Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Job update

So I got called in for an interview at Dream Job last week. 


Now, I haven't interviewed for a job since... wow. What century is this?

Was I nervous? Yes. Did I comport myself well?  Seems so. I don't think I stuck my foot in my mouth too often. I handled all questions well, except for the two I wasn't expecting: current salary and expectations, and when I could start.  The first was awkward because this job was a serious step-down in hourly salary. But I let them know I was okay with that. After all, I was moving from a part-time job to a full-time, and the money in my pocket would increase for doing more of easier work.

The second question I had no idea. I tentatively offered them an average two weeks' notice period, only to learn from my current HR that because I've been at my current job for over a decade and a half, my notice period really needs to be four weeks. (I updated Dream Job with this info as soon as I got it.)

Sidebar: From the very beginning I was open with my current job that I'd applied for Dream Job, because that's how we roll. Everyone knew what was going on and were following the adventure.

So, today I'm in a big important departmental team meeting when my phone rings.  (Bad me, for failing to put it on silent in a meeting.)  I had one look at the number and my supervisor goes, "Is that The Call?!"

I slip out to take it.

Alas, I did not get the job. Everyone they'd interviewed was more than qualified to do the work, and they went with the person who would have been the best fit.

Went back into that meeting to a dozen expectant eyes.  "Nope. You all have me for another couple of years."  Commiserations all around.

ETA: I requested and got feedback from DJ's HR. Nothing wrong with me or how I interviewed. Just for their selected candidate, a couple of things were a better fit, like salary expectations and geographic location, etc. Ah, well. 

Coincidentally, my Annual Performance Review was this afternoon. There, I learned that a proposal to make my position full-time was included in the Annual Budget, pending approval. Should that happen, I'll most likely take it up, and comfort myself over not getting Library Dream Job with the 50% more salary I'll get.

(Also, my review let me know I was doing pretty good in my job and am seen as an asset to the team. Good to know.)

Now, I also made it clear that I didn't plan on staying in this job forever. They know my ambitions towards being an author, but also that I'd love to get back into the Library system. I'm in my current role by accident.  Happy to do well while I'm here, but it's not the career track I want to be in.

But these things happen. Most people spend some time in a job that's not their dream career. It's normal and not a sign that one's life has gone wrong. We end up in these jobs because they were needful in the moment. Sometimes this side quest take a bit longer, but might be necessary to keep us alive until we can get back to where we wanted to go.

To that end, I'll have career news in the upcoming Quarterly Newsletter. If you're not subscribed to the QN, do so now before 30 Dec so you can get yours.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Rare Opportunity Job

Yesterday was the deadline for applications for a Rare Opportunity Job. You bet your sweet bippy I submitted my application.

A Rare Opportunity Job (sometimes called a Dream Job) is the kind of job you want to be working at, but aren't, because the opportunity to get one rarely comes up.

I'd love to be a Google Doodler. I'd love to be a score composer. But these opportunities aren't going to happen any time soon, so I've let my dreams settle into more realistic aims.

A ROJ at a library recently arose. While I'm not actively job-hunting at the moment, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to apply.

I got my first library card at age 3. We attended at least once a fortnight or so. Would have gone more often, if a library was within my underage commute distance without needing to rely on someone to drive me there. As an adult I've worked at three libraries and loved it. Currently I do part-time IT Support peripherally to a library, but it's not quite the same as working in a library itself.

Last week a Rare Opportunity Job arose at a library. What makes this the ROJ it is?
  • It's in a library. After having worked straight IT for a while, I realised I'm much happier working in a library. I really want to go back.
  • Location. Granted, it's a good hour away. But it's close to a daughter's school, and it's in a neighbourhood I wouldn't mind working in. Besides, long-term plans involve us moving into that area anyway. 
  • Money. Sure the hourly rate is lower than what I'm making now, but as it's a full-time job, the actual amount of money that will be going into my pocket will rise. I need more money, but I also need less stress. This job will give me both.
  • Work Load. Unless this job ends up being an outlier, the work load pace and stress will be less than what I'm doing now. I'm ready for a job where I'm a wheel cog and not a fire extinguisher. I'm feeling the faint edge of burnout nibbling at my heels at my current job. While my hours keep that at bay, this leaves me stuck in a corner. I could make more money if I could get more hours, but then I'd definitely burn out faster.
  • Schedule. I confess I was considering going back to full-time work in 2-4 years time, now that Their Ladyships are much older and don't need their momma so much. Still, there's a few things they do that require me to be Mom. The work schedule, as posted with the job application, will allow me to continue being there for them when they need me. There's also the opportunity for the eldest to come to the library after school for some quiet study time, before going home with Mom (as long as she doesn't bother me too much and lets me get on with my work).  Only downside is that I will have to work one Sunday afternoon a month, and we've got afternoon church next year. 
  • One weekday RDO (see previous). This one weekday off is a boon. This will be a block of time I can use for study and writing, plus daughter support.

"Wait," you say. "Isn't being an Author your Dream Job?"

Well, yes, dear reader, it is. However, unlike a regular 9-5 Day Job, the opportunity to succeed as an author doesn't come along as a job application that you score an interview and then a job offer and then you're in until ded or fled.

Writing's one of those things where to succeed you need Luck, Persistence, Talent (pick two; or rather, two will pick you. Only in Persistence do you have a choice).  Even if you do score a success, you're only as good as that moment of success, and you're back to the struggle. 

It's going to be several years before writing income is sufficient to replace a day job's income. Until then, I engage in that longstanding tradition of Author with a Day Job. I know more AwDJs than I do authors who make sole income from writing.

Library jobs are rare enough as it is. The last library job I applied for received over 800 applications. Eight. Hundred.  The chances I'll get called for an interview, never mind get this job are rather slim.

But those odds are better than if I'd never applied at all.

Her Grace daydreams about going to her new library job and spends idle time working out the logistics.