The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Big Fish, Small Bowl

Posted by Seeking Solace |

Husband begins his new job today. He is a little nervous about it. It's not the usual new job jitters. He is not the only new guy at the site. He is on of a group of five or six that were specially picked to be part of a specialized group at his new company.  This group is only the second of its type at the company, and the first group at one of the branch offices of this company. So, Husband is working with his work and intellectual peers on a somewhat brand new venture.

He feels like a big fish in a small bowl. And, that is freaking him out, just a little.

I kinda understand what that is like. I remember my first day of law school orientation. On top of the classic "Look to your left, look to your right" speech, I and my fellow first year students were reminded how we were to top of the deck, the top 1% of the 1%. I was with people who were my intellectual and academic equal. I was a big fish in a small bowl with a lot of fellow big fish. And, that scared me.

Law school was very competitive, almost cut-throat. I remember classmates hiding books in the library that were needed for assignments. Some people were not open to collaboration or even studying together. Even when I did find some good folks to form a study group, there was still a "I'm in this for myself only, mentality. In the law school fish-bowl, there are a lot of piranhas that have no problem eating their fellow fish.

I don't think Husband's new job experience will mimic what I experienced in law school. But, I didn't want to diminish what he was feeling either. My thought was about how much pressure there is when we embark on something new. Regardless of the pressure being institutional, self imposed or both, it's still pressure. I did tell Husband the same thing he told me when I started law school. They wouldn't have picked you unless they truly believed that you have something to bring to the table that no one else can. You are about to start something really great. Enjoy the ride. You got this.

Then, in my best Stuart Smalley voice, I said, "You are good enough, smart enough, and gosh-darn-it, people like you.

It is tough sometimes, being a big fish. But, in Husband's case, I think he will be happy swimming in his new fish bowl.