On Monday, I start a new job and a new career. I’m a bit excited, and quite scared. (R is trés excited, not scared at all)
The first fear is from all the documentation, processing, and related formal requirements. That’s a foreground worry, as I’m working on it at the moment. It’s also the simplest, since if it becomes an issue, it’ll be placed right up in front of me to deal with.
The big worry is the background anxiety from the transition to this new career.
This is my first job in this field. At 41 years old. I’m starting from the bottom rung (good), but at a big, established organisation (scary). They have experienced people, processes, and the thing I’ll work on will reach out to millions of people (trés scary). I am not sure if I’m qualified for the work they expect (I was surprised to even get the first interview call). I’ve never worked on something at this scale. I haven’t worked on anything that complex. I haven’t worked in this industry at all. The likelihood of my completely bombing is fairly high. At the first job. In a new career. At 41. There may not be another restart option.
I love to work from home at my own times. I’m a strong advocate for remote working. In this case, however, I miss not being in the same shared office. Looking at everyone’s faces directly would have provided a good gauge of how I’m doing. Working remotely, online, removes that direct, immediate feedback mechanism. I’m dependent on other people to be kind enough to provide quick, direct and honest feedback. (And hopefully, to work with me at helping me improve.)
Another worry is that this career switch means I am permanently trading in the old career. There won’t be any going back. It’s a different ladder now. A ladder, as R says, I enjoy more. But also one that doesn’t go anywhere as high or as fast as the previous ones. The ceiling is strong and near in this career. In the previous one, sky was the limit (given willingness to get burnt). The change means saying goodbye to many things. And saying hello to occasional, depressing bouts of ‘what if‘.
There’s also joy. I’m going to be doing something that I enjoy doing. I’m going to be part of a team, and have an opportunity to make some stable connections outside of home and running. I’m going to be working at an organisation that I like, on a thing that I really like. Unless I bomb early and completely, I may even be able to make some things better. And, if I survive, I’ll get to learn. A lot. In areas that interest me. That learning, along with having stable team mates, is probably my biggest incentive. (R has a different one.)