A couple of months ago, I changed job. I still work for the same company, but after many years working in the IT department, I have taken up a role working in the business. To be honest, with a little more imagination and flexibility from my old boss, it’s a role that I could have done without changing teams…. but he’s an idiot with neither of these qualities, so I moved to be included where I had previously been excluded.
It’s been about ten weeks and I think it's fair to say that I am taking a little while to find my feet. I’m working with a bunch of guys who actually seem to like each other and enjoy spending time in each other’s company: we go out for team lunches, had a pizza lunch together in the office on Monday, and tomorrow night we’re off out for dinner and some drinks. It’s nice. I did some of these things before in IT, and lots of nice people work for IT, but this is a much warmer and more inclusive environment all round, a tone set, it must be said by my new boss.
It’s frankly a little disorientating to have a boss who cares. She rang me at home the other evening just to tell me that she thought I had done really well in a meeting we’d both attended earlier that afternoon. I was so surprised, it took me a while to understand that she didn’t want anything but that she was simply taking the time to pass me a compliment. I can’t actually remember the last time something like that happened to me. It’s a simple enough thing to praise someone for something they have done, no matter how small, but it clearly doesn’t happen to me very often (and maybe there’s a reason for that). The fact that she took the trouble to pass on the compliment to me speaks volumes and really drives home that things are different for me now.
I had my half year review the other day, and we went to a coffee shop in town to have a proper conversation away from our immediate office environment. We had a proper chat, a good two-way conversation, and I left feeling clear about where I was and what I needed to do moving forwards. It was great. My boss asked me when the last time I’d had a chat like this about my performance was. The answer? More than ten years ago. That’s pretty poor, isn’t it? Last year, by way of contrast, this same conversation with my previous boss went disastrously badly and effectively broke our relationship for good. My last full year review took the form of a five minute conversation whilst strolling through the building. It simply wasn’t good enough and isn't good enough. Everyone deserves better than that. Hell. **I** deserve better than that.
The contrast to now couldn’t be more stark.
I’m working with people I like, in a job I believe in and with people who are interested in seeing me succeed.
....This is weird.