I found out last week that effective today, I am getting a raise and a promotion at work. I was incredibly shocked by this news. Not only is the economy tanking, but I was told in fairly explicit terms that I was part of a group that was not eligible for a promotion in any sense. (It’s a long, and slightly interesting story, which I may go into later.)
I’m not sure which made me more excited – the fact that my paycheck is growing or the fact that I finally feel like someone’s recognizing the work that I’m doing in the office. A number of my team members have quit in recent weeks, and I have taken on a significant amount of their work. They were all above me in the hierarchy, so I’ve been doing the work of people one and two levels higher than me since they left. And our new department head took notice. It’s really a good feeling to finally feel valued here. Because the person who hired me was gone by the time I started this job, I have always felt a bit unwelcome, so this was a wonderful turn of events.
Plus I’m excited about a bigger paycheck. I’m not going to lie.
Those of you who follow me on Twitter already know about this event – I tweeted about it almost immediately.
And then I felt guilty.
While I know that I work hard and I earned this promotion, I know that there are a lot of people out there who are really struggling, hoping they don’t get laid off, and here I am rubbing my promotion in their faces. I’m reluctant to tell my friends about it for that very reason. I know that even though I earned this promotion, I’m also lucky to get it. I know there are some out there who are immediately thinking that it’s only because I work for the government. And while it’s true that my government position means I’m less likely to get laid off, it’s not as if this position was just created for me. As I said, I’m sliding into a position that has been vacated. I’m not sure if they’re going to hire others onto our team or not. As of yet, we haven’t heard anything to that effect.
It’s strange how my emotions on all of this have changed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still delighted to have my accomplishments and dedication recognized, and I’m looking forward to seeing just what that new paycheck is going to look like. I just feel uncomfortable with sharing it with the people I would normally celebrate with.
Of course, I plan to just increase my savings, no big excitement due to this raise. But it’s reassuring to have a bit more of a cushion.