So yesterday I said I’d share what’s been positive about this job.  Me being me, I’ll also share a little of what’s not.

I really am enjoying working with my direct manager, who is not at all what I expected him to be (what my PTSD from the last job made me flinchingly expect).  He’s positive, inclusive, and generally says “yes” rather than always saying “no.”  No more bullying.  He takes my suggestions, encourages my ideas and allows me to run with projects.  Un-frigging-believable relief.  There are definitely immature and obstructive personalities here, just like my last job, though.

My manager encourages my ideas.  Others don’t.  Very early on I realized I could keep asking and be told no, or I could just act on my ideas and suggestions and make my own accomplishments without giving obstructive personalities the opportunity to … obstruct.

So of course I’ve done what I want.  And I have literally learned more, accomplished more, experienced more and produced more in the last 11 weeks than in my entire 5 years at my last job, specifically because I choose to contribute even when others have tried to ensure I don’t.  It may be essentially the same job but it. is. NOT. the. same. job.

It’s a small town atmosphere, not a bullying top heavy big city atmosphere.  Here I don’t have to be inundated with input/people and therefore always uncomfortable and seeking solitude.  People are easier to deal with in a positive atmosphere anyway.  Also…I can see the Gulf from my amazing apartment.  Odd how a glimpse of nature can improve the mood.

The hospital is seeking accreditation, so rather than having tons of systems in place that are stuck in place post-accreditation and resistant to change, we’re in a position to start from scratch.  There’s resistance to change, but in our current situation people have no choice.  Some see this as burden and work.  To me it’s FUN.  This is what I wanted (and why I chose this particular offer) because problem identification/solving, organizing, developing, designing, teaching and tweaking is what I enjoy and where I flourish.

Sadly, although I clearly established in my interviews that I wanted to work here primarily for the accreditation experience, not the clinical, they’ve still managed to be somewhat shocked (and, frankly, insultingly skeptical) at my insistence that I participate in the growth rather than accepting confinement in a treatment room (a la the last job).  The obstructionist(s) have done their best to delay progress, stifle contributors and claim credit (but not nearly on par with the last job, or as blatant), but thankfully I’ve managed to somewhat make my own path.  There are many aspects of fulfillment here I was never afforded in my last job.

Now that almost 3 months has passed I’ve been sitting down deciding how I want to proceed.  Without going into detail I will say that I’ve decided on taking a few certification courses.  Last year I was researching Masters and PhD courses – which my coach said wasn’t necessarily a required path.  Certifications feel more do-able.

Money will be tight, and I know I don’t need these courses to be great at these jobs, but rather than struggling against human nature (my own included) to gather experience and/or convince others of my abilities, I’ve decided the best way to get concrete qualifications in my areas of interest talent down on paper (namely, my resume) given my current parameters, is through formal education.

I’m excited about it (I love school. I LO-Huh-oVE school).  Far more excited about paying for formal certification than I could ever be at the idea of forcing myself through an uncomfortable networking/cold calling or internship situation to try to gain ‘cred in my chosen fields.  Sorry Stacy  – it’s just not me.  I have a wide array of experiences and abilities, but they haven’t been utilized by leadership.   After so many years in position(s) where my interests, talents and abilities were disregarded in favor of a narrow field of permissible tasks, I’ve decided I need to show clearly, and quickly, concrete qualifications, if I want to burst out of the box I’m often relegated to.

So, here’s my tentative plan:




Two Certifications:

Customer-Focused Product and Service Design   and

Master Certificate in Healthcare Change and Leadership, focus on Change Leadership




One Certification:

Introduction to Leadership and Design Thinking

or, preferably their full

Masters in Design Strategy & Innovation




One Certification:

Industrial & Organizational Psychology Generalist

Basically I may not have honed in on that one career that interests me most – but I’m hopefully honing in around the periphery of something I can create myself.

I’ve been reasonably happy in this job.  Occasionally that pseudo-PTSD crops up and I have a reactive urge to run, find any other job, find fault with literally everything…but in my moments of calm I realize I’m reasonably happy here.  I’m reasonably secure and fulfilled, and I can afford to take 2 years and invest in myself.  What’s two more years, right?

So that’s where I’m at.  Feel free to opine or query, if you’re interested in any of these courses or also interested in or have opinions about certifications in general.

Be well – A

2 Responses to What’s Next for The Neglectful Blogger

  1. Deb says:

    Great to see an email from your blog in the inbox! It’s nice to hear you are happier! Are you still in Saudi Arabia? You may be on to something with certification vs networking/internship. There are cultural differences regarding how you get respect on the job. Being American and in certain professions, we know degrees are an entree to certain jobs. But after awhile, it’s what you do that proves your worth to others. My MPH isn’t showing anywhere prominent any more – not on business card or email signature. Because it was 20 years ago and who cares now? It’s an assumption that you have a certain level of education and credentials to even be in a job. After that, what you accomplish and yes other quite subjective personal qualities determine success. My employer works all over the world and one thing I heard about the Middle East is far more attention on education and credentials even when you’re decades in to a career. So there are cultural differences.

    I do believe, as you may have found, that an employer’s environment can have vast negative or positive influence on your whole life. Sometimes it might not be the profession that’s the biggest problem, but the employer.

    • andrea1 says:

      Great insights, I didn’t know some of that about preferences here vs home. I’ve observed tons since working in KSA, but the more I read studies in the fields I’m interested in, the more my perspectives evolve. Here’s hoping I can make something out of it all, that also eventually translates back into gainful employment at home.

      I have so many blogs and so many of your posts to catch up on. It was like once my iMac wasn’t in front of my face, I lost all drive. such a slacker. haha. How are you?

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