For anyone who reads my blog here and there, you’ve probable noticed my distinct absence lately.. For whatever reason I haven’t been writing much lately – AGAIN – despite there being loads going on in my life these days. Well, maybe not LOADS. LOL
It’s not that I haven’t wanted to be writing about stuff, but more that I haven’t felt like it.
And I’ve been THAT busy the past several weeks (months??). Hell most days when I haven’t had somewhere I needed to be, I’ve been plunked down at my laptop playing games and job hunting. Oh, and watching old tv series on LoveFilm. 🙂
But this time of idleness and laziness (I suppose..) is coming to an end this week, as I FINALLY start a new JOB on Monday!! It’s about damn time!!
For anyone unaware of why that’s such a big deal for me, I’ve been unemployed since September 2012. And despite a very active job search and getting quite a few job interviews, I continued to be sat at home waiting for the phone to ring and someone to offer me a job.
Obviously I’m thrilled to have finally found a job (I’ll go through the ‘buts’ in a moment..), and it’ll be good to get back into a regular work routine. Not to mention to have an actual paycheck coming in that will actually cover my bills each month… and it’s a 10 minute walk from home.
Despite my elation, there are a couple negatives to this new job.. mostly around the career level and salary.
For most of the past decade I’ve been working at the managerial level in several call centers, both here in London and back in Montreal. In fact at one point, I was actually managing managers. But despite all this experience, nobody seemed willing to hire me for a job at that level for a variety of reasons.
I admit, I’m not the best in interviews (especially if it’s competency based.. uggh), but I know I’ve gotten much better over the past year and it’s been easier to verbalise my abilities and show I would be able to do the job or fit into their company. But no matter how hard I tried or prepared for the interviews, it never seemed to be enough.
So about a month ago, I filled in an online application for a telecommunications company near my home that a few of my old employees/colleagues have either gone to work for or have interviewed with themselves. The only position they had online was ‘Account Manager’, which is basically a nice way of saying you’re on the phones servicing and trying to up-sell to business customers.
I’ve done sales through service jobs in the past, both as an agent and as a manager, but I’d never dealt with business customers before. It would definitely be something new for me.
Well, the next day I got a call from the company’s HR department saying they’d received my application but wanted me to interview for a Team Leader position instead. I obviously said yes, and we arranged a phone interview for the following week.
I personally thought the phone interview had gone alright. It wasn’t a home run or anything, but wasn’t that bad I thought. However the interviewing manager felt that I didn’t have enough ‘experience’ for the role, and instead wanted me to go in for an assessment day for the lower position I’d originally applied for.
Of course I was understandably disappointed by this ‘feedback’ and confused how I couldn’t have enough managerial experience despite never dealing with business customers. I don’t think it’s really that much different than dealing with residential customers, but I could be wrong.
Anyway, the assessment day arrived and not surprisingly I flew through all the morning assessments (hell I’ve created and administered similar assessments over the years…), and was invited to stay for an in-person interview.
One of the other managers who was assisting with the assessment day purposely did my in person interview once he’d heard I’d previously had a phone interview with his colleague, as he was curious about my experience and such. He literally started the interview by clearly stating I was over-qualified for the phone role, and we discussed the possibility of re-opening my Team Leader application.
Umm.. sure. Why not? LOL
He called me up the next day to let me know I’d been successful for the lower position, but at the same time they wanted me to re-interview for the Team Leader position. Basically, regardless of how the re-interview went, the lower position would still be there as a fall back.
So I prepared my ass off for the new interview, spending an entire weekend creating a PowerPoint presentation based on a scenario they’d sent me. And on the day of the interview, I talked my ass off (an hour and a half..) explaining everything and answering all their questions as completely as I could. In fact, it felt like I was being over-scrutinized by them because I’d previously been turned down for the role but that could just be my perception.
In the end, it obviously wasn’t enough because they turned me down a second time for the role but still ensured me that I was guaranteed the lower role.
It’s a bit bitter sweet since I’m used to a higher position and salary (the phone job is about £8k/yr less than what they were offering for the Team Leader role, which was comparable to my old salary..), but at least it’s a job and my foot in the door.
And who knows, maybe I’ll start work and they’ll realise I’m being wasted sitting on the phones trying to make the sales quotas and they’ll find me something else.
I hope so, cause I hate being on the phones. 🙂