Thursday, November 22, 2007

Career Opportunities

Bombshell news for me at 7am this morning - my Plant Director (two levels above me) is being promoted, and my boss (or 'Team Leader') is being promoted into that position, which means my boss' management job is now up for grabs!

I'm not the eldest in my group, but I'm the longest serving in this position (by choice I should add; those that were here longer than me were so itchy for any class of a promotion that they have since been moved on to various classes of invent-a-job). Furthermore I'm demonstrably better at my job than my equivalents. That's not being big headed, it's just that I've a lot more experience - going back to a time when the plant experienced a lot of teething problems and I learned a lot under pressure - than those who have arrived since.

But that's not a good reason to be promoted. The Team Leader job is fairly different to what I do now. It means managing the group I'm in and the egos in it; it means taking shedloads of crap from the Director above as well as the minions below; it means whole days block-booked with meetings; it means fighting your corner against your equivalents in your own department and in others; it means fighting with unionised foremen twice your age and twice as cute (as in Cork-cute, not looks-cute). And it means a fairly pathetic pay-rise.

Furthermore I'm not a good company man. I only go to meetings where I'm one of the main speakers; I openly disdain many company mantras like applying six sigma everytime someone so much as drops a spanner; and I scorn much of the touchy feely American-style corpo-guff that management here have to be seen to be fully bought into. And the people who have been getting promoted in recent years are those who are most adept at showing themselves to be good company folk.

So basically, unless the attitude of those who do the hiring changes, I haven't a chance. So I feel I'm wasting my time applying. I totally disagree with those who say you should interview for experience or to show you're ambitious or whatever. The fact is that the chances of getting a promotion in the future are not one bit impacted by previous interviews.

For a start it's likely that all such decision makers will have been rotated out by the next time, and anyway they forget about you (and the 30 others) once the process is over. Besides, for internal promotions like this one, the people making the decisions will already have an idea who they want. If it's me they'll let me know one way or the other.
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