Monday, March 23, 2009

Good Change Incongnito

It's a good thing I'm not an overly-sensitive person when it comes to things like titles and ranking on an official organizational chart.

Today, on my first day back in the office in 2 weeks, I was met with a director's staff meeting.

In said staff meeting, a new organigram was passed around along with a wholehearted monologue from our Big Boss regarding how this restructuring was a good thing.

The changes, as they affect me directly?

I was bumped from the Director row, just below the Big Boss, to the bottom of the heap. No, not demoted one level, bumped to the absolute lowest rank.

I was also stripped of my title.

I was also reminded that it will not be possible to hire me full-time (as well as several other expat workers) due to the strict labor laws that impose quotas on foreign employees, although a full-time job was what was promised to me when I agreed to come onboard 5 months ago.

I was also informed, in a round-about way, that the 4 tasks that appeared on my original scope of work have now been absorbed by the other Program Directors.

Seems like the epitome of a shit meeting for me, no?

In fact, while I was slightly shocked, I wasn't really that sad or disappointed or offended.

After all, the changes our Big Boss set into motion today are the result of about a month of me giving him pointed feedback regarding what was working and what wasn't about my job. We needed to make some changes, as the previous arrangement for reporting and other tasks simply wasn't sustainable. I told him without hesitation what I thought would work, and why.

He took my advice.

It freed me from several tasks that involved constant nagging of my colleagues and a building sense of resentment on my part - and theirs! - because I felt I was being pressured to do their jobs. It freed me from a lot of headaches that bogged me down and distracted me from the bits of my work that I do honestly enjoy.

For a while I thought I might need to look for a new job, as my old tasks have been absorbed (putting accountability where it should be) and I was technically demoted and de-titled, never mind that I suspect that bit was politically motivated.

I flat-out asked Big Boss and my new immediate supervisor whether I should look for a new job.

They said, no, that they'd really hate to lose me.

That going forward we will reformulate a new job description for me, according to what I am happy doing (assuming we can make it fit in with the programs and thus be eligible for donor funding).

I feel very strange, like it could have been a terrible day but really it turned out to be a wonderful one.

They say you should be careful for what you wish for... Professionally speaking, for the time being, I think I just got mine, no matter how camouflaged the package it came in.


Anonymous said...

LOL, I don't see this situation lasting much longer...

Ali la Loca said...

~Anonymous - LOL at what part, exactly? Not sure how to interpret this, but it seems you are laughing at the idea that I might not have a job in the near future??

If that's not it, please clarify.

It that is the correct interpretation, I can see why you posted as Anonymous. Hard to speak honestly when you could be identified and thus accountable for your words, no?

Anonymous said...

Nope, I think you'll quit. And move on to bigger & better things. Speaking as someone who's done time in intl NGOs in developing countries, you haven't had the right attitude for NGO work all along... but that ain't necessarily a bad thing. As I said, you'll be on to bigger & better...

Alexandra said...

~Anonymous - Ah, thanks so much for clarifying!! I was totally unclear as to what you meant.

I'm not sure what will happen with this particular job, but I'm grateful to have it for the time being as I am mindful of the economic climate in the US (and other places) and it is, fundamentally, good work.

That said, I agree 100% that I'm not the ideal person to be working in an NGO in the "development" context, but that's no surprise for anyone who has been reading my blog for some time. There are fundamental things I disagree with, and it's hard to stay for a long time in a job where you have these sort of issues, no matter what the sector.

I suppose we only really know we're on the right path when we are walking it...until then, we experiment with different opportunities and hope for the best!

Anonymous said...

enjoyed your reply. sorry, hope i didn't offend you... the LOL was more of a commiserating LOL... i think everyone who ends up a leader in their field has experiences like this during the early years of their career.

Ali la Loca said...

~Anonymous - No offense taken. I appreciate the commiserating LOL.

Marie said...

I guess that's one of those moments you're happy you're not only a consultant, since you have other things in your life like your writings or your jewelry...
Bon courage pour tout.

Ali la Loca said...

~Marie - Amen to that!!