So, I have an announcement to make.... I accepted a new position at my agency as the Information & Referral Specialist. It's kind of a promotion, I guess. I don't know if it's technically considered that, but I'm moving into my own office (next to our President's office) and making more money. So, it feels like a promotion.
As the Information & Referral Specialist, I act as the liaison between Park Center & other mental health agencies and psychiatric hospitals in the area. I take referrals from other providers for clients who are needing any of the several services our agency provides. It is my responsibility to process their referrals in a timely manner & help them get into the program(s) that most appropriately fit their needs & circumstances. Starting off it will be a lot of paperwork, but the plan is to eventually set me some "office hours" at these other agencies wherein I can do face-to-face intakes and answer questions for potential clients seeking our services. I am really looking forward to that aspect of the position.
I'll be honest, I was hesitant to apply for the position. I felt guilty even considering leaving a position in direct-care with a great team, great boss, and great clients. I love my position as Housing Coordinator. But, the opportunity to move slightly up in the agency, gain new administrative experience, create relationships with other providers, and serve people with mental illness coming to us for help in their recovery all just seemed too good to pass up.
I have been trying to convince myself that I'm not "giving up" on direct care. And, the thing is, I'm not. There will be elements of direct care in my new position; the type of direct care will just be different. I won't be as tied up in people's lives for long periods of time, which means I hopefully won't let myself get overly emotionally invested, as I have often done in my current direct care position. I am a very sensitive person (or haven't you noticed?), which is certaily a positive quality in this type of work, but it also makes it very difficult for me to take care of myself and stay emotionally well and energized. I think my new position will give me a bit more control over my stress levels & my own self-care abilities... which is really, really good.
And did I mention that I'll have my own office? I'm really excited about that. And about never being on-call over the weekends, and NEVER HAVING TO DRIVE A HUGE PASSENGER VAN! Hallelujah.
But most of all, I'm excited about this transition being a part of my personal journey to find where I best fit in the world.