Taking off

Today I am heading on a work trip to Miami for a 2.5 day team meeting with my clinical research staff from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Our director lives near Miami and the LatAm headquarters for our company is here, so it is the most logical place for our semi-annual in person meeting. I have led the clinical research specialists on this team for ~4 years, since my previous boss left, though I have only held the manager position officially for ~2.5 years. It has been both a joy and an enormous challenge. I believe this will be my last team meeting with this team in this position.

Delta plane

My soul is calling me toward other work and my deadline is 6-12 months from now, my intention to be in a different position. While I am not sure the exact trajectory of my next career move, I know it must be done. In the past year and a half, our crew of 8 clinical research specialist was whittled down to 4 (we still have one open head count and I hope to hire in that spot in Mexico by end of November, bring it up to 5). Restructuring is the name of the game in large companies, and while I understand the philosophical intentions of this particular re-organization, the volume of work versus the scarcity of people is unsustainable.

In the past year, I was able to participate in leadership development experience for an 8-month period that helped me explore other interests. Though I am not an engineer, I realized that I am “lit up” by the design side of the work, and also market development, and the leadership/education areas. I have a long list of people that I have been nudged toward interviewing, to learn more about their work and how they arrived in their positions. So far, I have been doing this slowly, but also compelled my positions outside my company.

I am attracted to the small company “world” in terms of its agility and lack of bureaucratic hurdles. Back in the days when I aspired to work in leadership of nonprofits, this was one quality that I appreciated. I enjoy mentoring and developing other leaders within my company, helping people fulfill their career aspirations. I think this is what has made me a solid manager in this role, but I also crave much more “think time” and solitude during the typical work week. Since my role is a nexus point for every business unit (there are something like 11 by one count, 15 by another) in the company, it can get a bit overwhelming.

As an introvert, coping with all of the people time and meeting time is draining. I have learned to block off time on my calendar for “think time” and this has been life-saving. But now I am readying myself to close a chapter of this part of my career and open a new one. While I am not sure I know exactly what that is, I trust that I will know what decisions to make as certain opportunities emerge. I am operating on that faith right now, trust that I know myself better, and can follow my curiosity as it leads toward my next big thing.

Some short posts on the way this week, amigos, as I fit in small bits of writing time in the next few 12 hour days. Hasta luego!


2 thoughts on “Taking off

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