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Now, I'm starting to get nervous

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by tripwire45, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I just finished an interview with a big, big outfit that has a division here in town. I was approached by about a dozen different recruiting agencies over a period of a week, asking to represent me in applying for this job. I chose a local agency because I wanted to be able to do a face-to-face with my recruiter and because (sorry to say this) they didn't talk with an accent so thick that I couldn't understand half of what they said.

    Frankly, I'm happy where I am and feel I have a good shot at making a permanent job here. Of course there are no guarantees...there never are in contract work...and my contract has been renewed twice, but only for a few months at a time each time.

    I told myself I didn't really want this job and was just interviewing for the heck of it. That gives me good "walk away" power in the interview and when you interview from a position of strength (as in, "I don't really need this job to survive"), you can be a bit bolder and ask some tough questions if need be. You can also say "I don't know" and not worry so much about whether that answer has just cost you the job.

    That's before the job was described to me. It was an hour long phone interview (even though the job is local) and it took almost the entire 60 minutes allotted (there goes my lunch hour...at 9 a.m.) to get through it. The job would be basically working with multiple teams locally and internationally to ensure content usability on the web for the company's hardware and software products. That's vast! It's both a writing and editing position, with some project management thrown in just for giggles. I'd be working not only with SMEs and various managers, but with information architects, web designers, and so forth...sort of the hub at the center of the wheel.

    I have to admit, as I heard more and more about this job, I started to get hooked. I was concerned in that the company went through some layoffs (no, it's not Micron) but the head guy said that out of almost 300 people he supervises, none were laid off and they have a mandate to hire two more (the position I'm interviewing for being one).

    It's a contract job, but it's "never ending" so to speak. They guy said the only reason he's not hiring as permanent, full-time is that he can't get the hiring rec from the higher ups. He said the job has been in existence for 8 years and they're pulling it back "in-house".

    The head guy interviewed me for the first 30 minutes and then three others got on the conference call and finished off the second half-hour.

    I think I did well, but could "feel" myself talking too much at some points. I also could feel myself repeating ideas and concepts more than I wanted to (but that's how the answers to the questions came out). Since I'm at my day job, I went out to my car to do the interview over my cell. So far, no one has come up to me to ask where the heck I was, but since I'll just work through my tradition lunch time, I'm not cheating anyone out of a thing.

    I do have a slight dilemna though (though I know how I'm going to handle it). The contract agency I'm currently working with asked to be informed if I became interested in or interviewed for other jobs. If I tell them that I just interviewed for another position, and don't get it, how will this affect how they see me? How will the company I currently work for view my request to be made permanent, full-time, knowing I interviewed elsewhere? Sure, there are no promises about this job, but if I don't get offered the job from today's interview (or get an offer but for some reason, decline it), how will it impact my current situation.

    I've decided to play my cards close to the vest and keep mum about it. If I get an offer, they want the person to be on board on or around October 1st. The job time frame is years and it sounded like it could end up being permanent (how often I've heard *those* words before). I know this company and I personally know people who've been on contract with them for upwards of a decade with no end in sight. Naturally, if I don't get an offer, no one is the wiser and it's business as usual.

    Of course, giving presentations are part of the package and I *hate* that. I've also been told that I'd be expected to "own" the content and to (justifiably) recommend sweeping changes based on a number of metrics including customer feedback (something I wanted to do for Microsoft if they'd have offered me a job after last year's interview...no, the job isn't for Microsoft, either). The last job I had before this one also talked about "owning" the content, and apparently one of the things they didn't like about me is that I didn't sufficiently take ownership.

    Maybe they won't make the offer and my problems will be solved (assuming my current job continues on and on and on). I don't know. I like it here. Working for a smaller place has a lot of advantages. I like working near downtown, right on the greenbelt. I like a smaller team who is accessible in not only one building but on the same floor.

    On the other hand, if I get this job, my commute will be lots shorter and I'll be closer to my gym (reducing my excuses for not working out). I've actually worked at this place before, though under completely different circumstances.

    I didn't start out wanting this job but now it sounds interesting. Now, I'm starting to get nervous.
     
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  2. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    Sounds like a great opportunity, I hope you get it.

    Also why not take courses in things like presentation skills, if these skills are necessary in your field (and others say you could work on them) then it makes sense to address them.

    After a few more IT certs im going to look at more soft skills i think, as they will be useful not just for IT and are skills that never date.
     
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  3. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    Good luck :D
     
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  4. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Good luck mate :)
     
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  5. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

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    There's not much advice I can give you. I agree with keeping your cards close to the vest as you don't know what's going to happen and how this plays.

    Best of luck...
    Either way, hopefully you're happy in the end.
     
  6. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    If it is any comfort to you, I think you're handling things as they should be handled. And ultimately, the decision is yours, but it does sound like a good gig (with the exception of the presentations you don't like doing). :)
     
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  7. NightWalker

    NightWalker Gigabyte Poster

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    Good Luck 8)
     
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  8. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Yes, i agree James, keep mum about it. Good luck!!!
     
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  9. Mitzs
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    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

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    I agree with blue, just keep your mouth shut and to be frank put it out of your mind also. All it was, was a job interview, not a job offer and you already have a job at the moment. You do not need this job at the moment. Wait to push the panic button after they call you back.
     
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  10. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Well, the people I interviewed with yesterday made an offer. They want me. Of course, I was at my desk in the middle of everyone when they called, so it was a difficult conversation to have. I asked if I could call her (the contract agency person) back in a few minutes and she said "sure".

    As I mentioned before, I rather like where I currently work. I went into the HR person and explained that I'd received an offer from another firm. She was very understanding and didn't take anything personally. I told her I liked it here and asked if they could counter. She said the CEO is off site but can be reached. She'd need to talk with him and my Manager to see if they could make a direct hire offer to me at this time. She'll let me know before end of business today.

    I called the other person back and said I needed to talk to the missus before I could give them a firm answer. This is actually true, and I wasn't even able to talk to my wife about the interview last night because I taught a class and she had to work late. By the time I got home, she was already in bed. She has no idea this is going on (well, she knows I had an interview scheduled, but that's it) and she doesn't have a cell for me to call her. I won't see her until after work. I asked the other person if I could give them my decision at start of business on Monday.

    She thought a second but said it was OK (if they *really* want me, they won't push me into saying "no"). While I had her on the phone, I asked about insurance, retirement options, and so forth, just to make sure I fully understood what was on the table. This isn't an automatic "no" to them. I still have to hear if my current job can make a competitive offer.

    I really hate negotiating and all this stuff. Of course, that's completely unrealistic of me. Negotiation is what we do all the time in relationships to represent our interests, understand another's interests, and come to a mutually satisfying (hopefully) resolution.

    I'll know more by the end of the day. Wish me luck.
     
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  11. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    Good Luck :D
     
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  12. BosonMichael
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    Rather than wish you luck, I'll offer congratulations! It sounds like you very well might have a permanent offer from one or both employers in the near future! :)
     
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  13. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Actually, in your case and the case of all other believers reading this, I'd prefer prayer that His will be done in this matter. Thanks.
     
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  14. BosonJosh

    BosonJosh Gigabyte Poster

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    I'll offer my congratulations, as well, Trip! I'm sure it'll work out one way or the other.
     
  15. BosonMichael
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    I will certainly pray that He gives you the wisdom to make the correct decision, and to give Him the glory. :)
     
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  16. Mitzs
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    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

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    I got my fingers crossed for you buddy that you get the job you want.
     
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  17. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Maybe I should rename this thread "pins and needles".

    As you recall, yesterday, I was waiting for a response from the CEO and my Manager regarding their counteroffer. The "deadline" for their response was 5 p.m. I had told the HR person that I needed to respond to the other party by Monday a.m.

    While waiting, I called the missus at home and filled her in on the situation. the other party is offering a lesser hourly wage than my current job and their benefits package is almost non-existent. We discussed it and if it goes that way, I'll be asking them for more than my current wage. This is to counter the bennies I'd not have available and to allow some room for negotiation.

    I went back to work and started watching the clock. I figured they'd get back to me by mid to late afternoon, which would give us time to have a conversation about their offer and negotiate if necessary.

    Time passed. 5 p.m got closer and closer. In the absence of information, my imagination took over. Usually, in a situation like this, if they make you wait right until 5 without a word, you can expect a couple of tough looking guys to show up and escort you out of the building with all your personal possessions in a cardboard box. I couldn't see why it would go that way but as I said, in the absence of information...

    At about a quarter till 5, I went to use the John. I figured when I got back to my desk, I'd IM the HR person to ask what's what. When I got back, she was gone. Usually, when she's away from her desk but in the building, her IM just goes to idle but she was actually signed out. I was getting pretty concerned. I decided to look up my Manager (it was all but 5 anyway), and find out what was what.

    Lo and behold, when I got to his office, he wasn't in it. I did a quick sweep of the floor and saw that the COO's (Chief Operating Officer's) office door was closed with a note saying "Conference call". It ook that to mean "do not disturb".

    OK, that made sense. They were all in a conference call with the CEO who probably couldn't be reached until 5. I'd wait.

    6:15 came and went. 6:30 came and went. 6:45 came and went. I was wondering how long it was going to take to make a decision about me. I looked out the window and checked to see if the HR person's car was there or not. Not. She had really gone.

    5:58 p.m. came and I saw the door to the COO's office was open. I figured my Manager was in his office and rather than wait for him to come to me, I'd go to him. Guess what? His office was empty. Most of the developers had left by this time but one of them that was still around told me he'd left for the day an hour ago.

    I was totally baffled. They couldn't have just forgotten, could they? The COO's office door was open and he was talking to the research guy. I made myself conspicuous, but kept a distance while the COO noticed me. Turns out they were just chewing the fat and the COO invited me in. The research guy left and I asked if I could close the door.

    Once I had and sat down, I asked if he knew about my conversation with the HR person. I figured if everyone else who knew about this had to leave for some reason, maybe they'd put this in his hands. He didn't have a clue. I laid it all out for him (after all, he's second-in-command so it's not like I *shouldn't* tell him). He apologized about what had happened and reassured me that to the best of his knowledge, everyone thinks well of me and of the work I've done and that there are no plans to let me go at the end of my current contract.

    He said he couldn't speak for the CEO, but would inquire remotely as to the situation. At this point, all that could be done was for me to go home, return Monday morning and address my status then. It's likely that no one was able to reach the CEO to discuss the matter but he'd be back Monday.

    I think two or three issues came into play here. The first is that communication isn't the best in this organization. Also, there's a lack of formal procedure for certain situations. Both of these are likely due to the fact that the place is small and relatively young. They're used to handling things informally and sometimes that allows things to "fall through the cracks".

    The last bit could be my fault. At one point, the HR person IMed me saying that she and my Manager had a conference call scheduled with the CEO. Now, I don't recall the exact message and after I closed the IM window, it disappeared forever (I have logging shut off). There *might* have some something in there that modified the time frame, but if there was, I don't remember. If that's the case, I may have fretted for nothing. For all I know, it could have said they had a meeting for Monday morning. I don't recall anything like that in the message, but I have to consider that having not read the message carefully (and not saved it), I could have neglected an important piece of information.

    Anyway, that's where I am...on hold through the weekend. I came home and discussed the matter with my wife. She said that what is important and imminent to me, isn't necessarily the same in the corporate world, and to not take it personally. She was very calm about the whole thing, in fact. We agreed that my current position seems better suited for me and agreed that, if it came down to it, I'd have to ask for more of an hourly wage from the other people to make it OK.

    I've been studying Mussar, which is Jewish spiritual development, and the chapter I read last night before bed was on "Patience". It talked about how easy it is to do all we can in a situation and then say "It's in God's hands now", but how difficult it can be to really "let go and let God", as is said in some churches.

    Stephen Covey's book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People says more or less the same thing in the first habit. It talks about a person's "Circle of Concern" and within it, is the person's "Circle of Influence". We can only control those things in the latter circle but not the former. As people at Alcoholics Anonymous might say in the serenity prayer, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference".
     
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  18. fortch

    fortch Kilobyte Poster

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    Well, I know this situation, and this type of company, quite well -- and I feel your pain. However, with two possible positions, things could be a LOT worse, especially since they seem to think highly of you. I love what your wife said -- completely spot on.

    Put these burdens on God's shoulders, my friend, and remember, in 1 year you're gonna chuckle about this, and in 10 years you won't even remember it.

    Good luck, my friend.
     
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  19. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Thanks, fortch. The last two paragraphs of my previous post do indicate that I have put it in His hands (being human, I still struggle to keep my hands off of the matter). Have asked for prayer from my local congregation (and from my Mom...after all, what are Mom's for :wink: ).
     
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  20. BosonMichael
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    Continued prayers for you, my friend.
     
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