not having any routines.

But luckily one of my colleagues stopped by at 5 to save the day. She was someone I recognized from 10 years before although I'm not sure we had ever actually met. Anyway, she invited me down to the bar for a few drinks with the rest of the team (I was so grateful to her). And despite having decided to drive back to Western Mass to my parents, I decided to accept for just one drink and I was really glad I did as it was a fun time.

This colleague turned out to be really fun - a single gal around the same age as me. She seemed to have the scoop on everyone at work and also on the Boston nightlife. She did a great job at introducing me around to everyone at the bar. I'm looking forward to getting to know her better.

Next up - I will tell you about my quest to find the perfect apartment in Boston. Needless to say, it's not going that well.

But really... I hope I will get settled soon and back to my regular blog posting (next week is gonna be tough as well, so I apologize in advance for being a bit off the radar). And I hope that soon I will get to tell you about the fun stuff - like dating boys in Boston and the nightlife! I just have to sadly point out that I have yet to see a single hot boy in Boston - ugh...the preppy look just doesn't do it for me. But that's a whole other story!

*I apologize in advance for this rather lackluster post and the fact that I will most likely be off the radar again next week for the most part. I really miss blogging. But I'm so flat out busy right now and without a place to stay, without any routine and with so much change in my life right now, the creative juices (and the time to write) just aren't flowing right now!


Anonymous said...

You mean life is getting in the way of blogging!? How could you let that happen? :-) it's fine what you need to do to get settled in...we'll all be here patiently waiting.

I'm so glad that your co-worker is making you feel welcome and I'm so glad that you are enjoying the Boston office. :-)

Lifebeginsat30ty said...

Sounds like what could have been a tired and stressful week ended on a very nice note of people being friendly. You sound a lot more positive after having gone into the office :) Lots of international people? Sounds like potential dating pool to me! I give you another month to be regaling us with some new hot guy and the newest greatest place to hang out ;)

Shauna said...

Im a new reader, and am having fun reading all about your life abroad. Good Luck on your apartment hunting!

P.S - I have a contest on my blog this week ;)

Julianna said...

I'll save you some time. The "perfect" apartment in Boston is rent controlled and currently occupied by a little 97 year old lady in the North End who loves to cook traditional Italian for her neighbors.

I say, settle with, full kitchen, no pests, an elevator, and rent that doesn't include your first born. :)

Sara Louise said...

Your first weeks sounds pretty good, you'll be settled in in no time!
And I'm loving the bar at work idea!

Average Girl said...

Holy lord girl... I am exhausted reading your post. I just can't wait till the end of the day, where I can go home, slap on my pj's and putter around until my lovely bed comes a callin! You pooped me out. Me thinks I need a nap! LOL

PS Next Monday, is your day on my Pay it Forward Series of featuring new blogs.. so I hope I do your blog justice in my description.

Cheers darlin!

International Woman of Mystery said...

It did end up all ok in the end. Although this week seems a bit harder.

Shuana - will check out your blog soon - need to figure out my Internet connection.

Tracey - I'm so honored and excited!! I love your pay it forward series and can't believe I'm going to be featured. Looking forward to it!

Catherine said...

Good luck with everything! I know it'll go great. Take your time on the blogging, I know I'll be here when you get back :)

Anonymous said...

Was the author very convincing, or did he miss a few points? Care to share?
I don't I'll be posting much more here for a while. But then again, I have no idea when I would want to be random again.
Hey, can I get in touch with you via email? You seem to be experienced in this topic.
I'm not sure I agree with you on some key points. Do you allow guest blog posts? I'd love to write on this topic.

42? 7 and a half million years and all you can come up with is 42?!

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