Saturday, March 11, 2006

Job matters 

I didn’t get either of the jobs I was going for (same organisation, different roles). Mostly, I’m relieved.

So why did I apply? One was as Training and Development Manager; ten years ago, I’d have said this was just the way I wanted my career to go. But the commitment and energy needed for this particular role would have left nothing over to do the things I’ve discovered since that I really want to do – the writing, photography, music and more. I don't think I exaggerate if I say that the job would have been the final nail in the coffin for this blog. And all along, I knew there was one key element that I lacked, although I’m pretty sure I made a good job of hiding this; I just don’t have the fundamental belief and faith in the organisation’s ability to bridge the monumental gap between its aspirations and its capabilities. I hear a lot of MBA-speak (players of buzz-word bingo would have a field day here!) , but see no evidence of any deep understanding of the processes of organisational change. In any case, I never really wanted to manage Training & Development; I wanted to deliver it, to become involved with people’s learning at a personal level – however, total lack of any real experience there makes it difficult to find a way in. In spite of how this might sound, I don’t think I’m simply rationalising failure here; all in all, I think I may just have had a lucky escape.

The other was more disappointing. It was not so much a job as a promotion; something like a dozen people were appointed, so as it comes as rather a kick in the teeth to know that I wasn’t even an “also suitable”. Maybe my face didn’t fit; maybe there were lots of bright young things over-eager to display their talents; maybe I didn’t do a good enough job of disguising the fact that my enthusiasm was less than 100%.

I think the message is clear; the kind of fulfilment I seek is not to be found in working in a large corporation, even one that is dedicated to public service. (Duh! As if I didn’t already know that!) For the time being, I’m better off with a role that pays the bills yet leaves some energy left over to go looking elsewhere for what I seek.

I suppose I should take heart though, both from this and from previous applications, that I tend to be quite successful at getting shortlisted for interview for posts that are well off of the obvious track of an engineering career. So I must be doing a fair job of the written part of the application – that at least is encouraging.

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