Earlier today I asked some tips on how to manage my health vs work situation. A lot of you responded (I’m getting back to them!) and I received a LOT of tips I’m going to try out. The talk with my manager however did not go as expected.
Most of the talk ended up being about me taking on a more senior role, with more responsibility. This would involve me learning a lot more about the specific field I’d be working for, spending some hours at home reading up (homework yay..), essentially being able to function as a version of the ‘leader’ of our department (It’s kind of a specialised branche of our company, with our own identity we launched earlier this week). This is a position and a responsibility that I’d agreed to some months back, before my health issues were in full swing. I’d manage my time between my role as the sole designer of the department and trying to get new clients. In a few months if all would go well we’d talk about a raise. We discussed in broad strokes what things I’d need to learn, what type of job this would have to be (we’ll learn as we go, it’s a new position that doesn’t exist yet). It’s a huge opportunity for me to learn a part of my job that I’ll probably end up doing at a much later point in my career. (say 10+ years experience instead of eh.. 2?)
But.. It’s a lot.
Especially considering the fact that currently I can barely, just barely, manage to function normally.
By the end of the meeting my manager enthusiastically asked how my (after hours) course is going and I told her that it was going slow, considering I’d spent every moment not working in bed and whatnot (with the exception of my birthday yesterday yay!). Then she and HR remember “oh yeah we were also going to talk about health!”. I explained that it could take a while until I’m doing better, suggested perhaps working at home from time to time, or less hours. There are no guidelines for what I have and my doctor is of no help in this (we spoke on the phone). We have a specific type of doctor for this (health & work) that the company has to pay for to help an employee reintegrate back into the office. I suggested maybe trying that. My manager was quick to dismiss it because those doctors weren’t any good. HR said she’d look into it but ‘for now lets just see how it goes’.
My manager was visibly displeased and although she mentioned that “we’d just start up with the new role stuff more slowly” I could tell that she wasn’t happy that I wasn’t willing to jump in as head first as she was hoping and devote all my time and energy to this new challenge. (“you understand that I do expect this reading to be done after work, I mean I never got payed to read either”) But I simply don’t have the energy to spare. I spent most of my summer alone in bed. I would really like to actually enjoy my life too. Is that too much to ask?
A part of me feels that my manager doesn’t take my health issues seriously and that she isn’t very good at realising that not everyone lives and breathes their job like she does. It’s her passion. But her side project, this branche (that I’m largely creating), isn’t my passion. At least not my only. I’m scared that if I’m not careful I’ll end up with a burn out. I also don’t know why they were so hesitant with getting the advice from the doctor, since I said specifically that it could be good to give me some guidelines to help me out.
I’ll see how the rest of the week goes. Or weeks following it. But it feels odd. When I was expecting to take a bit of a step back so I could get better, I get this huge package of.. extra work. But it comes in the form of this huge, huge, huuuuge opportunity.
I don’t feel like I can say no. And I haven’t. But part of me feels that my health is shouting out warnings of “but this is the reason you got sick in the first place stop taking on more work/stress!”. Maybe I can do this all slowly and carefully?
(This all happened right after we received an award nomination for one of my projects! I’ve never even been nominated for something like this and I’m hugely excited! I’m so excited it’s giving me a headache and I need a nap-excited! It’s seriously amazing! 😁 )
Earlier post >