The first was an unexpected from my boss* telling me how lucky I am that he is prepared to offer me something that, reading between the lines, it might be hard to refuse. It is well documented on this blog that I have been looking for my next role, and many have cried, with some justification, that maybe I have not been trying hard enough, because I have not been able to identify the "next thing". Even my boss, the one who rang me with the offer, is aware that I have this itch since he facilitated a failed attempt for me to take my first steps in to management. So imagine my surprise** when he offered me something new, however not a new role, but a new environment in which to do my current role.
Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather**, so once I had dragged my jaw off the floor**, I started to ask a few questions. It is fair to say, and this is said without any intended slight on my boss, that he did give off a few signs of desperation, and as the story unfolded, it was clear why. This new environment is well known to me, mainly because I know of three people who have left it for other things, two of them to things outside of Starfleet, and one, the incumbent, who is likely to be joining the exodus. This forth person is my potential predecessor, in that by all accounts he is definitely someone's predecessor, I am just not sure I want that someone to be me. I then rang around those that I know who have worked there, to try and find someone who could say a good word about it, and maybe I am contacting a "self-selecting populous" by ringing only disgruntled employees, however the picture they painted is not great, which is in fact that a weak euphemism for "really sh!t". While I do believe I have some skills and experience that differentiate me from my potential predecessor (a man, let it be known, who is not short of talent or experience), I do need to be working in an environment where the phrase "one team" is not said pejoratively and with a sneer on the face, since I do need to have some collaboration and team spirit if the going is tough, and this one sounds like a forced route march (is there any other type of role in Starfleet these days) but with stones in my shoes, and a 150Kg backpack.
I was meant to have rung my boss yesterday to discuss further, but to be honest I am still looking for someone who can say something good about the place. I must not prevaricate, but instead must face it head on and have a frank discussion.
The other opportunity came via LinkedIn, which is not something I use in any anger, but has thrown up the odd lead, and is certainly a good way to maintain a link with ex-colleagues and others who you would otherwise lose touch. For this opportunity, I need a CV, and so I spent several hours at the weekend getting my dusted down and fit for purpose. After the first review from LO, it was clear that it was looking very dated. To be fair, I have not needed one in anger for a very long time, and while Starfleet do have an online CV tool that is a mandatory thing to maintain, the CV it produces is, well it is hard to describe without rudeness, but let's just say that it is layed out like you would imagine a Cobol programmer would present themselves, the paper equivalent of scuffed shoes, baggy trousers and a shirt four sizes too big, with the sleeves rolled up.
So I contacted an old friend who is rising high in the ranks of our industry, for a copy of his CV, and what a fantastic document it is too, so for an hour yesterday afternoon I migrated my content in to the new format, borrowed some of his better phrases (better in as much as they could be used to describe me) and was able to send it off the the agency at the end of the day.
Even if it is just an interview and one or other of us is not keen to take it any further, I want this to be a bit of a wake up call to get me back on track to improving myself and my employability. Starfleet has many opportunities, but it can institutionalise a chap, and this particular chap is very very keen to avoid becoming too entrenched.
============================================* That would be my "feeding and watering" boss rather than my task manager, what with all that new fangled matrix management thing that Starfleet uses to confuse the uninitiated.
** a hackneyed phrase, but still does the trick