Feedback Joys

I had a job interview last week for an acting up position ahead of a restructure. I didn’t get the role, for which I’m thankful, as reading closely made it very clear that it was a hugely poisonous chalice and a set of stresses that I’m glad I’ve dodged.

Why did I go for it then? Mostly because I did some soul searching and recognised that I’ve now been a lot healthier for longer than I was very ill – and so I really need to stop drifting so much. As a result I knew that I needed to get some practice in for interviews at a more strategic level than simply managing teams on a daily/weekly/monthly/annual basis for frontline services.

Applying for this role would be very good at giving me sight of the sort of questions to expect, and more importantly structured feedback afterwards.

In this I have not been disappointed. While theres always a stress involved in getting proper feedback that goes in at nitpicking level I was very lucky to have it done by someone not only that I already have a working relationship with but who is also invested in seeing me succeed and grow within the organisation.

It has given me both plenty of food for thought, but also reassurance that I’m doing most of the right things. It’s just a matter now of polishing those extra sparkles to stand out in terms of wider context of roles, a little deeper precision in examples, and not being too successful at hiding the steel behind my convivial smile.

I can do that.

Moving On Up

A duty manager retired recently, leaving a gap in the rotation of people who look after our little cluster of libraries. After a few months of short-staffed chaos, I decided to apply for the post. I reasoned that I was getting tired of breaking in new managers, and if there were poor decisions to be made, it might as well be me making them.

In a surprising twist, I was successful, and we’re now in the paperwork shuffle stage of things. At some point in the next few weeks, I’ll be working at other libraries and making people realise I’m not joking when I refer to them as minions.

The announcement came during our staff meeting this week, and with the expectation of an acknowledgment upon me, the first words out of my mouth to my assembled colleagues was: “I promise to be cruel, unfair, and inventive in my rule of terror.” I figured if I was going to make breakable promises, they might as well be things that people looked forward to. The good thing is that everyone is used to my sense of humour, and so everyone laughed.

I also made people laugh during my interview. I was asked what three words my colleagues might use to describe me. I figured that as each of the people interviewing me had encountered the more acidic edge of my tongue in recent months I should include some honesty. 

“Unflappable, sarcastic, reliable” I said. Here’s hoping that doesn’t end up being my career epitaph.