I knew returning to my former full time job would be an adjustment. For as crazy as the spring semester had been, at least I knew when I was off the clock that I wasn’t going to be bothered. See, for 17 years prior to internship, I had to be on call for my various jobs. That meant being available almost 24/7 and having to report to work during all of the events everyone else was able to stay home for. That’s right. This past January, I got to enjoy my first snow day since high school. That was going to be a huge adjustment for me after four months of not having worry about those calls and pages. Little did I know that I would be in for an even bigger surprise.
Before I even made it back to the office two weeks ago, my boss had some news for me. She had been offered another job. Another job in another state. She was 99% sure she would be accepting the position as there just isn’t much room for her to grow where we work now. This job would allow her to continue doing the same work she is doing now, except that she would be doing it for 12 hospitals. Its an amazing opportunity for her and I am so excited for her to be able to grow beyond what this facility can offer her.
The news also came with a great deal of sadness. See, my boss is one of my best friends too. She is an amazing woman and leader. What she has achieved professionally is astounding and she is a great example of what a woman, friend and leader should be. The three years I have worked for her have been the most incredibly and educational three years of my entire professional career. There were days I worked myself into the ground under her leadership and it was because I knew she would support me, personally and professionally, and that she was right there in the trenches beside me.
Along with the professional reasons, she truly is one of my best friends. My boss was one of the first five people I disclosed to that I identify as female. She has supported me completely since I told her. She has ensured I felt safe and respected in the workplace and she has supported me during every struggle I have encountered on this journey. She has let me cry on her shoulder as members of my family rejected me and she has celebrated ever success with me. I know she and I will remain friends and keep in contact, but to know she will be moving halfway across the country is hard. Scary thing though…there was even more shocking news to come in this conversation.
My boss then informed me she was recommending I be named the Interim Director to replace her and, if I was willing to wait a couple of years between graduation and residency, she planned to recommend I be named the permanent Director. I was in total shock when she shared this with me. I know I do very well at my job and have really expanded my position far beyond what it was intended to be. I know I manage my team well. But to have my name but in for the Interim Director position and to be strongly considered to replace her, even if only for a year or two. I am just…honored and flabbergasted at the same time.
The irony of this possibility… I have never wanted to be a Director.
Looking at it professionally, it is a tremendous opportunity for me. To be able to add to my resume that I was a Director, regardless of the amount of time I spend in the role, will give me so much more bargaining power for salary and positions following my counseling residency. It will also place me in a position where, if I ever choose to go back into administration, to have that experience under my belt.
My boss has already spoken with our VP and Associate VP about me being promoted. They all agree that I am the best person to become Director, short of searching externally. So unless my boss has that 1% of doubt kick in over the next week or so…the job transition should be happening soon.
One of the other things that makes this opportunity so much more meaningful…
While my boss and Associate VP both know I am transitioning, our VP does not. Despite that fact, all three agree on one thing. They all agree that starting a little more than a year and a half ago, I raised my performance at work from better than average to excellent. My boss and Associate VP both stated this major improvement in my work performance coincides with my disclosing to my boss that I was transitioning. My being able to perform this well at my job is a direct result of me finally accepting myself, living my life authentically and beginning my journey to live my life as the woman I am.
It just goes to show how self acceptance impacts every single area of our lives…