Adjusting to Returning to Work
Adjusting to Returning to Work since I started about 7 months ago. This has been something I have wanted to do for a long time. However, circumstances in my life have prevented it. Frankly, when I got this job, I was still constantly afraid that they made a mistake. Realistically, I thought I would get fired quickly because they would see through me.
I’m not sure what exactly I thought they would “see” through me, but it was still a constant narrative in my head. Honestly, I never thought I would ever get hired anywhere because of lack of experience. I definitely had the education and life experience but not “work” experience.
Previous Work Experience
I haven’t worked for another human since I was 20 years old. That was 30 years ago, so answering to others and following rules are not my strength. I have not been told what to wear in a long time. Wearing what is comfortable is priority but what is comfortable is not always appropriate.
My last job was as a secretary for the chief engineer at our local college. I ran errands, answered phones, and learned this complicated new thing called a computer. It was simple, manageable, and I mainly worked with a bunch of men. There was not one single person that cared what I wore or how my hair was in that entire facility.
Men are not complicated humans. There is no gossip, backbiting, lashing out, emotional moments or anything like that at all. I think there was 1 man who was a little high strung but I just didn’t interact with him much.
At my new job, I have a dress code that I have to follow. It is not hard LOL, just not my norm. Right now, I work with 1 man and the rest are women. That is totally different, so I also had to learn to adjust to this new dynamic. It was (is) a hard adjustment to make when you have that one experience and then for the last 30 years just been a mom.
Logistics of the Job
I go to 2 offices in 2 locations. This arrangment was something I had to do in order to be full time and still acccommodate my family. At the end of the day, family will always come first. Thankfully, this company understands that concept.
These 2 locations were not only in 2 different towns but they are 2 totally different vibes. 1 location is very professional, blocked off (in terms of how the office is laid out), and quiet. The section location is game on 100% of the time with a more laid back feel. It is the same work, just wildly different.
Professionalism is a high priority in both places but one is just a little different than the other. I had to figure out how to do my job properly, interact with staff, learn the computer system, and not drown. That is a feat in an of itself.
Overall…Me as a Human
By nature, I am an introvert. I really do not get out that much. Interacting with clients is my jam, but figuring out everything else was a challenge. I was so afraid that if I said the wrong thing, wore the wrong thing, etc, that I would be fired.
In my effort to fit in (again not my strong suit), I tried to be myself. Granted, I don’t “look” like myself because my hair is not pink or purple (and I’m going bald). I couldn’t dress like myself because I have to wear clothes that I am not comfortable in but I am figuring it all out.
I am a loud human. My whisper is loud. I am, typically, not one to shy away from confrontation and my face does not always dictate what my mind is saying or my heart is feeling. My goal is always for acceptance, kindness, and helping when I can.
Learning and Adjusting
I am still learning and adjusting to going to an office everyday. From there, I am learning how to maintain my home, family life, self-care, etc. It has not been easy. I am so tired by the end of the day, my family can sometimes come away with scraps because I am “peopled” out.
It has all been a work in progress. I love what I do and I love the fact that my boss has compassion for me. That is a huge positive. My family continue to be supportive and understanding.
My point is this…you can start over at any age and stage of your life. There will be a learning curve but you will adjust and you will survive! So far, I am and that says a lot.