Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ideological differences at work may be a problem

This part time job I've taken may not be the answer to all my problems after all. While I like the work and am growing more comfortable with the hours, I think my President isn't the kind of guy who can be comfortable with a telecommuting communications director. He's made a few comments lately that have me questioning how long he'll put up with the part time thing. He's from the old school, where everyone who worked for him served him, so despite being a nice guy, he likes being able to walk down the hall whenever he's in the office (which is less than half time in my experience so far) to ask a question, and is less comfortable with phone or email for that kind of thing.

So I'm starting to wonder if the solution for this company is really me, or if they really want a full timer. And now that the economy has tanked, even in our Olympic city, the job market has likely changed enough for him to find a full timer that meets his needs.

Then there's the ideological differences between us. I am generally a progressive, liberal thinker. I work for environmental causes, support all thing sustainable and generally lean away from conservatism. But this association is all about conservative, pro-business, anti-labour etc. While not every issue challenges my morals -- so far the biggest issue that might I'm okay with -- I can't see me doing this full time or long term when I don't agree with their ideology. And frankly, I think the President sees that too.

It's not that anyone has told me it's even close to over. I think we all think it's too soon to judge. And the personality fit so far is okay. I just think it's starting to come to light this week that my ideal work situation and their ideal communications situation may not be aligned in the long term.

So now what? Do I restart the blog as 41-now what? I'm a bit down about it all today. While I'm growing comfortable with the job, I'm also realizing that it won't last. So I'm back to the big question of what will I be when I grow up. And I have more questions now than answers. Plus, a year later my economic options are more limited than they were last year, which in itself raises more issues.

Perhaps I'll go back to my list of women in my field with more experience than me and restart my conversations with them, in order to gain more perspective and more clarity. The job isn't going anywhere in the next month or two, so I have a bit of a cushion to sort it out.

Or maybe I'll change my mind and decide this is the job situation for me, or even the employer for me. Or maybe they'll decide they like the challenge my ideals bring to their way of thinking, that having me around keeps them from "drinking their own bathwater" and offers an alternative point of view. Maybe they like what I have to offer skills-wise so much they work around my part time status.

Maybe... or maybe not...


Madame DeFarge said...

I sympathise with your 'what will I be when I grow up' question. I've remained a civil servant for 18 years and hoped that the answer would emerge by osmosis. Partly, it has, but I'm still nagged by the doubt that I should have somehow achieved more by now. I have yet to determine which yardstick.

I think you sound like you'd be an asset to any company as you appear to be an asset to yourself (if that makes sense). I hope it works out.

Carla S. said...

Thanks for your words of encouragement. I too am searching for the right yardstick.