Moving and shaking

So I know, what about this job interview I spoke of so casually? Here’s the story.

As you know, I was pissed off after having my proposal for a new role being knocked back and was grumbling about it and generally feeling sorry for myself. I’d decided to start looking for a new role again and had actually sent off an application over the weekend but, fair to say, I wasn’t yet in that looking for a new job headspace. It was fortuitous then when I got a message through LinkedIn while I was sitting on the couch Monday night.

I get all sorts of email and messages and most don’t amount to much. I’m pretty chill about it these days, but it doesn’t mean I ignore them. On this occasion it was a headhunter pitching a few roles at me, two Process Engineers, and another the Chapter Lead for same. He said it was for a ‘tier one’ client and enquired whether I’d be interested?

I responded Wednesday morning and by late that afternoon we’d chatted briefly on the phone and arranged for a preliminary interview at 10 o’clock the next day. Let me say right now that this is much further than any of these conversations generally go.

He’d told me the client was ANZ and that they were in the middle of a huge transformation project adopting Agile at scale and looking to become a much more responsive organisation in general. It was a very ambitious goal, and laudable. And, as I read about it, pretty interesting too.

The conundrum for me was which role was I interested in. For many years that was a simple question: the answer was always the biggest and best. My ego demanded that – I would not knowingly accept anything less than the top job on offer. I always figured it was generally more interesting as well plus, as I was telling my offsider yesterday, I don’t like being told what to do (“Really? No!” he responded mockingly). I’ve always wanted to be the man, and for many years I wanted to be plied with responsibility and challenged with complexity and couldn’t understand anyone different to that. Now I’m that man.

I interviewed yesterday and it was pretty easy and I felt very comfortable, but it gets a lot tougher from here. We discussed the scale of the project and I was intrigued by it and, putting everything else aside, would find it fascinating to be a part of it. There is a lot more to it than that though – a challenging interesting role that just so happens to be permanent, great for my CV, and – like all banks – a handy salary (up to 3 times more than my current salary for the more junior roles).

I’m definitely interested and keen to progress further, but I wonder what I would have to sacrifice. It would be demanding work and for a salary like that they rightly expect a lot – a demand I would have thrived on before, and in large part still would.

What concerns me is what it would mean for my writing. It’s going gangbusters right now and I am full of confidence that I’m on a winner. It takes a certain amount of mental energy to achieve that, though. I have the time and space to manage that right now, and with a bit to spare. I think I could probably manage, but I’m not certain.

I spoke to Donna the other night and she told me how she’d had the opportunity to apply for a more senior role everyone expected to get. She never applied, and the reason boiled down to the fact she didn’t need that responsibility anymore. She was older now, less overtly ambitious, and with more sophisticated goals. As she told it, she was happy to work with her team and didn’t want to be removed from that.

A great part of me is intoxicated by taking on such an interesting and challenging role. I’m sure I can manage it and the thought of taking it on excites me, and it’s not simply my ego speaking. At the same time I know I don’t need that much these days to be happy, and certainly don’t need the swagger that goes with being top dog.

I’ll play it as it comes, and there’s every chance it won’t progress much further. I’m probably overthinking it again, but that’s my rational self needing to tease out every nuance.

As it happens everyone is dropping hints now at work that if I hang around something good is coming my way. I don’t like hints, but I’ll take them.

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