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2005-03-29 - 5:14 p.m.

A lot has happened work-wise since I last wrote. Well, last wrote not including the entry I wrote an hour ago. I really wanted to write more in March, and at least I'll have back-to-back entries bookending the month, but I just can't seem to find the time, and when I do find the time I don't always have the motivation- today for example I just felt like sitting around on the couch for most of the day (after getting up after midday).

Anyway, back to work. Probably about 6 weeks ago now (maybe more) I applied for a internal position as a refinery scheduler. It's a much more "big picture" job than the one I'm currently doing, and one which I've had a bit of exposure to attending daily interdepartmental meetings. The position became an assignment, which was even better, as it offered that extra security of having my current job to come back to if I didn't like it. It was also Monday to Friday, which would be a nice change (one which I experienced for four months a couple of years ago) but would also have lost me close to $20K a year in shift allowance. When the time came for the relevant manager to decide on who would get the position, there were only two applicants- myself and Craig, the quality assurance chemist. I ended up not getting the job, which was disappointing and I bit of a dent in my pride. The last time a similar position was advertised I was told I was very close- next in line after the successful applicant, in a field that incuded Craig and several other of my workmates. This time I was second out of two so you can see how that was more disappointing. Even though it was by all accounts an even more difficult decision to make than the last one.

I was told that one thing that might have let me down was my communication skills. It's something I want to work on but don't really know how. I'm very confident in my current role inside the lab, but when I'm around people I'm not as familiar with, or when I'm put on the spot, I find it difficult. I come across as kinda nervous, not very confident.

So Craig getting the job left a position in the lab to be filled. One I never thought I'd be the least bit interested in, and I also didn't want to feel like I was taking "second prize"- walking into something that was virtually being handed to me because I didn't get the job I wanted. I didn't want to be doing a job I wasn't interested in simply to get off shift and have my weekends.

But the more I thought about, the more I thought it was worth a shot. My boss had confidence in me and wanted me in the role, the outgoing quality chemist told me how he believed it was a job that was seen as a ticket to other places (something I didn't want to get carried away with, I wanted to concentrate on the time I would be in said role), and I was getting restless on shift. I've been there for over 4 years, and I think it's probably important to get out of your comfort zone to get some new skills. Probably the reason I was never interested in the role before was because I thought it was not me, but that being the case maybe making it me can only be a good thing career-wise. If only I had ambition and a career plan it would make these decisions easier.

So I start on Monday for a minimum period of a year (which means if another chance to go outside the lab on assigment comes up in the next year I wont be released by my boss, but sticking this job out for a year will be good for me).

"It's fear of the unknown. Unknown is what it is- accept that it's unknown and it's plain sailing"
- John Lennon


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