Back to Work – 60 Days In

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Posted By Scott

It’s been a little over 60 days since I started my new job.  How are things going?

You might have noticed the blog has been a bit quiet over the last couple of months.  Largely this has been due to the time spent at work and focussing on the proverbial day job.  The blogging and general WordPress-ing (is that verb?) has had to take a back seat for a little while.

So after 60 days in the post, how is it looking?  Well first and foremost, there continues to be no obvious changes in my MS symptoms.  I don’t feel any more fatigued at the end of the day or the week.   There is still the Teams fatigue that I mentioned last time but that is something that can be filed under “it is what it is”.  For as long as we are working under pandemic restrictions, Teams meetings will be a part of the job.

It’s funny, about 10 years ago I was working for a US based company and had colleagues around the world.  We had regular conference calls to keep in touch, but such easy video conferencing was not yet a thing.  Some days I spent many hours on such calls and generally they were productive, but my head was often fried by the end of the day.  I actually find Teams calls worse.  Although it is good to see people rather than a detached voice, it is oddly tiring speaking into your computer screen all day.  First world problem, obviously.

To-do or Not To-do

My focus isn’t always as good as I would like it to be.  Is this an MS symptom, the dreaded “cog-fog”?  Possibly.  I try to work around this by creating short term to-do lists.  By focussing on some achievable deliverables, I can work to achieve those, take a break and then do another batch of work items.  That seems to be working.

I rely on Microsoft OneNote for things like this.  It lets met update ideas and to-do lists across several devices so if I have a flash of inspiration whilst wandering around Tesco, I can add it to OneNote on my phone.

That’s NOT How WE Do It HERE

After a couple of months, I’m getting to know my colleagues and my project stakeholders.  I’m still on a voyage of discovery as to how the organisation works.  There have been a few “what?  Really?” reactions to things.  I guess every company has its own peculiarities and quirks that a long-time employee accepts but a newcomer questions.  I’m conscious how poor my poker face is in such scenarios. 

Over the years, I’ve found this the hardest part of moving jobs.  I’ve got the necessary core skills for the job, but it is often the “how it works here” that is difficult to adapt to.  There is the unsettling period of moving from an environment in which you know everybody and how everything works to one in which you know none of this.  It takes time.  I’ve had job moves that worked well after uncertain starts and others that started badly…and went downhill.  Nonetheless there is always something to take from a move whether it is successful or not.

Overall Thoughts

All in all, after 60 days I’m mostly enjoying this role.  It’s a challenge getting started in a pandemic, but I feel I’m making some progress.  The next month or so will be significant in the delivery of my project.  It’s a huge relief that the return to full time work hasn’t seen any change in my MS symptoms and long may that continue.  I’m learning a lot of new things and now that I am past the initial awkward stage, I feel that I can make a difference.  There will be plenty of challenges in the coming months but for now, it’s good to be back.

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