Monday, January 7, 2013

Back to work!

Grafitti sign left along Regent's Canal, Bethnal Green, London

I'm back at work, and back to the task of job searching.

Before we went to London, I hired a temporary worker to replace one of my colleagues, who'd found a transfer position. We interviewed people who were part of a pool of temporary workers used by my large bureaucratic organization - they provide temporary labor to the many departments here. We were specifically instructed to consider this pool of workers before we considered people from outside the organization.

I have to tell you that my expectations were initially low for filling the position. I did not think we'd get a very good person. However, I was surprised. First of all, these workers are hungry. They have been circulating in our organization for several months, and are eager to learn all the inside skills that make them valuable. Second, these workers are very practiced at job interviews. They are constantly interviewing, whether for some of the rare permanent positions that open up, or for all the temporary assignments that ebb and flow in our organization.

We offered the position to R., a very poised young woman who knocked it out of the park, interview-wise. She started work last Thursday; I gave her a tour of the building and introduced her to her new colleagues; then I began training her in her new duties.

These duties include working in our arcane financial software - an overview of our budgetary process - and a broad overview of our business model and the day-to-day flow of tasks. She stayed with me, and I think she's going to be great. She's very professional, hits all the right notes, and is eager to learn.

On Friday, just before she ended her shift, her phone, stowed away in the back of her desk, buzzed. She apologized, and asked me if it was OK to check it. I nodded.

It was our organization's HR department. She made the short list for a permanent position with another department. Could she make an interview appointment Monday (today) at three?

She was very embarrassed. I told her not to worry - I understood. Our position was temporary, and it was to be expected she was also applying for permanent positions. I told her we could adjust the schedule so she could make the interview,  and suggested that she cite the training we'd just completed as her experience using the financial software.

Today we worked some more, and she did well. I let her have a half hour breather before her interview. She returned feeling optimistic. The department said they'd have a decision by the end of the week. If they don't offer it to her, then the person they do choose must be awesome!

Meanwhile.....I've sent out a bunch of job applications to outside organizations, with no response. I've applied for a transfer position within my own organization, but it's for a more junior position than the one I already have. I'm supposed to take an exam for it on Wednesday - I have never had to take a "test" for a job before, and it's a little intimidating. What if I fail to qualify for a job that's actually a demotion for my current job?

My new hire is really impressive - maybe she should be training me?


Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

We had a "night of the long knives" last Thursday- 13 long-standing employees got axed, including the friend who originally recommended me for the job, my former supervisor, and my former manager. The guy who primarily wielded the ax was our C.F.O. The last time I saw the guy was the day after Superstorm Sandy, when he showed up unexpectedly to assess any storm damage. I took him on a very thorough "Cook's Tour" of the site, pointing out all of the downed trees and the minor extent of damage to buildings (a torn-off shutter, a missing screen door). I was unshaven, and pretty ragged-looking (I had worked a double during the storm), but I was "prepared" for this unexpected inspection. Of course, this isn't what saved my job- the guys in my department who got canned were a 20-year guy and a 33-year guy who were making considerably more money than I am.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Life in corporate America, post-Reagan.

Kizz said...

It wouldn't be a bad idea to ask her if she has any interviewing tips!

smalltownme said...

(Sorry to change the subject, but I adore that picture!)

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

If the person interviewing you takes any time at all to actually talk with you, he/she will soon know how fabulous you are and what a valuable asset to the department.

I applied for a job last week and haven't heard anything, and I'm pretty sure I am over-qualified to do it. So I am a firm believer in "the right job will come along."

Anonymous said...

It seems like there are positions available in your company. Why not go for one of those? It's rough out there in the world.

Aunt Snow said...

I'm trying both options, Sheila.