I got a call on Monday from a recruiter I’ve had dealings with in the past inquiring if I’d be interested in a role he had to fill. He called it a CIO role – according to the PD I’ve received since it’s actually Head of IT, but it amounts to the same thing. The role is with local company with a strong profile, and as it stands has approximately 70 IT staff.
I was surprised by the call, though on reflection the greater part of the surprise is due to the sheer incongruity of my situation. I have an impressive looking CV and roles similar to this listed there – but I’m currently working in a dead-end job. The surreal aspect is further heightened when you consider the roles I’ve missed out on, and the fact that this role is offering a little more than 4 times more than my current annual salary. As I wrote the other day, it’s a perverse world.
Perhaps because of that I didn’t take it terribly seriously. It was a conjecture, an oddity, an unlikely kite flying across my horizon. But then I got a follow-up phone call yesterday morning. This was with a different recruiter who was keen to get me in the mix. I listened in and asked questions, both intrigued and bemused, then finally curious. I asked for some further detail on the job and said I would get back inside 24 hours.
I went through the job overview and PD overnight. I was torn.
I have never refused a challenge like this before. It’s always been principle to say yes. There’s pride in that, and vanity, and mixed with genuine curiosity and ambition. I’ve always wanted to do more. I was always restless. I always figured the further you went the more interesting the work became. And if none of that was sufficient, I couldn’t live with myself knowing I’d not been big enough to take the plunge. I couldn’t refuse the challenge. I had to test myself. Anything less would shame me.
Now I felt trepidation. Was it genuine, or was it fear? That’s the question I asked myself.
High profile jobs mean high profile risks, but I’ve never been afraid of that before. This certainly is a challenging role in what will be a challenging environment. I don’t know enough about it yet to claim categorically that I can flush it good. There are technical aspects I just ignorant of right now. But that raises the fear of failure. Have I never experienced that before? Or did it just motivate me more previously?
I felt a sense of embarrassment. How can I, virtually working in a call centre, explain that? Did I want to have to explain that? Did I want to be exposed? If I didn’t venture then nothing could be lost.
The most legitimate of my reservations was if I really wanted to take on such a full-on job. A role such as this is all-consuming. The rewards, both financial and intellectual, are great, but the cost is being all in. The question is whether I have moved past that stage of my life? I still don’t know.
In the end, as I knew I must, I agreed to take it to the next stage. I don’t expect too much of happen, but you never know. Stranger things have happened, though not many.