My secondment in my current job role finishes at the end of September. In the ten or eleven months that I've been doing the job, I've really rediscovered my enthusiasm. I was a little bit reluctant to take up the role, oddly reticent to leave the IT department, but it's been brilliant. I've loved having a role with a wider influence, working on a project I believe in, and I've especially loved having responsibility for a great team of bright young sparks. All good things, it seems, must come to an end.
I'm not particularly worried about going back to the IT department. My last eighteen months there were miserable, sure, and I only have to read my posts on the subject here at the time to know that it was a dark period for me. In truth, though, that was mostly down to the man who was managing me through that time, and that man has now left the business under something of a cloud (caused by his own toxic incompetence, but there you go. He's gone now). There are good people working in IT, and I have a lot of friends there. I have no fears about a return.... although I have learned in the last year that I should probably look for a job elsewhere because the things that I clearly find fulfilling are more easily found in other places. It has to be the right job though, and there's no rush. After all, it would be worse to jump into the *wrong* job than to return to my old job. At least I can say that I know myself better and understand better what it is I want from a job. The secondment has been worth it just for that.
That said, I had a meeting with my old boss today to discuss my return, and it is painfully apparent that he has done absolutely nothing to prepare for my imminent return and was distinctly diffident about the fact that I'm coming back. I present him with a problem that he clearly doesn't want to think about: he didn't know what he was going to do with me and he even went as far as to say that he was worried that I would be bored, frustrated and would become a disruptive influence.
Well, I think that's a bit premature, to be honest, and more than a little unfair.
He's a decent guy and I like him, but the meeting was a reminder that he's not a good line manager, however well-intentioned he is. He's well thought of in IT and is actually on a leadership development programme. Good for him and good for them, but after fifteen years in the same department, twelve months working somewhere else has given me a fresh perspective on these things and I don't really like what I see when I look back.
I'll go back in the short-term if I have to, but how many more signs do I need that I ought to be doing something else?
Just any kind of sign. I'll keep on looking for it....