My Cup Of Ambition

As I look back, I think my cup of ambition turned out to be more of a thimble than a cup. I lived for years being drawn along the current of my father’s ambitions for me. That did not work. I came to a point when I knew I could not remain in the career that my father had wanted me to make a name in.

Did I have any ambitions of my own? Not really. There was something very exciting about New York. As Alicia Keys so beautifully sings it, the idea of the concrete jungle where dreams are made had an allure. If I could make it in New York, I could make it anywhere. I remember moving to New York with such wild ideas of how fulfilling and thrilling it would be. But you know what – I failed miserably in New York. I did not last long at all.

City, Skyling, Buildings, Architecture

I think that I have lacked ambition at times, and just not wanted to fight when challenges came along. I have always been able to give my all to work itself, but any conflict or rivalry with other people and I back off. I have never been interested in pushing myself to the forefront or being the best. I just like work.

I finally found a niche for me, something that could combine my work ethic with not wanting to be the most prominent – and surprisingly it came in the form of project management. I have worked on temporary assignments as a project management for several companies and I seem to have made the role of project manager work perfectly for me.

Managing a team who all have ambitions and want to be praised and recognised works great for me. I can give praise and encouragement, I can help them make the most of their skills and talents by facilitating everything they need to shine. There are always tedious, monotonous sides to any project, and sometimes it is hard to assign “boring” work tasks to a team member. So I often end up taking on those less glamourous tasks, which are also essential, myself. Happy team, happy project, happy results.

Teamwork, Team, Arrows, Success, People

The company I work for right now hired me as a project manager. I had a temporary contract and when the project I was overseeing ended, they asked me to stay on as an assistant to a new director. I never expected that so much of that time would be spent working from home. What a surprise the Pandemic turned out to be. I was dreading going back to the office as most of my other colleagues have done. Due to effects of the very naughty lump pressing against the nerves in my back (which is soon to be surgically removed) I have been allowed to remain working from home and to cut my hours down as I am finding an unusual degree of exhaustion has come over me in recent weeks.

I am going to be leaving my current role soon. I have just six weeks before my last day. When I go back to the US with Ben, I will be hoping for another role where I can work hard, make other people shine, and enjoy being busy.

But first…I need to be able to walk without pain. Between now and my next job, I need surgery and other medical treatment which may be tough for me, I need to settle into a new home (well, we already know we will be with Ben’s parents for a couple of months) and I need to be able to stay awake for at least eight hours in a row!!

So there you have it – right now my ambitions are:

  • walk without pain
  • stay awake for at least eight hours in a row

Am I asking too much?

12 replies on “My Cup Of Ambition”

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I cam back from Norfolk last night. I am going to send you an email with some links. The Marsden are the experts so you are in good hands.

Thinking of you Jenna. Any time you want to talk or ask questions I will do my best.

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Pinkette – I am sure you are capable of anything you put your mind to. You are also wise enough to realize that people behave weird when they let their ambitions distort their feelings towards their colleagues. I have seen it myself – sometimes people become glory hunters, needing praise for everything they do.

I am worried about you though. You seem to be really struggling with this back pain. Am I right in thinking this is some kind of cancerous growth they need to remove? They need to get on with it and not leave you in this state.

Please stay positive. You can beat this! Stay strong!

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Egos are like a minefield! Half of working with a team is figuring out how to navigate other people’s ambitions.

Thank you Jacob. I have finally been sent a letter with a date for my surgery and it is soon. I have found the waiting hard, it has made me worry about all the possibilities.


As someone who has been suffering from nerve pain (coming from my back, into my buttocks, down my leg to my knee) because of stress for the last month… no, you are not asking for too much. Being without pain is definitely one of my ambitions at this moment too, and being able to sleep for more than half an hour at a time…
Take care, Jenna!
~ Marie xox


Thank you May.
It was a surprise to me that project management could work so well for me. When I worked for a company with a permanent contract – I sensed the rivalry and competition in the departments I worked for. But when I go in to work for a company on a temporary contract, just to manage one initiative, I seem to have the benefits of being a fresh face, an outsider, a neutral party. I always sense that members of the team may feel unappreciated in their roles, so I try to bring the best out of them and make them look good. I find not only do we end up with results from a team effort that make the job a success, but I hope that it also becomes a chance to build up the working relationships of the team I have worked with, create a good spirit, find the hidden talents in each team member and when I leave, I hope that I am leaving lots of positives.

But yes….most important to me right now is being able to just get through a normal working day. When my bosses realized how ill I was, they were happy to reduce my hours and let me continue working from home. After all I am leaving them soon anyway. My replacement starts next week. I gave already had a chat with her on Zoom and she seems very keen. So, I am going to try to be of use to her over the next few weeks.


I like that you don’t just fall into your own ambitions, but care about the work of the whole team and know how to motivate all team members.
Your personal ambitions and ambitions cannot be called. Rather, these are hopes for the fulfillment of desires.
I wish you a speedy recovery.

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I find it very satisfying to see my colleagues feeling appreciated and wanting to give their best. Sometimes, it takes time to find their hidden strengths and talents. But a happy team is a joy to work with.


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