Pardon this post because it will contain traces of bragging and more words synonymous to egoism.
Ironically, one of the worst news of my year brought me the best employment-based reward there is. My boss has decided to leave the service after almost a year, and while I’m vocal in saying that it’s not the ultimate answer to the problem that ensued, of course you cannot argue with principles. Especially when it’s from someone who has them and stands by them, no matter what.
Anyway, the bottom line is, I got her job. When her predecessor retired, I was actually expected to bid for the post as the deputy team leader. I stayed put because I wanted to do something else (see, another manifestation of not doing something I don’t want at a certain period— I didn’t feel a tinge of regret by not going for it last year when, humility aside, I know I have better chances than anyone.)
Much has happened last year, and not to say that I do not see this coming (though not in the power-hungry way) because I do. Just not this soon. When it became official that my boss will resign, frankly, I have slowly prepared myself to fix my CV and do all the application shebang, as soon as the vacancy announcement is released. I was simply so blessed to be talked to by the bosses, which actually was just a confirmation if I am set to apply this time. I said yes, I am planning to apply, as a matter of fact. They confirmed it to me, twice, if I remember correctly, if I am really set to do so. Twice I said yes. Then they said to avoid further adjustment in staffing, they will just promote me, then open my position as deputy team leader. I have never been good in reacting to spectacular news so I just gave a smile and muttered, “That’s great news” and left the boss’ office.
Despite all my efforts at self-deprecation, I believe that I am good in what I do. I am good, and there a lot of people better than I am, just so we’ll be clear. I think this is a combination of luck and ability. I will not come clean by saying that I haven’t felt dissuaded, bored or disillusioned by everything that’s happening, from the work itself, to the colleagues, to the office poltics— because I was, I am and yes, I will be, if my personal morals dictate that things aren’t really going well. Anyway, doing this job for four years will not give me a license to say that it’ll be a walk in the park. The challenges are daunting. I haven’t experienced everything that it entails but I saw it and let’s say, I continue to see it, though not towards me.
Looking back, I have been really very lucky with my career. This job has been very good to me, even if I didn’t feel the same towards it most of the time. Indulge me in recounting that three months after I was hired, I was promoted to my current deputy position. I was a newbie, basking in the glow of being the youngest staff of the Unit, when I was entrusted something this huge. Who can resist something like that, if you’re in your right mind? Sure, there were issues and damaged relationships but as the cliché goes, time heals all wounds. I would like to think I played my cards well enough, and have worked hard enough to stay at my place for almost four years.
All forms of humility aside, people say I’m lucky because in all my “career climbs” in this organization, not once have I experienced applying– as in passing a CV to HR for a vacancy. These two promotions were given to me, for reasons I still cannot completely comprehend, and no, I am not fishing for compliments here.
So yes, I’m very lucky. I’m open to the idea of my career experiencing a plateau at some point because not all 25 year-olds can achieve something like this this early. I echo Kelly Clarkson in singing, “Oh I can’t believe it’s happening to me; some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this.” Corny but true. But I am very thankful. I guess I don’t express it well but I am. Super.
In a few days, I will be stepping to a new door of opportunity. To prepare myself, I simply condition my inner chakra to play my cards well, know where my real loyalty lies (clue: staff), focus on the overall goals of the Unit, work hard because that’s what we’re here in the office for, have fun, and more importantly, do not/do not get fired.
P.S. I wish my Dad is still here. When we were featured in the State Department magazine a month ago, I imagined how proud he would be of me had he been alive. Then this bigger blessing came along immediately after. I’m sure he’s already bragging to all the angels up there, much to the annoyance of those harp-playing beings.