Saturday, April 26, 2008

So close you can almost taste it

So I only have one day of work left. I've written up my transition document, informed my customers, sent the obligatory 'goodbye' email to my teammates, brought my minifridge and framed art home, and mostly cleaned out my desk. It's weird how attached you can get to a place after less than a year. I guess when you spend 40+ hours a week somewhere, and with work as important as it is in our culture, it's bound to happen.

So I'm a little sad about it. Especially since I was there for less than a year. But I really believe that if something isn't working, then I need to take responsibility for it and change it. I could have waited a year, but that would have been artificial, because at that point I still would have been (even more?) frustrated with the commute, and definitely would have craved new challenges.

I think going to Caltech really changed me and the way I approach work (or school). I thrive when I'm in an environment where I feel like I need to be "on" all the time, or where I have to WORK HARD to do well. Where I feel slightly behind all the time. So if I take a class that's easy, or a job that's manageable, I somehow feel like it's not "enough" for me. My little brain is used to working overtime just to keep up, so I need to keep it constantly running.

And yeah, I realize this sounds like me bragging about how smart I am. But you know what? I'm proud of what I can do.

I'm tired of seeing women keep their mad skillz, intelligence and their competence at work quiet, hoping that their managers "will just notice" the great job they're doing.

Many of the men I've worked with, *regardless of how competent they are*, will take any opportunity to toot their own horn and let people know about the projects they've finished, the deals they've closed, or customer accounts they saved from cancellation. I've seen far too many less-than-competent guys brag about their (dubious) accomplishments, and not nearly enough of my amazing female co-workers telling people about the great things they did.

Sometimes saving up all those accomplishments for that annual review form that only your manager sees is just too late.

I know this goes against everything women are taught growing up: "be nice, don't brag, be quiet and do what the teacher tells you, follow the directions". But the longer I work, the more I realize that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and the raises, and the promotions.

I'm not advocating a full-scale spam assault of every single accomplishment, but in my new job, I'm going to try to speak up a little more, *even when I'm surrounded by higher level folks*, increase my visibility and not just be a good girl and do what my manager tells me. So far my experiments with asking for what I want have worked (flexible work arrangements, more responsibility, promotion, etc.)

I'll let you know how it goes.

And by the way, I'm not "calling out" anyone in my current job. It's just an observation I've made now that I've had some introspective time to figure out what I want from my career.


  1. An:
    You go girl!! Even though it goes against what I was taught and what I taught you, I think you are on to something!! Love you and we are SO proud of you!! Amma

  2. @amma - thanks! i'm sure i did get some of my outspoken-ness from you ;)


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