Five weeks in…

…and every day still feels a little like I’m drinking from a firehose.

I switched jobs/companies back in mid-January. Similar industry — still working with a fleet of aircraft — but I’m on a totally different playing field.

My former company was pretty straight forward — a U.S. company engaged in air medical transport. They used helicopters to generally transport sick or injured people to the care they need. My new company — we are a little more diverse. We are international for one, and though we are transporting people on helicopters we do so in the name of rescue (as in giant helicopters that perform Search and Rescue — think coast guard services). The other side of our house is found in energy – oil & gas, but also wind and I’m sure one day other renewable energies. Without a doubt I am covering new territory.

What I love so far is that it is complex. My brain is fully engaged and stimulated to exhaustion each day. After nine years in the same company, there wasn’t a lot of new learning going on. And though I loved the people and the mission, I wasn’t being challenged any longer — and that is a bad place for my brain.

I also love the people. Every body has been so welcoming. I certainly miss the people I worked with. AMC has such great people and they are all so mission-minded. In my new company, one of the first things I noticed is a unification in culture. As a company, they are incredibly safety minded, it permeates everything we do, every meeting we have. Even sitting in the legal department, where my butt is in a chair most of the day, I find myself thinking of safety. From Covid measures to our people on the front lines.

What’s been weird is being the new girl, sort of.

After nine years at the same company, there isn’t much you don’t know. I knew how to do my job and if something popped up and I didn’t immediately have the answer, I knew where to go to find it at least. Here, not so much. I know the names of the executive team, but I don’t know who works six-levels down from the top — which is usually the person I need to chat with.

I really enjoy my new boss — we’re starting to get into a rhythm. He’s really nice and definitely has ideas of how he’d like to see his side of the house running. I’m starting to read him a little better. And I think he’s starting to see what I can do with and for him. It’s definitely weird having to prove myself again.

On the other hand, I’ve come to the new digs with a little street cred.

I am once again working for Crystal. Nine years ago, Crystal brought me to AMC as her paralegal. It was just her and I for a while. We were figuring things out and tackling everything together as she built a strong legal department. We worked together for 7 1/2 years there. Crystal is again the leader of the legal team at my new company. It’s been so exciting working with her again. Crystal and I have a synergy. She knows how to challenge and motivate me. She gets how my brain works and how I systematically work an issue. She isn’t afraid to hand me high-level tasks and she has faith that I’ll execute them. It feels so good to be seen again.

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind. We had an issue come to a head and Crystal asked me to lead the charge in seeing the project through. That looked like 10-14 hour days for the first week, and a good portion of the days this past week – but – we made it through and it was a great success. As a “newbie” I never would have been handed such a delicate project — I was exhausted but energized having been entrusted with it.

Some days aren’t quite as stellar. I’m still getting my feet under me and I don’t always feel like it’s a smashing success. I’m used to knowing exactly what I’m doing and digging in and getting things done, doing them quickly, and doing them well. Right now, I feel like I’m spending a bunch of time fumbling around. I hate that feeling. I feel like I’m letting people down. I know that’s not the reality, and my boss has been nothing but supportive and complementary. It’s an internal bar that I seem to have set for myself. And I know five weeks in it’s a bit unreasonable to hold myself to it.

Due to some organizational changes, Tomas and I have recently inherited the insurance side of things. Like all. things. insurance. Insuring our helicopters to our people to our property and everything in between. I’ve never worked with insurance. Top it off with a recent change in brokers and right before we are walking into our policy renewals. Ack

There’s definitely things I miss about the old job. With every transition, even one that is positive, there is mourning. There is a feeling of grief and loss. I’ve definitely experienced that. I miss working with the friends I made at AMC over the years. I miss the casualness of those conversations – the comfortableness that comes over time. I miss some of the flexibility I had in that job. Because I wasn’t buried in learning new things I had a rhythm to my work, a cadence that allowed me a little more free time during my day. I could sneak away for a lunch with a friend here and there, or end my day early to head out on a date with Frank when we planned it. I enjoyed the reputation I had earned after so many years — I was the girl who got things done. Here I am the new girl and they are watching to see what I can do…like I said, it’s weird being the new girl.

Even with all that – the insecurity of the new, the stress of things being so different – if you ask me the most basic question…do I like it? The answer is a resounding YES. The change has, overall, been amazing. I feel like I’ve pulled up a chair to the big girl’s table. I’m challenged, I’m motivated, I’m stimulated. I enjoy the work and I enjoy the people. Even on the days when I feel like I’m falling short, it challenges me to work that much harder. Like all things, there have been trade-offs. Some are temporary, some are just the way things are going to be from now on – but I’m beginning to feel my feet under me again little by little. Every day I gain a little more knowledge, a little more confidence. I can’t wait to look back on this post a year from now to see where I am and how far I’ve come. There is definitely something to be said for growth. To be honest, I was worried I wouldn’t be up to the challenge after so many years of the same-old-same-old. I have been pleasantly surprised. This old dog is learning many, many new tricks — and I feel incredibly blessed in the process.

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