So my blog migrated to a new host. And I migrated from one city to another. Let me summarize the major events in a few handy bulleted lists.
Between August and October, I:
- attended two funerals for family,
- ended one job,
- moved across several states, and
- started a new job.
Between October and January, I:
- have yet to completely unpack,
- am trying to keep my head above water at work and figure out which way is up (including setting up new workflows and policies/procedures),
- taught/assisted with several major training sessions (both internal and external)
- had one high level staff and one librarian in my unit retire (the positions will be posted soon – cross your fingers on sooner),
- hired a new support staff person to fill a vacancy,
- had a librarian added/transferred to my unit,
- been appointed to at least a half dozen committees at work, at least 3 of which I’m either chairing or co-chairing,
- tried desperately and with varied success to keep up with existing committee appointments external to my new job,
- traveled to several meetings and a conference,
- been sick at least 4 times (including strep throat! I blame new-to-me germs in my new environment), and
- started dating someone.
Between now and June:
- I will continue to do everything I’ve been doing at my new job, plus
- we will migrate to a new system at work (involving training for everyone in the library),
- implement a new set of cataloging guidelines (involving training for everyone in the library), and
- advertise and fill the two vacancies in my unit.
I am exhausted. And overwhelmed. Yet grateful for the opportunities and the support I’ve received on both ends of this transition. This transition feels more major than my move to Philadelphia from St. Louis. Maybe because this move involved a major career development step.
I’m now head of a large unit, with 7 current direct reports. Including the vacancies, there are 9 positions in my unit directly under my purview. My title is officially Head, Metadata Services Unit at a mid-sized research university in Washington, DC. It’s quite the change from the 4 staff I had in my last position. I’ve gone from my nice little kingdom of electronic resources and serials formats to all types of metadata creation in the library (and not limited to metadata in just the catalog). But if it wasn’t for the experience I gained in my position in Philly, and everything I learned about myself and management, and all the support I had to pursue interests and get involved on a national level with metadata and cataloging, I wouldn’t have this amazing opportunity. Is it overwhelming? GODS YES. Is it exciting? Also YES.
The move to DC was a good decision for me personally. I love DC. I feel at home here and made that switch very quickly. Philly was nice, but my feelings towards the city were always “this is temporary” and I never really felt like I fit there, no matter what neighborhood I was living in. I tried. I really really tried. But I just never felt settled. And while there are things I miss about Philly (the people, the farmers’ markets), it’s been the complete opposite here. I like living in DC. I’ve always felt comfortable here, and I settled in quickly and it feels like home, despite not being completely unpacked yet.
There’s clearly been a lot going on in my life since August. I’m trying to stay afloat. Overall I’m feeling positive and happy. I don’t regret my decision to make the move and job transition. It’s clear to me it was the right decision for me at the right time. Now if I could only catch up on some sleep…