Upskilling and Letting Go

My job is consuming my life right now.  Let’s talk about how this is a positive thing:

  • I have a job
  • It’s good for my ego that I am so awesome at my job that my boss keeps giving me more responsibility
  • I can afford to go to Bali for my birthday

Now let’s talk about what’s not so awesome:

  • I never have time to blog anymore
  • I had to cancel my trip to visit my friend Deli next weekend
  • I have no energy to work on my personal life

One of the reasons I am working so much  is that I am managing four people. Managing people is hard, especially if you are a super sensitive human being and your people are not all rock stars, which means you have to deliver hard feedback.  I don’t like delivering hard feedback.  As a consultant, I totally avoided it.  If someone sucked at something, I just did it myself.  I used the excuse that they did not work for me and I did not have the time to teach them stuff.  I’ve been kind of doing the same thing for the last six months but it doesn’t work out so well when you can’t just leave at the end of the project.  These are my peeps now. I am screwed if my team does not get upskilled (that’s a career girl word).

Upskilling takes a lot of time.  You have to figure out how to explain stuff that comes naturally to you but is hard for them.  Then you have to let people try stuff on their own, answer a million questions, and then give the hard feedback when what they give you sucks. Then I also obsess over whether I am being too picky and whether “there way” is OK even though it is not “my way”.  Sometimes I change a bunch of stuff and then change it back! It’s all very exhausting.

What’s also exhausting is the process of “letting someone go”.  In my company, this is a 3-4 month process. Much to my dismay,  my very first hire turned out to be “not the right fit” and within a week I knew it was all going to be a disaster. And it has been. (I had a bad feeling before I hired him. Huge mistake.)

In addition to re-doing all of his work I have to spend hours documenting everything and working with HR to “put him on a plan”. We are currently 45 days in to this nightmare process. He has 60 more days to improve before he can be “let go”.  The poor dude is working his little heart out and I almost want to cry every time I see him. Good times.

This is the emotional wringer I am going through this week as I deliver performance reviews to my team while juggling executive requests for random information in pretty power points.  And in all fairness, except for the dude working his little heart out, my team has many positive qualities and things they are awesome at, so I do get to hand out kudos as well.

The “glass half full” way to look at all of this is that I am learning a lot and growing as a human and if I handle it all decently, I am also helping others grow as well.  These are all good things  (and how hilarious is this banana cartoon?)

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