We had a few earthquakes this week. At or before 6am, I noticed an earthquake too big to be just my imagination as I was running a redline and trying to get a document emailed out to another associate after working through the night. Later, at about 5:30pm, there was a 7.2M quake. The quake was long enough for me to log on to social media to post about it, instant message with a number of co-workers, think about getting under my desk, decide not to get under my desk, and start working again all before the quake ended. (This was much less scary than the March 2011 earthquake that I experienced from the same floor of the the same office building.) Our building kept moving for 17 minutes after the quake was over.
Also, this week, was my review. Given my own frustrations with how things have been going at work, the firm's evaluation of me was much more positive than I expected. I was evaluated as exceeding expectations in a number of categories, particularly business development (the whole bringing in a client as a 2nd year thing was a stroke of luck, really, but they appreciated it). Happily, I will move on to the next salary level in 2013--my first ever raise at a full-time job. (In fairness, this sort of salary bump is relatively automatic in a firm like ours, but since I did not receive a salary bump last year because the group didn't have enough work, I am particularly happy to progress to the next level.)
Speaking of work, I had a tough week trying to balance five different major projects plus three minor projects. I don't think I did a job of keep the senior folks on all the major projects aware of the competing deadlines and, as a result, didn't sleep a couple of nights in a row and felt like my work product wasn't up to standard. Coming from a much slower office, this is the first time I've experienced this--really need to do a better job managing my work.
One of the major challenges is working with people in too many time zones. I've worked on cross-border deals before, but those deals have included just one overseas jurisdiction and it was relatively easy to adjust my work and sleep schedule accordingly. For the last month and a half, I've been working simultaneously with counterparts across the US, Latin America, Asia, Southeast Asia, and Europe. Someone is always awake and emailing you. In order to keep the project moving forward, it's very tempting to stay up "just a few more hours" to make progress with local counsel in jurisdiction X. What a slippery slope!
Growing pains, really, that's what it is. Still, I want to do better!
There is nothing other than work going on. I'm okay with that because my goal for my year in Tokyo is to develop and get "catch up" experience, but this wouldn't be how I would want to live indefinitely. I miss my family and friends, and I miss having a well-rounded life (dancing!).