Thursday, March 4, 2010

My new job ...

I've talked (or rather, typed) about the fact that I have a new job. I've been there about 2 months doing a very specific realm of occupational health and safety. To be honest, I'm not "learning" new skills, but rather expanding on existing skills. I enjoy the job, but I get a lot of pressures - some from head office (to take on as much work as possible, regardless of if I can handle it) and some from myself (to meet and exceed client's deadlines).

My company has occ-health in other offices, but I'm the first occ-health person in my office, so I'm also expanding a new service within my office. Expanding a new business is exciting, but it means the jobs can ebb-and-flow: I've been very busy the fact 3 weeks. (Remember how I said I've only been there 2 months!) I have two worries: that this rush is permanent (which will BURN ME OUT) and that this rush is temporary (and I'll have nothing to do in 2 weeks). Neither's an enticing situation. Also, I'm already taking on the role of project manager, something I didn't expect for a little while. I thought a senior person in the head office would be official project manager of my local projects. That was what I was told when interviewing for the job. Now I'm thinking I didn't negotiate my salary properly: if I'm doing project management this early, I am being underpaid. Yeah, sure, the economy's not great, and yeah, I'm was unemployed when I was hired ... But if I'm doing project management (a more senior role), I am definitely underpaid. So I'm partially ticked off with my employer (for offering me such a low salary and then giving me very big responsibilities) and I'm very ticked off with myself (for only negotiating for more vacation and not attempting to ask for more money, too). My thoughts in negotiation was that, while this job was a slight paycut compared to my last job, an extra week's vacation is nice. Now I'm thinking that was a mistake: I should have been super-aggressive and just waited to see what their counter-offer was.

Anyway, I'm just rambling now.

Any opinions or comments?


  1. Hmmm.... well, maybe you could talk to your supervisor about the project management stuff? You could kind of ask/tell them that you didn't realize you'd be taking on that role.... maybe remind them how busy you are with your regular workload right now??
    Other than that, I'm not sure.... sorry I can't be of more help!

  2. Bummer. If you've indeed been hired to do project management, I would wait a few more months (maybe when you've been there 6 months and you've "proven" your worth) and renegotiate, if possible retroactively.

    I have a similar kind of workflow (I'm a technical writer in Telecom): 75% of the time I don't have much to do -and love it :-). Then 25% of the time everything depends on me and there's this big pressure and there should be 4 of me. I can manage since I know it's never permanent, but I still find it really tough.

    They're kind of understanding though, that there's only so much one person can do. All in all, even though the topic of what I write is kind of boring, I should state that I love my job. It's a great environment to work in.