The Value of Six Letters
Tomorrow my new adventure begins. Naturally, that means this past week was spent in the whirl of emotions of saying godspeed to trusted and admired colleagues–while my stomach kept yelling “what have you done?!” It turns out, I’ve never before turned in a letter of resignation, and I had the unanticipated, subconscious self-judgment that I was quitting/copping out just when my team needed me most. Since I’m NOT a quitter, this was the worst of the negative emotions associated with what is truly a thrilling opportunity for me. On the more positive end, it’s given me time to wax philosophical about the nature of the qualifications I’ve worked so hard to achieve over the past three years. In my heart, I feel like I could have done my new job five years ago; in my head, I know that credentials are an important element of proving fortitude for and commitment to a given path. As is the nature of such realizations, I gave one of my junior staffers the condensed version of the advice this boils down to: “Look at the people you trust in the positions you would like to someday hold, and pursue the certifications they currently have.” And then I overheard someone else say something very similar in an entirely unrelated industry. It seems that it’s not just government contracts that mandate a specific baseline of expertise to make people eligible to hold key positions in the pursuit of certain work.
So I’m building a grudging respect even for my MBA.
But it occurs to me, since I’m all about symbols, that six letters can stand in for an awful lot of effort. My MBA took me more than 2 full calendar years. I studied for the PMP exam for about six months, and had to have both a bachelor’s degree and 3 years of documented experience as a project manager to be able to even apply to sit for the certification. All told, those six letters then represent about 10 years of skill-building. When you look at it that way, it’s no wonder the certifications command a significant salary and an understandable level of pride. Even more, I’m feeling strength in modeling for other women what it looks like to work at a higher level in an organizational hierarchy–even though I know it’s not unusual, per se. (And it’s TOTALLY worth reading that article about the nature of female participation in EVERYTHING across the ages. It made a deep impression on me this week and I’ve been sending it to all and sundry…)
And because I look for symbols in my everyday life, I’m happy to report that the moon on tonight’s walk reflected a rainbow in the light clouds that surrounded it, AND I saw a long-lived shooting star–both of which have been happy portents in my past. I have every confidence that my new job is a positive move for me and my family. On the topic of walks, we started building up slowly, and went for six of the seven days, for a total of 10.7 miles. Since I’m out of town all this week, now, I’ll get to see how much less exciting walking a treadmill is as opposed to walking the huskies… But I think I may also look slightly less bruised an battered by the experience.
Being away for the week also lets me escape the fact that my computer has finally, forever bitten the dust. Hubs will be taking my brand new hard drive to get the data extracted, and then I’ll say goodbye to my desktop. If anyone has any specific recommendations, I’m open to replacement suggestions.
With all that going on… it’s not surprising hubs and I are showing signs of adrenal fatigue. Luckily hubs has access to resources that educate us on how to address that bone-deep weariness naturally. He also sends articles like this one about Lao Tzu and the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching to help me focus on the contradictions inherent in our lives and how to navigate the middle path.
Or get upset after the fact that Patrick Stewart could have been fired for how poorly written the early ST:TNG shows were. My geek life would have a very different complexion without him being the background for a whole host of family dinner discussions when I was in high school.
Obviously, there was no writing or editing with all that going on. This week, my writing results after being sequestered at the beach for a conference that runs 8-5 every day may only be slightly better… So I suggest you check out how my fellow ROW80ers are doing with their goals this round, and come back next week for my latest report.