Friday, January 15, 2010

The Epilogue

Today, out the blue, I felt inspired to blog again. For awhile things were so busy and hectic that I didn't have the time, or if I had free time I felt that my time should be devoted to other more pertinent things. Now, as I reflect after a slow work week, it seems like a good time to write an epilogue.

A huge focus of my previous blogging dealt with my ongoing struggles with my old job and my ongoing job search. That story came to the climatic and joyous end when, TA DA--I finally got a new job! I left my old job on Friday the 13th of November (a truly lucky day in my book) and haven't looked back since.

I thought it would take months to get the voice of my old supervisor out of my head, but luckily it took only about a week, maybe two at tops. As soon as I was away from there, I had a chance to step back and reflect, finally being out of that situation. I realized how truly unhealthy my last work environment really was...that it really wasn't some kind of scenario I had built up in my head--while we all "hate" our bosses, or so it seems, this was beyond that. The control-freakishness, the passive-aggressiveness, the power struggling, and the neuroticism of my last superivsor had created a work environment that stagnated me, and at times deteriorated me,both personally and professionally. I found myself second-guessing my decisions, being nervous, catching myself between rocks and hard places more and more of the time. And for what? To please someone so unpleasant? To disserve my clients? It's so hard to explain the strangely powerful negative dynamic that was created, except that being out of it and exposed to something so much healthier made me truly realize how unhealthy it was.

From day one at my new job not only did I feel welcomed but I felt truly respected as an individual and a clinician. I wasn't constantly having to prove myself and explain myself. For the first time in over two years, I felt like I was on the same playing ground as my supervisor and the psychiatrist. My credentials and experience seemed to speak for themselves, but so did my own mouth. And I was actually listened to! My decisions were my decisions, they didn't all need "supervisor approval" (though I do value his opinion and actually seek to get his feedback on my decisions). After a week I didn't have to turn in things for my new supervisor to review. He implictly trusted my skills and that I would come to him with questions or problems. Most importantly, I felt like part of a team. A team doing treatment...which has been a great feeling!
(Now, don't get me wrong, I got great support and respect from many of my old co-workers, who were coping with the same neurotic boss, but it was quite overshadowed by the negativity of my old supervisor, who sporadically spit out a "good job" amid emails, voicemails, and post-it notes that implied and stated otherwise. And for the most part it felt like we were all fending for ourselves, between being overloaded and running here and there, there was not much opportunity for comraderie and team building, and it almost seemed frowned upon at times!)

Best of all, I feel more confident in my own clinical skills, more confident than I have felt in a really long time. So when I was told a week ago that my hours would be changing somewhat (from 10 to 6 Monday-Thursday, still 8:30-5 on Fridays), I was pretty much OK with it. Not thrilled about getting home later, but I figure everything else has been worth it. I have really been blessed to have great teens in the program, teens who have wanted to be here and are willing to open up and talk. I have been blessed with helpful, wonderful new co-workers too. The commute hasn't been bad, except for days it has been icy or snowy. And my office is located in a quite quaint and cozy downtown area that I am learning to enjoy.

So a change has really done me a world of good.

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