mm043: Rip van Mudge awakes!

MUDGE’S Musings

This blog, having just become active less than 60 days ago, is the symptom of a quickening of interest in life, in the world and its politics, in my career. especially, that is most unexpected, even unlikely, at my (corporate reference only!) advanced age.

Don’t misread me, I’ve always been ferociously interested in my career, especially the part where the electronic deposit to my bank occurs like clockwork every second Thursday. And especially the global collaboration part, in my position as evangelist for our enterprise’s web conferencing tool, a role I’ve played to rave reviews for more than four years.

But, the career development part here in the Heart of Corporate America (HCA, remember, not it’s real name!) I’ve left dormant.

One, because I’ve been there and done that. At times in my life I’ve carried the big titles like corporate controller and vice president operations, often in lieu of deserved remuneration. But they were more than titles, and I have frequently had occasion to exercise my management muscles as well as my (earned at Hard Knox U, class of 20??) finance competencies.

Second, because, I’m not sure I need the bigger aggravation that comes with the bigger bucks.

Third, because as I might have mentioned and that I really need to make clear, I really, really love what I do, and I’m pretty good at it as a result. Why move out of a comfort zone?

You might well ask what bee stung my dozing nose (how did R.v.W. wake up anyway?) and caused me to think these previously unthinkable thoughts? A year ago the program manager for the technologies I support became our people manager also, a well deserved promotion for her. I’ve always found her highly competent yet easy to work with, and the role expansion went quite smoothly. She (like most everybody else I work with) is some years younger than I, so for that as well as all the other expected reasons it came as quite a shock to her team earlier this year when she announced her imminent retirement.

She’s served the HCA for an order of magnitude longer than have I, and despite her relatively young age and good health (of course, from their point of view just because of those things!), she and her husband are taking the very good money and running far away from corporate and metropolitan life.

Well they finally got around to posting her job this past week, and damned if I don’t think that I’m highly qualified to fill the position. Yeah, the management money (not quite high enough for the super bonus status that department directors receive, but I figure it’s got to represent an increase) would be welcomed, but more to the point I think that I’ve lately figured out that I also once again have the stomach for the management aggravation.

So, come morning, I’m going for it. Have been working today polishing up my résumé (something I had rather hoped not to have to do quite so soon! Go figure…) and a suitable cover letter.

And I’m back in harness in the most important job all of us have ever done professionally — applying for a new job.

This will be no tip-in folks:

  • Issue: I’m not your likely candidate as I’m an “individual role player” rather than an experienced (at HCA) manager. Response: I do have extensive operations, people and financial management experience. There is a world outside the HCA, and I’ve had some success managing there.
  • Issue: As a person probably eight years older than the retiring(!) incumbent I’m going to face (at least I would expect to face, even if employment law forces them into inference rather than overt speech) questions about my anticipated plans in that direction. Response: Way back in mm001 I discussed my retirement story. Place me in this position and they’ve got me for at least 15 more years — i.e., as long as they can stand me!
    • Issue: Finally, what I do in my chosen field, supporting global web conferencing by teaching it (over 3,200 satisfied customers and counting, thank you very much) and facilitating mission critical meetings, is unique to the enterprise (if not the world!) and there is no likely person nearby with the passion, skills and talent, moreover the interest to backfill my position, whereas experienced managers are a dime a dozen here at the corporate HQ of HCA. Response: I’ve worked with this team for over four years, with the underlying technology for five. I well know: the technology; our technical experts (and have their respect I believe) who are my teammates; our enterprise colleagues and our vendor with which entities we must interact closely; and finally our customers (because of my role and how I perform it no one knows them better). And I’m a training specialist — put someone in place to replace me and just watch how fast I get her up to speed. That I have done before here.

So, for all of the above issues I consider this a long shot indeed. But it appears that, despite my own expectations, I’m ready for new challenges, even if the likely increased compensation is itself compensated by increased pummeling that comes with the management role. But, newly awakened as I am, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

It’s it for now. Thanks,

–MUDGE

Quote of the Day:
Men achieve a certain greatness unawares, when working to another aim.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

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6 Responses to mm043: Rip van Mudge awakes!

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