From woefully under prepared, to more familiar and a bit brighter

Published April 28, 2012

This time last year, I was busy relaxing, writing, and pondering the future. Six months ago, I wrote about my return to work after a sabbatical that involved not finding my dream job but doing something just as worthwhile instead.

I’m on a fixed term contract, and thus the future is still relatively uncertain. But for now, I’m glad I can get back to something of normality. Equally, I’m incredibly grateful I had the chance to take some time off. I hope I got the most out of it. I was worried I’d just sleep late and play the Sims all day. Three books later, I’m happy I have something to show for my nine-month sabbatical.

A fixed contract it was, maternity cover for someone starting their family. In February, my boss took me aside and asked if I was looking for work. They were a little wary about me, knowing that I’d jacked in a career before for book writing, and equally knowing that I had no specific plans for my meandering future.

I said I was glad of a push in any direction, really.

Thus, I accepted the offer of a job, and haven’t had a minute to think since. For a month, it was learning as much as I could from the departing employee who I would be replacing. Then for another month, it was scrabbling through all the tasks, feeling woefully underprepared and wishing the former employee would come back.

Now, I feel a bit more comfortable in the position, but I still have enormous amounts to learn.

What I hadn’t really expected is how tired I would be. At the moment, I’m still covering the maternity role that I had originally been taken on for, so this new role is not only unfamiliar and daunting, it’s also essentially a second job. That should only last a couple more months, and boy will I be glad when it’s over.

There are plenty of positives about this new job, including increased flexibility, quite a lot of holiday, and the potential to work from home. On the flip side, it means having a laptop and a Blackberry come home with me every day.

At the moment, it feels like I am just clinging on to something resembling a life. Balancing work, with Sidepodcast, with every day chores leaves little time for anything else. People have been asking recently how it’s possible we have been completing so many Film Watches. Quite honestly, once all the responsibilities are complete, there’s little energy left for anything else but sitting on the sofa in front of Netflix.

However, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I am really enjoying working at this company. Unlike many places I have worked before, the people are all fabulous, I have a boss who likes Formula One, and they seem to appreciate the work that gets done. It’s an age old saying that you don’t get thanks for the work you do, but you’re quickly blamed for when it goes wrong. I’ve heard several thank yous handed out in the few months I’ve been here, a couple of them even aimed at me.

As each week passes, I’m learning more and hopefully getting better at the job. It becomes more familiar and, although probably no less stressful, less tiring as a constant learning environment. So, in a few months time things should be a bit brighter. The job should be a bit easier, and my maternity cover role will have come to an end. I can actually consider using up some holiday, and look to start doing all the things that have been building up this year.

I’ll have brain power to be able to start blogging more regularly again. To consider the next destination on my A-Z adventure. To write more and start rolling through the horrifically long to-do list that just stares at me. To start creating the many things we have planned for Sidepodcast.

For now, though, I’m investing in what should be a good and interesting career move. Being busy is better than being bored, but I’ll admit I am looking forward to, in a few month’s time, tweaking the work/life balance back in a more favourable direction.

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