Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Being Short

Confucius said "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life". But a good complement to that might be find a job with people that you like working with, and going to work everyday will never be an issue (except when it's 5:30 in the morning, the wind is blowing at 25 mph, and it's snowing out, because "We Never Ever Close").

I've been fortunate to work with a great group of people nearly all of my life. Maybe it was because I've always worked in libraries, except for the years I was in graduate school studying to become a librarian. And now that I am at the end of my career and retiring in December, I look back and think how lucky I've been. It really has been hard thinking about leaving it all behind and moving forward to the next phase of my life, going from the known to the unknown. Everyone who knows me, knows that, like my cats, I feel the most comfortable when I have a regular routine.

I know when I was younger, I always thought that retiring meant a permanent vacation, set your own schedule, do what you want to when you want to, no real obligations, but now that I'm there it's so much different. In a way it's like opening a door to a room and it's completely dark inside, and I don't know when I step in if I will fall down and crash, or even fall up, and end up in some place that I never expected. Will I find something that I really like to do, or will I spend the rest of my days looking for just the right thing. And, in the end, who will I be doing it with.

Over my career, I have had 12 bosses, 7 women and 5 men. Looking back, some were good and helped me to grow in my profession. Others were good examples of exactly what not do as a manager. Some were scary, some were demanding. Some were at the end of their careers and didn't really care about anything. I was extremely lucky in that my first boss and my last boss were exceptional. Professional, caring, nurturing, encouraging, and hard working themselves. People who kept me moving forward, even when I didn't think I could do it. People who believed in me even when I didn't believe in me.

But work is also about community. It's about the people you see every day. The people you share your life with. And who share their life with you. Some will come and some will go, and yet we will all remain on the same team with the same goal. Often I've been amazed that my supervisors could put together such a diverse group of people who can be so good at what they do.  When I left the D'Amour Library in 2002 after over 17 years to move over to the Law Library, I really felt sad to be leaving such a great team behind even though I knew I would still be working at Western New England. And now that I'm retiring from the Law Library I feel the same thing, how do I leave such a good team behind.  But my 30 years of working at Western New England is now coming to an end, and so I must give it up and leave it all behind.

So what I have to say in my last posting, is find a good boss who will help you grow and has developed a good team of people to work with. And enjoy your time there because it will all be over before you know it.

No comments:

Post a Comment