So tomorrow's the big day. Sunday - tomorrow - the first day of the work week here in Qatar (weekend is Friday and Saturday). Tomorrow, the day I start my new job.
Back to work, back to the 9 to 5 grind. (It's Ramadan, so it's actually more like the "9 to 2" grind as work days are compressed to five hours for the next two weeks.)
I'm surprisingly calm. Especially considering that this is pretty much a dream job (on paper, at least). I don't know, maybe you just don't get as excited about things at 43 as you used to in your 20's. Or maybe I've been hardened and wizened by my most recent 'career' experience.
I won't say I'm not nervous. Last night I dreamt that I showed up late for work and got called out by the HR rep. I woke up feeling horrible, regretting "Dream Me's" inability to get to the office on time. I would hazard that's probably the result of some latent fear of failure.
I won't say I'm not looking forward to it. I've bought new shoes and a few very professional looking hand bags. I've got some lovely new office wear as well, but most of the cute dresses will have to wait until after Ramadan to make their first appearance. Discrete and demure is the motto for the next few weeks.
I have to shamefully admit that one of the biggest thrills of this new job is knowing that it is a much more moderate environment than that in which I was working previously. In my last job, I referred to my collection of black pant suits, ankle length skirts, long-sleeved button-up shirts and turtlenecks as my Western abaya wardrobe.
That's not to say classy and modest are not a requisite in this new workplace, and knees and elbows should still be covered for propriety's sake. But the look I've seen around the office when I visited is much more business chic. Tailored suits, pencil skirts, smart cotton slacks, houndstooth A-line dresses, 2+ inch heels and lovely bangle bracelets. It has the feel of a professional workplace with some 'oomph'.
Other than that, I don't really know what to expect. My new boss won't be there until next week, so it will be up to me to find my way around and figure out who's who. I'm expecting HR formalities, ID processing and IT set-up to take up at least the better part of the day tomorrow, and I guess I'll figure out the rest from there.
My fingers are crossed that the actual job is going to live up to the hype. I actually think it holds the promise of excitement and challenge. It is a new and growing organization, much smaller than my previous employer, and from all I've heard it is a dynamic, progressive and positive environment to work in.
I am so, so, so hopeful that it will be a positive experience. That it will let me exercise my brain and my creativity. That I will want to be there. I don't ever want to fall into the pit of despair that engulfed me those last few years in my last job.
Granted, that desperation is most likely what drove me to try my hand at blogging again, but I don't think I need the impetus of a near nervous breakdown to keep me at it.
Tomorrow's the big day. I'll pull on my big girl panties, lace up my steel toed stilettos, tuck away any doubts, and rise up to meet the challenge as best I can.
Wish me luck!