Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Promotion

For the past few months I could tell my morale was down.  I was experiencing the "case of the Monday's" where you just are feeling blue and dreading what is to come.  Weeks were going by and I was worried this feeling was never going to go away.  It was the feeling of your work life being in a rut where every day seems to be the same, with little excitement or daily challenges.  This work rut usually stems from doing an activity/job for a long time; I had heard of this happening to others but I never thought it would happen to me. I was at a plateau at a job I love and that "pzazz" feeling was completely zapped out of me.

My work/life rut was beginning to feel like an ocean.  Some days were calm with no sign of wind, other days felt like I was caught in an undertow with the current trying to pull me down under water.  Other days I felt like a storm was hanging over me causing me to be negative and almost angry.  No matter what my day had in store for me, my ambitious, smiling, energetic personality was missing.  It sort of felt like my soul was lost at sea and I was unsure on how I was going to get it back.  I knew that this was temporary and I needed to get my motivation back.

For me, not trying is never an option.  Even when I attempt to slack off on anything, my guilty self chimes in and pushes me to give it more effort.  I like to think of this as one of my strengths and knowing how down I was feeling was motivation in itself to push me to start making moves.  No more sitting on the sidelines waiting for something to happen, I had to do something, so I did.

If work was not challenging or self-fulfilling then I needed to figure out what would help make it be fulfilling. For months, I would tell my colleagues about the work I was interested in and how I wanted to contribute more and more.  Talking with my boss about additional work I was taking on and where I was interested in contributing more helped me be an advocate for myself.  More responsibility came my way and it would only be a matter of time for me to be compensated for my additional work, or so I thought. 

After a year of being my biggest advocate, the work rut was still in full force and I was beginning to worry.  I felt like I was at my end point where I'd have to decide whether to "sink" or "swim."  I was not going to give up, not when I had worked so hard and invested so much. So I kept swimming because I knew my waiting would pay off...... and it did.  Last week Thursday I was granted my wish- I received a promotion to Development Coordinator.  My team had been working for months on my promotion because they recognized how much of an asset I am to the team and wanted to show their appreciation.

What an amazing feeling to know that all my hard work and efforts were noticed all along.  I was so focused on getting that promotion that I was dismissing the positive feedback my coworkers were giving me and their willingness to allow me to pursue the areas of work I am interested in.  I know my new role comes with more responsibilities and I am more than ready to take on this new opportunity.  I finally have my "pzazz" back in my step and it feels great.  Moving forward though, I am not going to forget how hard work, ambition and a lot of patience really makes a difference.  I am my only advocate and I hold the key to my future. I chose to keep swimming rather than sinking to the bottom of the ocean.  Even though it was a long and hard fight to stay afloat, it was completely worth it.

Sometimes we need to be thrown into situations to see how much we really want something.  How else would we know what is worth fighting for and what is not?  As much as we want something, we need to realize that sometimes it takes patience, hard work, and persistence.  When you are starting to be unhappy at your job, it is up to you to make your voice heard and to be proactive if you want to stay afloat in your career. What do you have to lose? Plus you never know if your colleagues are waiting to hear from you. I know now that you cannot be afraid to stand up for yourself because in the end you are the only one who is going fight for you. 

How do you prevent yourself from hitting a job plateau?  How do you advocate for yourself at work?  When was the last time you had to chose between sink or swim?  I'd love to hear about it.....

"I learned the value of hard work by working hard." ~ Margaret M. Fitzpatrick

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