Down to the last two posts of this blog series, and I want to share one of my more significant experiences from this past year which actually occurred just under two weeks ago.
The “big boss,” as I call her, arranged to have one-on-one (1:1) meetings with the whole staff, just to check in and see how things were going. I’d never had this type of meeting with a supervisor before. Ever.
I’d had 1:1’s with internship, fellowship, and practicum supervisors, but never with an official, full-time-paycheck boss.
I was a bit nervous – asking colleagues what to expect, what to prepare, what to say – but in the end, I just went in (early, of course!) telling myself that, at the very least, she likes me and it will be a good conversation.
She began by explaining why she scheduled these meetings, and then asked me how things were going, what success I’ve had, what challenges I expect in the next year, and if there’s anything she can do to make things better for me. We talked about the transition from intern to professional staff member and what that might mean in terms of being seen as an intern, tasks I might continue to be asked to do, times when I should speak up because I feel I’m being treated as an intern, etc.
And now, for my favorite part of our meeting (Warning: I’m about to humblebrag)-
She also talked to me about her hopes that over the course of the next year, my work in this position will help to grow my confidence because, (and I’m paraphrasing here because my memory is way too horrible to quote directly) I do good work for this office, I bring a great energy and attitude, and they like having me here.
Talk about feeling valued!
Tooting of my own horn aside, this meeting was productive, positive, and important! Not only was I validated as a contributing member of this office and team, but I felt comfortable expressing my concerns to my boss, and engaging in an actual two-way conversation about my work and status. With or without all the positive things mentioned above, I would have emerged from our meeting with a sense of pride in knowing that I work for someone who cares about me, cares about the office, and with whom I can feel free to discuss these things.
This post is part of the Emerging SA Pro series following 4 awesome people: Meagan, Karyn, Michael, and Alice, as they blog monthly about 1 year of their journey as either a new SA Pro or SA grad student. We are proud to help them share their stories as they break into our field.