I’m not feeling great. My relationship is good, and my fitness is going reasonably well. Other than that, I’m not feeling good. I am selling a house, living in another I don’t like, my half-brother was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and my father with congestive heart failure. My job is going middlingly at best. For three years I was the golden boy. Now I’m an underperformer. I’m not good at management. And I don’t like it.
My department is changing in a way that makes me not enjoy working here as much. Our new engineer, starting in August, is better than I am. More accomplished and further in his career. I will not be the natural person to lead an engineering group anymore. And that’s probably wise, institutionally: I am not a good leader in this environment.
I’ve capped out, I think. And I’m ok with that, I guess. I don’t like watching peers get promoted while I stay stagnant. But maybe I need to let go of that ego and settle into a place where I’m good at what I do. Maybe I need some other kind of change. I just don’t know.
Before changing jobs, and moving to ECC, I had settled in to a position where I felt I could accumulate prestige and satisfaction simply by getting new grants and writing papers and eventually I’d become an important researcher. It might have been true too. The VA liked my work, and I was doing a decent job getting funding. But life changes. I had to move on.
Now I’m doing a halfway decent job doing the things I need to do to advance, but I’m not sure I like what I’m advancing towards. It makes me tired and unmotivated. Lots of meetings and agendas and not much actual work. I don’t value the things I’m being asked to do to advance my career. If this is what a promotion looks like, I’m not sure I want one.
But staying still isn’t an option for anyone for very long either. Get pigeon-holed in a place, and you get stagnant. The organization moves beyond you. You become redundant, unnecessary. I feel like that right now. I’m not contributing in a way I like to contribute. I’m sludgy and dull and pointless.
I’m ready for something else. But I don’t know what else to go looking for.