Learning to work again

posted by Jeff | Saturday, June 30, 2018, 2:18 PM | comments: 0

I started a new gig this week, after a somewhat excruciating job hunt. This one will be challenging, with some organizational stuff up front to sort out. I've got about the same number of direct reports that I've had in previous positions, but a bunch roll up to them so it's a big org. I'm going in feeling confident but cautious and with humility. I think that's the ideal way to approach any new job.

I feel like I have to learn how to work again, for a number of reasons. The biggest thing is that I'm mostly on-site for this one, something I haven't done in four years. I'm sure there will be days here and there where I work from home, or maybe even a regular rhythm, but I doubt that will be the case in the near term. As such, that means having to plan for the commute, which as I used to do, I shift early. It means no more showering around lunch time, or Epcot lunches with Diana. I'm sure I'll miss Simon coming home from school the most, but I'll manage.

The flip side to this arrangement is a certain amount of awareness that I most certainly lost working remotely. I was putting in pretty ridiculous hours (that sure was stupid), and that added to stress. I should have taken the hint when Simon would knock on the door at 6 and ask when I was going to be done, 10 hours after I started, but for some reason I just let myself get into that mode. When you have to drive somewhere, and you're optimizing the drive to avoid the worst parts of rush hour, it definitely changes your awareness around how much you're working. The ride home in particular almost seems to firewall you between work and life. I only cracked open my work computer once at home this week!

The harder part is going to be figuring out the activity level. Again, with no drive, it's easy enough to take a lap around the neighborhood before you start. I did lap Lake Eola once this week, but I'm not sure if that counts (and walking at noon in summer in Orlando is a little rough). I also have to rethink lunch, since I don't have my own kitchen at my disposal.

Remote vs. co-located is not controversial to me, and I would only slightly give the advantage to remote for various strategic reasons (real estate costs, recruiting geography, distraction rates). They're just different, and I'm good doing either one. Part of my shock to the system might also be not working for two months. That sounds awesome, but it gets a little boring.

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