I’ve realized that I’ve been pretty bad about explaining the work that I’m actually doing in Wake County’s Budget and Management Services Department (BMS), so I’ll open with that this week. My role is akin to a budget analyst. Or in other words, my duties change every day, multiple times a day, often without notice. At any given time, I’m working on at least three on-going projects, with more layered on by the permanent analysts and/or the directors of our department. It’s a test of focus, efficiency, organization, attention to detail, prioritization, and judgement (I could probably add a few more, but you get the point). It’s a multi-faceted position that, well, leaves you in the deep-end from time to time, leading me to the title for this week’s post.
With the June 4th budget adoption squarely in the rearview (you can read that blog post here), in many ways it feels like I am starting over in my role. My first week at Wake County kind of went by in a blur because I was thrown into the mix (har-har get it? Because that was the name of my first post? Okay, I’ll see myself out) quite literally head-first. However, my biggest takeaway from that week was one phrase: Don’t drown alone. That is, if you’re out in the deep-end, flailing around and failing to tread water, the smart thing to do is ask a buddy for a nifty life preserver. For weeks, I was flailing away, requesting preserver after preserver from seemingly all of Wake County’s Municipal Government. Now things feel different though.
When I first arrived I wasn’t sure how, when, or if I would get “caught up” and appreciably learn the systems, jargon and assumptions that are second nature to my more tenured co-workers. I’m still not doing a great job (for those in BMS that read this, feel free to refute that statement, my door is always open), but I know I’m more competent today than I was on May 14. I still look across the hall at Budget Analyst (and UNC MPA Alum, ’17) Margaret Murphy and recognize that I have a looooooong way to go, but hey, progress is progress.