Reinvention

I started a new job this week. After eight years at Adobe, I have moved to a new company. What’s notable is not that after all that time I was able to extract myself but rather, at the new gig, I get a fresh start. Like so many people, I’ve been able to move between companies following former colleagues. However, I was recruited and hired based solely on the merits of experience, not my relationships. This is providing me with the opportunity to redefine Mimi@Work. One thing I did at Adobe was spend an enormous amount of effort on smoothing out the “rough edges” of my personality that may have resulted in me perhaps, well, overwhelming others or perhaps being too opinionated.

So, here are a few things I’m going to try out and we’ll see how long it lasts:

  • I WON’T come to work looking like I’ve rolled out of bed. I WILL try to dress (more) nicely and limit wearing jeans to two days per week.
  • I WON’T tell everyone my opinion, regardless of whether they want to hear it or not. I WILL listen and take more time to consolidate my thoughts before voicing them.
  • I WON’T be driven by raw emotion (which as resulted in me pantomiming lighting myself on fire in protest of some dumb situation I was incapable of changing). I WILL continue to be passionate but focus that passion in a productive direction.
  • I WON’T get caught up in politics. I WILL focus on results to navigate through office intrigue.

Leaving Adobe was an extremely difficult decision and it took me two years to prepare which is notable given my somewhat impulsive departures from previous positions. I thought very hard about what I wanted my next step to be and I am making a commitment to myself not to squander this opportunity to be a more mature, thoughtful leader.

Of course, you can’t teach a 41 year old dog entirely new tricks. My life is still defined by my OCD-ish need to cram as much into a 24 hour period as possible. Not only did I decide not to take any time off between jobs — I left Adobe at 4pm on Friday and arrived at my new job at 9am on Monday morning (having gone the previous week to sign some paperwork and get my keys enabling me to take Walker and Larry on the Sunday before my first day to set up my desk) — but I decided that while I had premium health insurance, I would go have a golf ball sized fatty tumor (what the pathologist called a “mature lipoma”) removed from my neck/shoulder. So the Monday of my last week at Adobe, I went to a plastic surgeon to have a “no big deal” outpatient surgery. Yeah, well, that sucker had been growing in my body for between 5-10 years and it was entrenched. It took an hour to cut out and I swear the doctor was practically standing on me. And to make matters worse, I had to sit, immobile, hunched over the side of a chair with nowhere to rest my head. I was not mentally or emotionally prepared for the ordeal. Why I thought a three inch incision though the thickest, most sensitive skin would be no big deal is really beyond me. But there you go. I thought it was going to be nothing and in fact, I planned on dialing into a meeting 90 minutes after my appointment. Luckily, the meeting was with my team so the half-shocked Mimi who was waiting for her prescription of Percocet was not a terribly disruptive presence. Of course, the next day was terribly uncomfortable and I was very pleased to be able to spend the day popping pain meds. The following day, the pain was manageable and didn’t require any pain meds but hey, I was scheduled to be in an all day meeting — two days before my last day which is really just mean — so I figured take ’em if you’ve got ’em and popped a pill only a few moments before I unknowingly had to spend 90 minutes walking through a website launch strategy. Hmmm. I must say, the meeting was significantly more fun through the blur of serious drugs. (Should I add a commitment to my new job that I WON’T come to work on powerful pain medication?) It’s been ten days and this is still an issue. I can’t get my stitches out yet because I have some healing yet to do and everything is still sore and swollen. GRRRR. I have to go back again so my “no big deal, in-and-out” surgery is cramping my style. Glad I crammed that into my schedule.

And did I realize I was starting my new job the week Larry would be away at Comic-Con? Well, no. So yeah. I have a bum neck/shoulder AND I’m a single Mommy AND I have a new job. This may be one of my best accomplishments yet. The good news is that when Larry’s away I don’t sleep so I’m getting a lot of paperwork done, am spending time reviewing stuff for the new job, and am fitting in an OnDemand movie here and there (not to mention a blog posting).

Walker is being wonderful, as always. He’s being extremely helpful and I’m too tired to relate entertaining anecdotes about the things that are making me so astonished at his overall incredibleness. So instead, here are some photos I haven’t posted from his birthday party.

3 thoughts on “Reinvention”

  1. It may well be one of your best accomplishments yet – because I bet you’re one of the only people I know who can get through it.

    xo

  2. Oh my word! What an ordeal! I hope you have followed your own great advice – I’d love to know if it has made a difference to the way you work.

    1. Hi Mia,
      I’m trying to follow my advice. I am certainly less reactive and believe I’m doing a better job of gathering all the information before taking action. I’ll say that I’m still passionate and I have strongly held opinions but I’m hoping those aren’t quite as obvious. I am having a good time and feel like I’m making a much greater impact than I have on a business in a long time. And, my scar is almost invisible so there’s that!

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