My manager is on vacation this week- a week where some critical meetings needed to happen and some critical projects needed to be received. I have been co-leading that part of the project with him for some time, anyways, so it was no surprise that I was expected to step up and fill his shoes for the week. I don't think I really appreciated what an opportunity this is for me. Basically, for this week, I am being expected to perform 3 levels (and thousands of dollars) above my level. I know have a new found level of respect.
Suddenly, I find myself in meetings all day. I find myself coming in earlier and leaving later. The clients and the vendors are coming to me for advice and my opinion- I am the decision maker.
Those of you who know me will not be surprised to see me in this kind of role. I am naturally, how do you say?, well, bossy. For me, it is a very organic thing to take control. I am comfortable and accustomed to be the person in charge and who others look to for wisdom and direction. I have just not been given many chances to exercise authority or really have to take a leadership role. So on top of executing my first move by myself (after completely making the decision to move by myself), you can imagine that this has been one of the more "grown up" weeks of my life.
I have handled it well- my managers have complimented me, we have made the progress we were supposed to make and then some, my relationships with the clients and vendors I work with have deepened. I have risen to the challenge.
I have also confirmed that this is not what I want to be doing for the rest of my life. There have been, and definitely still are, parts of my job that I enjoy. However, the lingering doubt of "maybe I would like this more if I was just in a more managerial or leadership role" has been removed from my mind. I do this job well and I like doing it a times. But it's just not what I was made to do. It would be like seeing a glamorous silent filmstar, like Norma Shearer or Greta Garbo, showing up the MTV movie awards. They would still look fabulous, I'm sure, but they would just be out of context, out of their element, out of the natural milieu that they were meant to be seen in. That's me in this job. It's just not the right fit.