Since I’ve been in customer-facing sales for 14 years, I’ve never had an office to bring the kids to for “take your child to work” day. Today was the last day of school for Elsa and Sabine, so they came up to see me at the office. I’ve discovered that the offices of the Earth Institute are pretty quiet on a Friday afternoon in the summer so it seemed like the perfect opportunity!
Suffice it to say, they had a great time. They met my 20-something office-mate who encouraged all manner of somersaulting, cartwheeling and doodling on the white board. We also went to the cafeteria for ice cream!
At the end of my first two weeks reporting to a real office, it made me think how much my regular day has changed. Here are some of my observations in comparing the two worlds:
- I talk a lot. Sales people tend to be very social. I became aware of this difference sitting at my desk at the Earth Institute. It is VERY quiet here. I was worried that the sound of eating raw carrots would distract those around me. Hours can go by without the sound of another voice. It’s almost spooky!
- I take the subway like most New Yorkers. It’s actually pretty fun. I can read for an hour a day without anyone interrupting me. That hasn’t happened in a long time. And now, I really believe it when people say that their train was late – it happens!
- I now work 5 days a week, 9 to 5, like a regular person. I had been working 3 days a week for 7 years. In sales, I made my own schedule, so I was very flexible. On the other hand, I also used to bring a lot of work home with me. Overall, the structure is a nice change, but I miss the variability of my day and interaction with people (see #1 above)!
- Finally, I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing here. I have a lot of enthusiasm for the work, but it’s taking a while to get up to speed. At GSK, I had gotten to the point in my career where I felt very confident about how to do my job. Here, I’m not so sure what is expected of me and how I’m doing at the tasks that have been assigned to me.
The important thing is my kids think I’m doing a good job! They’ve based that opinion entirely on the spaciousness of my office (good for gymnastics) and the Haagen Dazs in the cafeteria. For now, that’s good enough for me!