Caturday Quickie: Honey, I’m home!

Actually, I got home Wednesday afternoon. It’s a six hour drive from London, Ontario back home to Sudbury.

Upon arriving, I immediately got to the unpacking and setting aside of laundry and completely forgot I had an appointment for a massage. It would have been nice after two plus weeks of standing and delivering.

I’ve left a message to reschedule, but haven’t heard back yet . . .

On Thursday, I started by new position. It’s another consultant position, but this should not be as crazy-making as the last one I was offered.

Since then, I’ve been trying to get back on track.

It hasn’t been going so well.

I discovered back in the spring that travelling for the purpose of delivering training no longer serves me well.

I used to be able to write in the evenings and get something done. Now, not so much. And it’s been a challenge also, because I’ve been sharing all sorts of posts and articles about writing process recently. Most of the authors espouse a write anywhere mentality. So I feel guilty for not having written (much) since I left on August 10.

I’ve fallen into the trap of comparing myself to other writers, most of whom have the privilege of writing full time.

That’s not me. I still have a day job.

Also, I’m an introvert. Training all day, while I am good at it, is draining. The group we had to train this time around was lovely. And social. My co-facilitator and myself were invited out once each week. A full day’s training followed by an evening of socializing and then another full day of training is deadly for me.

I probably shouldn’t have accepted every invitation, but I didn’t want to be rude. Plus, this particular group of trainees had all come from away, in two instances leaving family behind until they were settled and established in their jobs. In one case, the trainee’s family remains in Taiwan.

So I went, and I can’t say I didn’t enjoy myself. They’re great people. I just didn’t have the time I needed to recharge by myself.

So all the writing I did while I was away was to revise and submit one short story and to revise my query letter following a webinar (with the fantastic Kristin Nelson—squee!). I’ll share more about that in my next chapter update next weekend.

So now I’ve just about caught up on all of the videos and newsletters and social media I deferred while I was away.

And now I’ll get back to writing.

By the way, London, Ontario is a lovely city. It’s called the forest city and here’s why:

The forest city

The view from my hotel

But I really enjoy being home with Phil (whom I missed enormously) and being able to sleep in my own bed, and getting back to my “normal” life.

Also, it’s nice to be able to help out my mom, who’s had cataract surgery on one eye while I was gone. This week, I get to take her to the second surgery and follow up appointment. It’s more than nice to be able to be here for her.

I’ll get back to regular weekend posting shortly. I have Series discovery and Mel’s movie madness posts in the works. Fun times 🙂

Caturday Quickie

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The one skill that can better your chances of career success

With a blog named Writerly Goodness, what skill do you think I’m talking about? That’s right: writing.

I have personal experience with this. My writing skills have consistently been one of the reasons I’ve been successful in internal assessment processes for advisor and consultant positions.

I’m happy to announce I’ve once again been “called up” as an acting consultant in business expertise. Yes, Mellie is once more BEC-a-licious 🙂 BEC-and-call girl? Aw, BEC it.

I’ll have much to report in the coming few months.

And my writing skills? Yup. Crucial to the promotion.

You don’t have to take my word for it, though. The good people at Grammarly, the world’s best grammar checker, surveyed over 400 freelancers to determine what impact writing skills have on a person’s career opportunities and published the results in an infographic (see below).

It has already been picked up by some websites, including The Huffington Post. Their goal is to raise awareness of the importance of good writing. Good writing is not only foundational to good communication, but it can also unlock knowledge, job opportunities, and access to education.

They’re also doing good work with Reading is Fundamental, a charity that promotes literacy.

So, have a gander:

Writing Skills Matter

Good night, my writerly peeps, and good grammar.

Caturday Quickies: Recent developments

So . . . I went to work Monday morning to learn that I had been successful in the Consultant process. Yes, I am now in another qualified pool. Treading water at the moment, thanks.

On Tuesday, Phil got a call from the municipal engineer. Apparently all the reports were in and they were ready to start work. He wanted to meet with us after work to discuss the plan and get our sign off on the work.

Our former front yard

Just a reminder of how things currently look

The plan they had come up with was to blast out the rock, rebury the gas line, build a three foot knee-wall, and then slope the yard down from the house to meet the knee-wall. They’d have to demolish and build a new set of front steps for us, because the slope on the yard would necessitate two much longer legs on pylons. The slope would be about 60 degrees.

Phil said, “Do we have any other options?”

He explained that the bus stops by our house, and we have kids who tromp through our yard on their ways home to the apartments up the hill. There are also a couple of bars down Regent Street whose inebriated, late-night patrons also seem fond of our yard. Should any of those individuals take a tumble down the 60 degree slope and off the three foot knee-wall, they could be injured. Worse, we’d be liable.

To his credit, the engineer agreed with Phil’s assessment and together they discussed options.

What are we going to get? A full six to seven foot retaining wall with a railing for safety. Much better.

Three quarters of our driveway will also be re-paved because it also has to be sloped properly. In the process, they will be re-seating the two water shut-off valves that are in the middle of the driveway. We’ve had persistent issues with frost heaving and buckling around those.

Though we’re basically losing the full easement from the front of our lot, the city is not going to be expropriating now and they seem perfectly content to leave us easement-less until the street is developed in X year’s time.

So yay!

I also had a wee setback with the video project I was working on, but found a permanent (and easy) solution within a day. Thank you, National Service Desk 🙂 Joy! This will make doing further videos super easy, and super fast, relatively speaking.

Now onto the next WWC2014 post: The Anthology Jam. All sorts of good information on getting your stories published in anthologies 🙂

Caturday Quickies

By the way, the kitteh in this blog image is our dearly departed Thufir (Howat, the Mentat Cat)

The uncertainty post

I mentioned a couple of (a few?) weeks ago that I’d be posting about the uncertainty in my life these days. Then I went away to When Words Collide and all bets were off. The literary festival was great, but the pace was intense.

So I figured I’d give you this piece before I got on with transcribing session notes from WWC. That will start next weekend.

The uncertainty at work

This is a multi-layered situation.

  1. Massive hiring requiring massive training.
    Last December, a first group of internal hires came through my office to be trained. I trained them, was briefly given an acting assignment (all of three weeks in length), and when I returned to the training team, I was given a special project, and thus largely excused from the burdens of training and/or monitoring the 50 additional internal and new hires that started in January.
    In March, I piloted the training that was the result of the special project and then cofacilitated two sessions of Business Writing to help a colleague achieve her certification (good news there – she got it!).
    As the new fiscal started in April, the second round of training and monitoring began. Once more, I trained the local group and it soon became apparent that while my manager wanted me to continue to work on special projects (three this time), that this would not be possible.
    I dove into monitoring, and then into advice and guidance, which, having been ignored to give priority to the monitoring, was backlogged by several weeks. Our mandate is to respond to these requests within 48 hours. Yeah.
    Starting in September, there will be another wave of new hires to be trained and monitored followed by a third in November, which I may or may not have to assist with because the position they are being hired for is outside my expertise.
    I’m steeling myself for several weeks out of town in September, and further training in late November.
  2. We may be losing our manager.
    This is a mixed blessing, because my manager is younger than I am, she has a lot of potential for mobility, and, more importantly, she has the skill set to take her fairly high in the corporate hierarchy. Our manager is a driving force for our team, though. She fights for us, and ensures that we have what we need to succeed in our jobs and careers, and what we need to achieve work/life balance.
    About the time I was assigned the second set of special projects, she received and accepted the offer of an acting senior manager. For a few weeks, she attempted to manage both teams. This soon became untenable, and the training team received an acting manager.
    This was supposed to be a temporary situation, until the assessment process for the senior manager’s position was concluded and a permanent senior manager moved into the position. The thing is, my manager’s in that process. If she’s offered the position, she will likely accept. Or she should, because it’s an excellent opportunity for her.
    In the meantime, we have a very capable acting manager, but one who is unfamiliar with our business line, and the responsibilities of the team. We’ve been there before. When I started with the training team back in 2009, we were without an actual manager for years, and the team had been for years previous to that. It does not make for a good situation. Most acting positions last a day short of four months, and with that many changes in leadership, the team was foundering.
    Plus, there have been several retirements among the executives in the last year or so, and as gaps appear, they must be filled, generally from levels below.
    I anticipate we’ll be in a very reactionary mode for some time while the corporate structure stabilizes.
  3. I’m on the verge of giving up ever moving beyond my current circumstances.
    The last pool I was in, for consultant, expired Dec 31st, 2013. Since then, I’ve applied for no less that five other positions. I’ve been screened out of all but one. That one is also for consultant, and I was almost screened out of it, but managed to squeak by. At the interview, most, if not all of the candidates must have failed the written portion, because they had a second written test. We were supposed to know the results of the assessment by the end of June. I think the board members must be on holiday.
    I’m coming up against a geographical brick wall. Our regional headquarters is in Toronto and our national headquarters is in Ottawa. I live in neither city, nor am I willing to move. This is the reason I’ve been screened out of several of the assessment processes. Even though our work environment is virtual (I currently work on a virtual team) someone in the hierarchy wants to consolidate skilled workers in our respective HQs. I get that, but still feel the patent inequity of the situation. I have skills. Mad ones even. While I’m content in my current position, the coming overload of training and monitoring and the potential lack of, or frequent change in, management makes me much less content in the day job.
    I’m getting to the point, though, where I want to give up the fight. Even if I make it into the next consultant pool, I’m not likely to get anything more than an acting position, precisely because I’m anchored in Sudbury. There’s no indication that the situation will change any time soon.
    Always hovering on the edge of my mind is the possibility of leaving the day job early in order to pursue my writing. Do I want to persist in a losing battle for the remaining years of my career?
    Also, Phil may be looking at reducing his hours, transitioning to a subsistence job, or retiring in a few years (which option depends on the uncertainty at home – see below). Since he works for a charity, and I work for a larger employer, I’ve always made more money that he has. Even when I make an agreement for a self-funded leave, that basically takes us to a rough parity. But I still make more. I won’t take the risk of sinking us below the poverty line so I can write full time. Though if I can write full time, there’s a much better chance that I will be able to make a reasonable income within a few years. What will we do for those critical years, however?
    Quandries, quandries . . .
  4. My satisfaction with my writing life is quickly outstripping my satisfaction with my day job.
    Yeah. So. That’s pretty self-explanatory, but my last point, above, is a concern. A big one. I have no answers.

The uncertainty at home

This year, the city has been working on Regent Street, right outside my house. This process has involved the tearing up on my front yard and driveway. A retaining wall is going to be constructed once our gas line is rerouted and the rock in our front yard (which is the same rock in our basement) is hacked away. Our driveway has to be sloped properly and will be resurfaced afterward. There’s no estimated time on when this will happen, but they can’t leave things the way they are for the winter.

Regent Street construction

There has been talk of developing our little street and of extending it through to the other side of the block for years. And I mean YEARS.

The driveway . . . for now

I’ll be clear: this is not happening now.

We’ve been told that it is happening, though. At some vague point in the future. Officially, no one can confirm anything.

In order for this to happen, Marttila Drive has to conform to the dimensions of the cross street. They’ve already made the opposite side of our street conform with Bouchard, which has narrowed the street considerably. On our side, there is a huge rock to deal with, and our house.

Our former front yard

Apparently, there will likely be a new turning lane when the street is expanded. This will cut into both the side and the front of our yard. The proposed retaining wall is already at our front step. Our easement is effectively gone.

This means expropriation.

Really, it’s not a bad thing.

If we had to sell our house, we’d have to invest tens of thousands of dollars to do so, and we probably wouldn’t get the investment back. The value in our property is in the fact that our zoning is commercial/residential, and the property is deep. Yes, it’s mostly Pre-Cambrian Shield, but that’s not unusual in a city like Sudbury. Most developers anticipate blasting.

Plus, it’s not the best place to live with the constant traffic, which includes transports, and the continual noise, which includes inebriated patrons walking home from the bar down Regent.

We’ve been led to believe that the city will make a reasonable offer for the property based on the assessed value. We’re good with that.

My mother lives next door to us (yes, two Marttila’s living on Marttila Drive – it was my grandfather’s property and I’m so over the notion of always having a Marttila live on Marttila Drive, thank you very much) and she will likely opt to sell, if her property is not also expropriated, and we’ll work on some mutually satisfactory solution. My mom’s pretty cool, and Phil and I have already discussed the option of a granny suite, or a duplex, or some other, at this time unnamed, solution.

But we don’t know when any of this will happen.

Last year, one of our neighbours went to an information session and he was told that the development would occur in three to four years. But plans change, and this is why no one Phil has spoken to has been able to tell us anything. It’s so aggravating.

Though our mortgage is paid off, we still have a sizable debt on our line of credit, and a car loan.

This is why I’ve been so reluctant to take any kind of chance on my writing.

I’m still working steadily toward the publication of at least one of my novels, and this year, I’ll have two short stories published in paying markets and I just won a prize for another piece of short fiction (yay!). This still amounts to less than $500 income from my writing. I’m not comfortable with leaving a $60K a year job for that, as wonderful as the publication credits are.

So that’s the deal.

The only stable things in my life right now are my relationship with Phil/my family/my friends, and my writing. It’s enough, and I can still claim contentment, but the rest just makes my head ache.

Thanks for letting me vent.

I’ve tried my best not to descend to the whiny, self-pitying voice in this post. I’ve tried to stick to stating facts, but I know my irritation has likely leaked through. Honestly, these are all first world problems. No one will die, or even go hungry, as a result of any of the above.

Unless I break completely and decide to quit. We might go hungry, then.

I keep this in mind as I wake up each day and I hug my contentment tightly to myself, take a deep breath, and move forward.

I have absolutely no control of all the uncertainty in my life. I can only control my own reaction to it and how much I let it affect my life. Frankly (Frankl-ly?) I don’t feel like giving it that much power.

I’ve bound it in words now. Writing is potent magic 😉

Wishing lots of that for you, my friends!

Break a pencil!

Muse-inks

The chaos continues

Just a quick note about work.

chaos - wikimedia commons

chaos – wikimedia commons

A scant three weeks after beginning my second acting consultant position, it has ended.

Once again, my acting was based on a series of circumstances. Think of them as dominoes, if you will. One of the dominoes decided not to fall, and so I am once again an advisor on the training team.

It’s been three frenetic weeks of planning next fiscal’s learning for not one, but two different business lines, creating third quarter reports, weekly reports, financial reports, etc.

Frankly, I’m a bit relieved. Though I had made the determination not to take things quite so seriously and not to be such a perfectionist about my work, I just can’t do less than my absolute best. This was why I needed a leave after my year and several months in the position. The way things were going, I’d probably need another leave in the spring after my acting was scheduled to end (March 31, 2014).

My pool has now officially expired, however, and I haven’t seen another posting for consultant that I can apply for. I did apply for a senior project officer, but I haven’t heard anything from that application yet.

As a result of that one domino’s misplacement, the training team is now in a bit of a bind. Due to a significant amount of hiring, my manager has over thirty staff to supervise. And all the training and monitoring to arrange. And several other projects to implement before March 31.

She’s advised me that she’ll be leaning on me heavily, so I’m sure things will be interesting. I’ll let you know what I can in the coming weeks.

Next week, I start mentoring monitors and assisting in the design of several action plans.

The week after, I’m away observing the Advisor Curriculum course so that I’ll be able to train it in the future.

After that, we’ll see how things go.

Work madness

The Ren & Stimpy Show

The Ren & Stimpy Show (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To really get the effect of the title of this post, allow me to coax you back to the classic Ren & Stimpy episode, Space Madness. If you’ve never seen it before, take a few minutes and watch.  I’ll wait.

Ok, now that you’ve had a taste, you have to say “work madness” the way Commander Hoek says “space madness” in the ep. Seriously. You have to say it the same way or this won’t work half as well.

I think the last time I blogged about work was at the beginning of October, when my self-funded leave started. Though a fifteen-month stint as a regional training coordinator (consultant) was, strictly speaking, the reason I needed that leave, I am grateful to my employer that such options are available.

When I feel the spectre of burnout or depression, I know I have the means to fend them off.

My leave was five weeks of heaven spent focusing on the art and craft of my writing. I attended the Surrey International Writers’ Conference, and participated in my first National Novel Writing Month, which I won 🙂

I returned to work November 19, which was a Tuesday, and before I’d even settled in, learned that I was to start delivering training the following Monday, training that I hadn’t delivered in about two and a half years (!) It was in Sudbury at least, so I wouldn’t have to travel.

I did spend the rest of the week prepping and revising the training material, though, and somewhere in there found the time to complete my travel request for something else coming up (more on that in a few paragraphs).

Say it with me now: work madness.

This was something that had come up in the five weeks I’d been off. Though I’d only heard the rumours before I left on my leave, I knew the powers that be were interested in “stabilizing” one of the processing positions. This meant hiring, and a lot of it.

The November 25th to December 3rd training was the result of hiring from an established internal pool of candidates.

After the training, the last two days of which I completed solo, I had to work some overtime to get the marking done and summary reports prepared. Four and a half hours added onto my seven and a half hour day. It was a loooong day. The rest of that week was devoted to further revisions—a lot of errors emerged during the delivery—and facilitating a conference call as a follow up to a self-study module.

While I was off, I was recruited to participate in a “training for trainers” session in team dynamics. The idea was to develop some regional expertise so that operational teams could assume delivery of the course. As only of a few certified trainers in the province, I was invited.

It’s nice to be needed.

This would be from December 9th to 13th in Toronto (yes, I know a couple of people who may be displeased to learn that I was in Toronto and didn’t tell them, but really, I was so busy, I wouldn’t have had time—still, my apologies).

Then the next sessions of stabilization training in Mississauga and London were to begin December 16th through to Christmas Eve. I was tentatively scheduled for London. These would all be new hires.

This training would require me cancelling some leave that had already been approved, and missing out on my family’s Christmas celebration, which we hold on Christmas Eve. Further, it would require the approval of some hefty overtime so that I could travel home on Christmas Day.

Work madness!

Still, I was prepared to do it. Fortunately, I didn’t have to.

While I delivered training and stood on tenterhooks waiting for plans to solidify—they weren’t even finished with the hiring process yet!—another person was given the acting assignment so she could do the training.

Plus, there were so many people being given acting assignments to cover the training and monitoring for the fifty or so new hires coming into the organization, that I might have to resume my consulting duties as regional training coordinator.

This may require some ‘splaining.

My substantive, or permanent position, is with the operational training team for Ontario. We’d been told for years that our positions were “overstaffed.” This meant that as team members retired or moved into other positions, that there would be no back-filling of staff. We’d have to make do with less.

Prior to my joining the team in 2009, there had been fifteen or sixteen trainers. By the time I joined, we were twelve. Then ten. When I accepted the regional training coordinator position, there were eight trainers left. Then two more received assignments and another was affected by business transformation, leaving five.

Shortly after I returned to the team in September, another of our number received an acting assignment elsewhere. Now that I’m departing again, the number of permanent staff on the team is down to four. That’s to serve all of the training needs of staff in our business line in the whole province. Really?

Though being regional training coordinator wore me out, I was nonetheless disappointed when my assignment ended and I returned to the training team, especially when I learned that the reason I’d likely never get a consultant-level position again was geographic rather than merit-based.

Though the consultant pool I’m in has been extended through to December 31, 2013, this may be my only chance at a consultancy again, ever.

On the team that houses the regional training coordinators, there have been changes as well. The manager has received an acting position as a director and the person taking his place is also acting.

Two other team members have received assignments off the team, and now, due to the number of acting trainers and monitors in this stabilization exercise, another of them will become a second acting manager for the training team.

Though they too had been told that no positions would be back-filled, there won’t be anyone left on the team who’s done the regional training coordinator gig who doesn’t already have a full plate.

And so I’m heading back.

Altogether now: WORK MADNESS!

I’m going to adjust my expectations of the position.  I know now the kind of chaos I’m going to be parachuted into the middle of. And the planning process I worked at so dilligently last year? It hasn’t even started yet.

I think I’m going to start every day with the Serenity Prayer.

Are there other projects I’m going to be involved in, work-wise? Yes. I’m going to be observing and potentially delivering the Business Expertise Curriculum (though I never received the training myself—this may be my only opportunity to take it in) in January and (possibly) February.

I may be training the team dynamics workshop too, though there are currently no plans on the table for it. Things shouldn’t be as insane as they were last year, however. I’ve already been certified. I won’t be going back there again.

In other news, the training certification program has departed our internal college for another training provider. So, no next steps for Mellie.  No assessment, no mentoring, and no training. Unless I get some kind of in with that other training provider. I become eligible to apply to them in March. We’ll see how that works out…

So that’s my work madness.

What’s yours?

All’s quiet on the work front

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about the day job.  The reason: I’m burnt.

Crispy critters.  Toasty-oats.  Done like the proverbial dinner.

I’ve been burned out since April or thereabouts.  It was about the same time that two things occurred to me:

  1. Regardless how well I plan and how hard I work, someone will inevitably ask me to throw everything out the window and do something completely different.
  2. Regardless how well I do, I will never be a regional consultant on a permanent basis.

I was just coming down off the high of achieving my training certification and eager to begin the next phase of my development as a certified trainer.  First, I’d have to assess a few other candidates, and then I could begin to coach.

In the next breath, I was told that the certification program was on hold.  Our internal college was in transition and it was unknown when the program would resume.  To date, I have heard nothing.

Though my performance and learning agreement (PLA) was fairly glowing, I knew I would not remain with the team.

I knew this to begin with.  My assignment was part of a deal and was never intended to be permanent.  It was difficult to hang onto this reality when everyone on my old team was telling me that I wouldn’t be returning.  My star was ascending.

Everyone on my new team was eager to keep me.  To his credit, my  new manager never so much as implied there was a possibility.  Fair enough.

I applied for two other positions, both of which I was screened out of because I lacked the requisite experience.  The only way to gain said experience?  At-level assignments, staffed through unofficial expressions of interest.

By the time summer arrived, I didn’t really want to remain a consultant, at least not in the position of regional training coordinator.  The landscape of the program I administered was ever-changing, and, as I mentioned above, all my hard work was largely disregarded.

Then I had to work even harder, and those efforts, too, ended up going to waste.

I began to hope that I would return to my substantive position, despite the reduction in salary.

Unexpectedly, the consultant pool I was in was extended to the end of August, incidentally the end of my acting assignment.  A couple of consultants had retired, and I felt that I might obtain one of those positions.

Until I learned that regionally, consultants were being centralized.  Now, if I wanted to be a consultant, I’d have to move, disrupting Phil and his job, and leaving both of our mothers (still independent, but aging) without a significant part of their support systems.

I’d already made it clear when I made the pool that I would not be moving.

So now, due to geography (ridiculous because most of our work is virtual) I am out of the running, even though my pool has been extended again, to the end of September.  It’s sad, because I have skills that are in demand.

Despite fishing my wish and getting back on the training team, it’s not the same.  I can’t help but feel that it’s a kind of failure.  I know that this is not the case, but my feelings are what they are.  I also feel bitter.

There was a time when I thought I would never be able to rise very far in the ranks.  Though my office is a hub, there weren’t very many opportunities for advancement.

That changed and I moved up two pay grades in as many years.  Now I feel that again, I’m “stuck.”

Don’t get me wrong, the training team is great and our manager is awesome.  The phrase “force of nature” comes to mind when I think of her.  I used to be so happy.  I thought I’d found my work “home” and was content to stay there.

It’s hard to go back when you’ve had your world expanded, though.

I’m just totally burnt out.  Most days I wake up asking myself if I can, in fact, go to work.  I’m so disappointed when I can’t find a reason to stay home.

So I’m going to be taking some time away from work starting October 15.  I’m hoping that the time off will allow me to address some of the negative feelings I have and return to work in a positive and productive frame of mind.

Priorities.  While I have debt, I need to keep them straight.

Does your day job get you down?  Do you have any options that can help you to recapture your love for your job?

The bitter and the sweet

I promised last week that I would post about a bittersweet experience I’ve had at work.  As with anything I write on Writerly Goodness, it’s a bit of a story 🙂

I’ve written previously about how I became a trainer and course designer.  All I’ll add to that now is that I love my job and I honestly thought I’d found my home.  I had no interest in leaving.

Still, the wisdom at work is that if you see a job-posting that you’d be interested in, apply for it.  If nothing else, you get the experience of going through an “assessment process” and you get to find out if others in the organization see value in what you do.

In 2010, I’d missed out on a couple of plum postings, both times because I was out on the road training, and didn’t have my resume, transcripts, or copies of my degrees with me.  All would have been required.  Ah well, I thought, this might be the universe telling me that I’m right (for a change).  I’m happy where I am and I shouldn’t mess with it.

In April of 2011, I saw a posting for a courseware writer.  At this point, my training world-view was just beginning to be expanded with techie tools, and free Webinars, and all that good stuff.  Even then, I knew that course writing was a direction I’d love to go in.  So I applied.

One thing I have to tell you about assessment processes at my employer is that they are long.  Sometimes a year can pass before you hear anything back.  I was content to wait though.  So many other things were happening in my life at the time, I probably couldn’t have done testing, interviews, or myself, justice.

In July, I received a notice: I’d made it past the screening and would be writing an exam.

So I did.

Then in September, in the midst of another crazy time at work, I saw a posting for a consultant.  My position is called an advisor.  That’s where training falls in our organization, and consultant would be a step up.  The call was broad, across business lines and all over the province.  I thought, what the heck, let’s give it a try, not even thinking that I would be successful.

That testing was in October, a fairly quick turnaround for my employer, and the test was followed by a phone interview in November.  The results were to be released by the end of the calendar year.

I still hadn’t heard anything about the course writer process, and as the possibility that I could become a consultant became more and more real, I started to get concerned.  By that time, I was more convinced than ever that I was where I was meant to be, career-wise.  Did I want to become a consultant?  Would I like it?  I had no idea.

The promise of a swift assessment was fulfilled and I made the pool of candidates along with another colleague.

Then things at work began to get tense and uncomfortable.  My colleagues and I were delegated to processing for three months and all training activities were cancelled.  Employees were being culled by virtue of the non-renewal of their contracts.  Restructuring, a process that is on-going and painful, had started in earnest and people were relocating, changing business lines, and generally doing whatever they could to preserve their jobs.

I didn’t expect anything to result of the consultant pool.  There was no budget for hiring, so why should I expect anything?

Slowly, things began to even out.  My team returned to training, and the initiative that had been postponed by our return to processing.  My manager announced that she was pregnant and going on maternity leave effective June first.

And when I least expected it, I got the call.

Today was my first official day as Acting Training Coordinator (a position that falls within the consultant role) and with luck, I’ll get to hang onto it until March 31, 2013.  Eeps!

The good things:

  • New challenges
  • Steep learning curve (call me masochistic, but I thrive on this stuff)
  • Acting pay (had to say it)
  • A chance to find out if I like it
  • A chance to find out if I’m good at it

The bad things:

  • Leaving my team (I heart them so much!)
  • Fear of failure (and it’s not a wee thing)
  • Not training anymore (my last gig was last week—sadness)
  • Having to off-load all my work and special projects on my team mates
  • More responsibility and pressure (I have a budget to manage—eek!)

So there you are: my bittersweet rhapsody 🙂  It’s more sweet than bitter, to be sure.  I’m doing the snoopy 🙂

I’m celebrating tomorrow when I receive my Silver award with some of my team mates.  That was for the SMART Board project.  It looks like it might get a revamp this year and I may get to train again.  Happiness is just waiting to be found.

Do you have a success story that presents as a mixed bag?