Being a (Temporary) Misfit

This is my 3rd week back to work.  In many ways it feels like I never left, but then it becomes apparent I was gone for 7 months.

The hardest part is not knowing my place anymore.  I had only been in my new position two months when I went out on leave (but with the organization doing this job two years).  I knew my purpose, and what I was doing, and where I was needed.  Even on leave I helped out a bit when things got backlogged.  But now, I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do or where I fit in.

Two new people were hired to do the same type of job I do.  This had been planned, but the first one was supposed to be hired a year after me, with the third a year after that.  My being gone precipitated moving the hiring timeline up.  I’m still the senior person in the position, for whatever that’s worth.

I find myself not doing what everyone else is doing, because nothing is being sent my way.  It takes a good year to truly learn the processes, and feel like one has a handle on things.  The new people are in their 4th month.  But even though I’ve answered questions and done training for them, I’m still lost.

Not much work is heading my way.  I know this is only my 3rd week, but I’m the kind of person who prefers to be busy.  I like it when I don’t know how I’ll get everything done, but then I do.  I’m taking on some special projects, by request, because I want to get involved and get busy.  I’m excited to be involved in these, and it will open doors for future projects, but it’s not quite what I expected.

In my job I loved – and still love – in an organization I think is great among people I actually like to work with I’m feeling like a fish out of water.  It’s a really uncomfortable feeling.  I’m sure it will be fine soon, because I’m always optimistic.  But in a place where I used to know most things going on I now don’t know anything going on, and no one is asking me to join in and figure it out.  And jumping in isn’t helping.  I don’t like feeling like a misfit in a place I considered home.