Tuesday, January 13, 2015

One Month In...

Hi, y'all!! Wow, I can't believe it's been over a month since I started my new job and my new life in Baltimore! The title is a little misleading since I had planned to write this post exactly one month in, but, as you can see, that didn't happen.

A lot of people have been asking me how my new job is going, so I thought I would share my experience here on my first month.

Firstly, let me say that it is hard to compare my new job to my old one; it's really like comparing apples to oranges. I like my new job a ton more than my old one, but the two are in very different environments and deal with completely different issues. In my new job, I am working with medical faculty and residents, compared to working with university students. This means no more student issues or drama and no more making appointments!

Everyone in my new job is very helpful and knowledgeable, and will point you to the correct person for answers. There is a definite support system here that is clearly evident and available. This never happened at Penn. No one knew who to talk to, or who handled what, even if they had been working there for years.

The first thing I noticed was how self-sufficient the doctors were. I do all the admin work for them, but they don't expect me to handle things like sorting their emails, printing word documents, and essentially breathing and existing for them. At my old job, one of the counselors actually had me sort her emails in Outlook by date, and our director would have me print out word documents, which I never understood because in the time it took her to attach the document, send me an email, and wait for me to print it, she could have printed it herself much quicker.

Even though all the people I work with are highly accomplished medical professionals, they don't have the same demanding, self-important attitude that my previous supervisors had, and a lot of them only had Master's degrees, not even PhD's! Honestly, my old supervisors, had way bigger egos than the doctors I'm working for now, and I always felt that they were overreacting and their attitudes were completely unnecessary. I mean, they weren't saving lives, or researching new medical techniques, or anything. They were checking resumes and cover letters and giving job search advice to graduate students with PhD's that most of them weren't even qualified to advise since the majority of them didn't even have PhD's!

Ha ha, enough ranting! I also feel that the admin staff are much more appreciated here. It's nothing big, but there are quarterly and annual staff awards, something that, to my knowledge at least, Penn never had, and if they did, they never publicized it. Now, these awards don't come with a raise or anything, but sometimes it's good to be recognized publicly for your hard work, and not criticized about every thing you do.

The biggest challenges for me is staying focus and managing my time (something I am obviously not doing too well as I write this post at work!). Unlike my previous job, this one has hardly any contact with people outside of my division and the general public. My phone very rarely rings and most of my communication is via email. Because I don't have a supervisors literally standing over my back, and most of the people I work for aren't in the office a lot of the time, I have more autonomy. But with greater autonomy comes greater responsibilities in time management! But I have been doing pretty good in this area. I usually try to do the bulk of my work before I go to lunch, so I can have a slower afternoon, which is when my brain tends to slow down.

I'm not expecting this job to be perfect, in fact I've already experienced some less than ideal situations, but it is a huge improvement on my old job. At least with this job I do have a sense that I can go somewhere with this and get some kind of recognition or at least a pat on the back for all that I'm doing, which was still more than I had been getting.


  1. yeah switching jobs is always hard in terms of adapting to new changes, and glad that there is an improvement on your old job! I think all jobs have their pros and cons it just depends on what you can and can't deal with?! good luck with it all :D

    1. It has been a bit of a challenge adjusting to working in a different environment and having different procedures, but yes, this job is a huge improvement! I think I am definitely better suited for this type of work than the previous work I was doing!

  2. I am so glad you like this job better! The people sound great! Very happy for you! Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks! So far I am very happy with this new job and it seems like somewhere I could see myself working for a a few years.

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