Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Part 2: I hate the phrase "It is what it is"

See Part 1 here


Of course, all good things come to an end, and the market conditions I mentioned earlier forced organizational changes that permitted the seeding of related functional departments with these strong key players. I was asked to manage one of these departments based on my performance as a team manager. However, I just could not put my heart into it for some reason. Many times every day I heard the phrase "It is what it is" coming out of my mouth and the mouths of those around me, as though we were all powerless, victims to circumstance.

Regardless of why, I found myself trolling LinkedIn and going back to reading my long-neglected job alerts that kept hitting my inbox. I receive regular inquiries from recruiters, both internal and external, and usually try to provide a contact to them when I can. Now, I was listening for myself. I declined to interview with one company after being contacted by someone I'd met at business meetings with whom I shared strong networking connections due to same-company employment. I even submitted my resume for a few jobs, including one to a company that I discovered later hired a former 2nd-level manager of mine in a VP role.

After a couple weeks of discussions with a number of recruiters, I accepted an invitation to interview out-of-town. At that point I thought I was only 75% ready to leave my job, but during the interview something just clicked and I knew it was time to leave. I can't pinpoint the moment, but I left knowing my days in my current role were numbered.

Whether you believe in God, karma, or a universe filled with coincidence and wonder, the world of competing job offers opened up to me. I made a firm decision in my own mind that I needed to leave. Twenty-four hours later, the company I interviewed with asked for background references, a pretty good sign I would be receiving an offer. The same afternoon, the person with whom I shared a common employment background contacted me again, this time providing a strong salary number designed to get me on a plane to interview (it worked). Finally, while playing phone tag with both companies, my former 2nd-level manager called to discuss an opportunity she though was right for me.

Three hot jobs, all in the same afternoon, all serious and very, very real.

What followed was about 10 days of physical and emotional exhaustion as I went through my process. I knew I wanted it to be fast, because I'd already made the decision to leave my existing job and didn't want to let my performance lag over weeks or months if I began to mentally detach ahead of actually leaving. Plus, I didn't want to be forced to make the 'bird-in-the-hand' decision as someone ran into delays. So, I pushed to get it done quickly. One company ended up running into a delay, but I had two very strong offers to choose from, along with the opportunity to work with great people at either company. As a result, I have a new role with a local company working for my former 2nd-level manager (now my direct manager), 5 minutes from house. The company is considerably smaller and my responsibilities are broader in terms of functional management. I am already feeling excited about the opportunities for the company, and see a lot of potential for team-building and skill development for myself and my team.

Next: Part 3: I choose to Zig

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