It has been very interesting looking at my Facebook memories this week because apparently it was this week nine years ago that I got and started my first job out of university.
It’s a bit hard to look back on because the excitement and optimism that I’m seeing this week turned into the worst job I’ve ever had.
I was in over my head and I had a manager who was very demanding and changed his mind repeatedly every project – and I was supposed to divine what he meant despite his saying to opposite.
I didn’t last past my probation period, and shortly after I left two other employees who had started right after me also left.
I believe the Executive Director didn’t last long after that.
It was very difficult to be let go, especially after searching for a job for three months after finishing classes. I had been so sure that a university degree is what I needed to succeed and then I faced all of the same problems I had after college. I was so sure and then I was so wrong.
An experience like that makes you question all the choices you made that led you to that place.
Of course now, almost a decade down the road, I know that trying to stay in that job and make that boss happy would have killed me. I know now that the fault was not all mine, but that I had a boss who was a terrible manager.
I know that because in my next job I had two great managers, one after the other. These managers who had high expectations, but made those expectations clear. They were upset when mistakes were made, but once apologies were given and corrections were made they moved on to the next task.
And they always stood in front of their team. When it came down to it, each and every one of us knew that our boss had our back. And that meant that I always pushed myself to do my absolute best and felt my worst when I didn’t.
So a decade later I take that excitement and optimism and I look at all the things I have learned from that experience, and since that experience.