30 August 2010

Going Manager, or, Big News-Part 2

It's been a month since I last posted and part of me wants to apologize. But I think something I have to learn and practice for the next few months (or maybe the rest of my life) is that I can't do it all. Some things have to slide over to make room for the bigger, more pressing things.

An aside: it's funny to me to use words like "bigger" and "pressing" now that I am having a baby. Ha!

This is all a lead up to part two of my big news: my promotion. In July, I was promoted to Assistant Director of our library. When it rains, it pours!

The last two months have been a bit of a whirlwind. But I didn't want to jump into the school year without really sharing, and thereby processing, what this change has been like and means for me.

What does it mean to Go Manager?

Well, one thing I've learned is that you work past five, you bring work home with you, and you work on the weekend. I say that in jest but it is also true. I have more work to do. I have less time to chat, less time to read articles or blogs, less time to do things I feel like doing versus things that need doing. My to-do list has changed. My way of looking at my to-do list has changed. My way of prioritizing is changing. My willingness to say "yes" is changing. And with these changes come some concerns, some of which I anticipated and some of which I am starting to look at and question.

One of my biggest hesitations to taking on this increased responsibility was that I loved my job. As Information Literacy Librarian, I was responsible for the IL program at the college. It was my responsibility to keep up on the literature in the field, to brainstorm, to generate ideas, to collaborate, to make things happen in the program. Sure, there were parts that were less than wonderful (scheduling), but by and large, I loved the commitment I was able to make to IL. And as a manager, I have to put that part of my job in a silo. I have to look at it sometimes and say, "Not right now". It doesn't mean I love IL any less or am any less committed to the program. But I am having to broaden my gaze. And that frightened me. Which is why it was so important for me to do it. Being afraid of it means it is going to be challenging and as a young librarian, I want challenges. Building a program from scratch was a challenge and one that I have looked in the face and smiled at. That hasn't gone away. But a new challenge adds a layer of complexity to my daily work and to my thinking over time.

A concern I am also thinking about is how to "Go-Manager" and still be accommodating. As I said, my willingness to say "yes" is changing. There are some requests, some preferences, some suggestions, that I just can't accommodate. And that hurts. I hate to disappoint people and I have to have to say no. But I am learning a bit more about how pieces of the puzzle fit together rather than looking at individual pieces. It's hard.

And I guess that's what I am finding and thinking about: making the shift to manager is hard. I feel incredibly supported in doing it and I feel like there are a plethora of resources available to me to do it well. But that doesn't change the fact that there are things to think about, to reconcile. And while I might post even less (is that possible?!), I intend to make this blog a space where I do that. Where I talk about this transition and reflect on the kind of manager I want to be. And what it means to Go Manager.

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