Friday, April 01, 2022

how we make decisions or how do we make decisions?

i started a new job nearly two months ago and two weeks ago, when i got the opportunity to return to my old job, i accepted it. i hadn't made the decision to leave lightly and when i made it, i felt it was the right decision. some very big things changed at the new workplace in the interim and when i got there, i discovered that it was very much not the right decision. i am privileged to be able to go back to my old job, where i know that i have great colleagues and where my work is appreciated and makes a difference.

i'm finishing up at the new job this week and trying my best to finish up all the projects i'm involved in. it's so disheartening to have the reasons that made me regret the new job underlined for me again today. the main person that i have to work with (not a co-worker, more the client) seems to be actively working against me. i've asked her multiple questions today and she hasn't answered any of them. i can't finish today's work without her answers. i even tried to book her for a quick teams meeting and she suggested a time tomorrow, even though she wants the article i'm working on today. it feels like she wants me to do a bad job so that she can be confirmed in her opinion that the agency i work for doesn't provide good work. 

i'm trying not to take it personally, but i really don't understand it.

* ~ * ~ *

and this stupid blow-by-blow timeline is boring the hell out of me. i should find a way to tell it in metaphor. or as a fairytale. if i did, it would undoubtedly involve a naive, well-meaning character who trusts too much and a dragon that turns out to be an ugly troll. and who will indulge in even more intense troll-like behavior the next day, though i didn't know that at the time i wrote the paragraphs above.

* ~ * ~ *

but it all has me thinking about decisions and how we make them. we make them with a combination of thought, cost-benefit analysis, and excitement with a bit of gut feeling thrown in. and in any decision, one of those will weigh a bit more than the others and be what tips the scales. in this case, i made a big list of pros and cons of each job, thought about it endlessly, discussed it with husband even more endlessly and then went with my gut, which told me to take the new job. but it seems my gut didn't know the whole story. 

but was it my gut? any decision is a complex thing. i got the new job through a headhunter who contacted me last summer. at that time, things were a bit rocky at my job, my boss was going down with stress and making himself and everyone else miserable and i'd spent that first year of covid doing a whole lot of things that were not what i was hired to do. and i'll admit, it's awfully flattering to be contacted by a headhunter. and i'm susceptible to that sort of flattery. it's always nice to be wanted. 

but was that it? i think it was part of it. the other part was some baggage created by the aforementioned stressed manager. he had done his best to convince me that he doubted my abilities, though how he knew what they were when he hadn't let me do any of the tasks i was hired for, i don't know. he even criticized me for how many tabs i kept open on my computer, as if that was any of his business. or as if it had any meaning whatsover. he actually wanted to use that fact to deny me the chance to actually start doing what i had been hired to do. he also spent half of my development talk waxing on and on about how awesome my colleague was. so yes, there was baggage. and despite him actually having left the company by the time i accepted the new job, it was still a big factor. carrying all that baggage around is hard work.

so what about my decision to go back to that job? that's a complex thing as well. it's partially the danish karen who was my main client at the new job and it's once again, a bit of flattery. it's flattering when your old boss calls and asks if you'd like to return. and if you're in the middle of something that wasn't what you expected it to be and you don't think it looks like you can actually do anything about making it better, it's that much more appealing. i'll admit that i was also missing my old team - we were close and it felt so comfortable and fun. i missed laughing and having a good time with them (hmm, i wonder if that's the most important factor in decision making? feeling like you belong?). and so i said yes.

and today, i started anew. and it really did feel like a fresh start. like i could leave the baggage of the old boss on the platform and start anew, on more secure footing and feeling like i was appreciated for what my new boss (who was the old boss' boss) knows that i can do. it also helps that i have a proper job description this time and that i find all the tasks in it to be right up my alley.

and so, it feels like the right decision. for a whole variety of reasons. and time will tell if they hold up. but for now, my gut tells me that they will. 


Sandra said...

I'm pleased you are back with your former colleagues, I know how much you enjoyed working with them. Sometimes it takes change to make us realize what we had.

Molly said...

I know so many people who changed jobs or got new jobs during these last few weird years, and then left those or reverted back or moved on to something completely different.
So much change, so many new ways of looking at things, hell even time seemed to move differently! A period of great flux, while simultaneously feeling like we were standing so still...
Well done on doing hard things to find the right place for you!