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Career Hiccoughs, Acceptance, and Anxiety.

26 February 2015

Last night I got my seven-year coin.



The topic at the meeting (my men’s discussion meeting) was acceptance. And I talked about something that has been provoking anxiety and I simply have to accept. My boss is moving on. He’s staying with the organization, but being promoted into a different department. I like my boss. He’s affable, honest, and easy to read. We’ve had a good working relationship. I’m not happy he’s moving on.

But I have to accept it. I certainly can’t do anything about it. He has the ability and privilege to move on to bigger and better things, and that’s what he’s doing. Practicing acceptance and understanding that my anxiety is transient is difficult for me, but necessary. Because if I allow my anxiety to take over, I end up in very bad situations, emotionally. And that can affect my relationships, my work, my whole life.

I’m especially anxious because my boss and I have been working on getting me my own lab, with staff and a budget. This is something I really want and that my institution seems to be moving towards. My boss is a manager. His boss, our department head, is on board. Her boss, the Chief Medical Officer, is also on board. But they’re very, very busy. And my boss has been the strongest advocate and well-positioned to create movement. He’s done that for me before.

Now, there will be a vacuum there. I don’t know how to make the administrative moves I need to make. All I can do is try to keep the project in the minds of the director and the CMO and see where that leads me. I think it will still happen, but this is definitely a gummi-bear in the pipes. Or whatever.

When making career moves, I think people need to be aggressive, and need to find supportive professional partners. I’ve been doing that and now one of them is moving on, and I don’t know what to do to replace him. And yes, it’s all about me.

I’m suddenly frantic about whether I’ll be advancing fast enough and building appropriately. I want to have important roles and a big name and be very important to my institution. I want to be indispensable. I want I want I want. Because I’m selfish and ambitious and insecure. But also, I hope, because I believe I have something to offer.

So my anxiety is high, at the moment. But things are moving along in all my life’s pursuits. I feel healthy and strong. I am very happy in my relationship. I have a good career and I am making further inroads into diverse opportunities (I am being invited to lecture at another hospital soon, and possibly at a university. I am consulting for a corporation interested in medical devices. I am being interviewed for German radio later today.).

So things could be worse. I’m doing really rather fabulously well. But knowing that doesn’t control my anxiety. I need to practice acceptance and serenity. It’s difficult for me, but it’s possible. Deep, slow breaths. Ease.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Syd permalink
    26 February 2015 10:44

    Supervisory changes aren’t easy to accept. I hope that the replacement will be receptive to your ideas. But I do think your keeping projects in the minds of the other department administrators is a good idea. Glad that you are getting recognition of your work too with outside institutions.

  2. 26 February 2015 14:57

    I’m without a perm boss just now – he left to another uni at end of Jan and a colleague is “interim” until they decide what to do… Just not knowing who’ll take over and if my part time arrangement will suit them too or whether they’ll want to shake it all about anyway… heyho

  3. 27 February 2015 19:07

    Congrats on 7 years! I’ve “known” you for most of that. You have changed tremendously. I am glad to know you.

    Is that a wedding band?

    • 28 February 2015 10:23

      We didn’t officially get married, but we wear rings now. And THANK YOU!

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