I work hard to be positive and give energy to a team but sometimes I feel like I am in a Harry Potteresque situation with my very life force being sucked out of me. Over the last few months I have taken on some especially difficult tasks that are somewhat thankless, that others have shied away from, that are risky in terms of recognition. I felt safe doing this because of the team around me. Then the team changed and what I had done for the last year was of no consequence.
Funny thing is that for many years as a consultant I have been helping organisations prepare for and deal with major change. I have lots of feedback from clients saying I have really helped them. Despite this, it is not something I find I am coping with that well myself.
A senior colleague talked to me today in terms of sinusoidal waves and that I was probably in the trough at the moment. I wondered about overlapping and cancelling out waves.
The team has changed and, to my surprise, I find myself no longer valued and pushed into a role I had not signed up for when I actually think there are much more important things to do. Generally, I am willing to turn my hand to anything and help get the job done. I got a lecture from a new guy on how good he is and some corrective feedback. This from someone who isn’t listening. He also pointed out that I have a tendency to go on a bit – that explains why he just cuts me off (shame he doesn’t stop me directly instead) – which is true (but only because I am trying to make sure I cover the bases for a new guy). Then he made references to a project I had been on years before where there had been problems (where in my view I was "shafted") – a black mark is always hard to remove (despite support from lots of senior managers who knew me well and gave support on the grounds that what was described to them was completely at odds with what they themselves experienced with me).
I think it is funny how I have clients that think me amazing especially where I have coached individual members of their teams in completely different ways, dealing with some people that were thought to be “difficult”. Years ago I was too direct and could come over as a bully. Now I think I must be a gentle giant – maybe I just need to turn green and rip my shirt a bit.
So now I feel my career is at risk and I have just wasted 12 months when I could have been building up a profile somewhere else.
I did seriously consider just walking out of my job today (not even servicing my notice). I could do with time off anywhere to sort my breathing out and to address an increasingly painful problem with one of my knees – I have been putting up with the pain up to now but am now wondering why.
How depressed am I? Still not sure I will return next week.
Lets hope this is just a passing phase. I accept that all projects have difficult points, difficult people, and difficult situations. Hard to see the positives when doing a role where it feels you are getting the blame for everything.