I have to admit, that interaction the other day was impactful. It forced me to not just ‘think’ about the job, but work through the emotions that were attached to the thing.
It was painful.
Not the work. The disrespect.
It wasn’t something that happened overnight, it took years. But the seeds were sown early on.
It was a good thing to run into my former team member.
It is nice to be moving forward with something new and exciting with an entirely clean slate.
So being laid off earlier this year was devastating. Much more devastating than I wanted to believe. To be honest, I thought I was completely over all of the emotional baggage that comes with such an adventure. That is until I ran into one of the people that I used to manage. Since I was laid off, the slimy little creature who had weaseled her way into being our manager has since converted this person to an FTE role.
I was upset. I am trying to understand why it upset me, but it did. It was nice to have her tell me how much they missed me. Apparently, they have realized how hard it truly was to do the things that I made look incredibly easy. (Duh, that was in the job description – ‘make this happen’. I guess I was really good at that. She went on and on and on about how hard it was to onboard new people and how much they miss my expertise. She said they brought on a few people the beginning of July and here we are 6 weeks later and those folks still aren’t fully productive.
This is one of the processes and procedures I had mastered. When the challenge was tossed my way to ‘solve it’, our onboarding was normally 90 days before someone was fully productive. Rising to the challenge tossed my way by our previous manager, I was able to create a process and a set of checkpoints that would have a new hire fully capable to be productive within their first 5 days on the time. Indoctrinating them into the environment and getting them to full productivity was entirely dependent upon the person, but overall, we reduced the time from 90 days to less than 2 weeks.
When I left, I was asked to make sure the process documentation was updated and in place. It was. What I couldn’t get the juvenile who had been promoted from graphic designer to be my manager to realize is that it isn’t always the steps in the process that matters, as much as it is how you execute those steps. The reason I could do it so quickly and effectively is that I had taken the time to build the relationships with the folks who actually execute the steps that our outside of my control. I did things in a specific order because there is time in back office processing that has to happen. I have a wee bit of knowledge about access management and networking, so I get what is happening and timed the required manual interventions accordingly so that when we were ready to do the next thing on the list, the systems would be ready too.
This morning, I am over the disappointment and any jealousy I might have had has passed. I am truly blessed to be out of that dysfunctional, unprofessional coffee clutch.
So sad. I was talking to a recruiter about some of the work I had done in my recent past.
One of our core initiatives was improving the tools used in the assisted channel. In English: If you talk to a sales associate or call customer care, you interact with someone. That is ‘being assisted’ and you have become a participant in the assisted channel process. Anything that happens now would be impacted by the tools and improvements to the user experience. (the “user” is the internal resource)
I am very proud of the work we did over the last few years, so I have no problem bragging about what was accomplished. My issue is trying to communicate it to wireless outsiders. In an effort to show the types of tools we worked on, I suggested the recruiter take a look at magenta’s website and do a coverage check.
EPIC FAIL TMO – screen shot below. So, so sad…..
One of the processes I am most proud of defining, developing and delivering during my tenure was the onboarding process. Kudos to my leadership for tossing it my way and allowing me to do it on my own.
Every onboarding activity I did was personalized. Yes, the basics where ‘check-the-box’ simple, but everyone who joined our ranks was an individual and they deserved individual attention.
There are a lot of things that have to be remembered whenever you start something new. Finally, I standardized on converting my checklist to individual notebooks created as the hiring processes proceeded.
This became the new hire’s ‘touch stone’ to be used as a start. This became a shared activity between the new hire and the various team members. Folks who were more adventurous enjoyed doing these activities like a scavenger hunt. Others who were more linear requested more ‘checklists’. That was a lot less fun.
Standardizing the work station provided for each resource went a long ways toward simplifying the time to productivity for each resource we brought in.
Writing the requirements for the ‘work station’ provided really helped set the baseline for the expectations the new hire would be able to perform on the first day.
It is much more difficult to produce a baseline for industry knowledge. Every industry has its own set of facts and history that new hires should be exposed. Pique their curiosity.
We were in the telecommunications industry. We were doing ‘mobile first’ design and delivery, so it really doesn’t hurt understand a little bit about the history of telecommunications. I like to focus on telecommunications in the United States.
I am old. I remember when Ma bell was the only game in town. I remember when it was illegal to own a telephone. My mother was a telephone operator in the 40’s and 50’s. Heck she was downsized by ‘mama bell’ because she chose to follow her husband when they shipped him to Colorado after they shot him with an atomic bomb. But that is a story for another day.
Naively I assumed that the ability to survive and thrive for over 6 years in a turbulent, ‘fast-paced’ information technology organization delivering the tools that facilitated the ‘un-carrier’ revolution.
Maybe that is where I need to start. Instead of formatting a resume as a brochure to get the conversation started, I need to create the ‘roadmap’ that takes the reader through my experiences.
Connect the dots for the reader!
It is no secret that I am soon out of work and truly cannot afford to be, so I have been traipsing across all of the information in front of me, while trying to maintain a level of professionalism in the job I am exiting. I believe in doing my best until the end, no matter how tempting it would be to drop to petty whining and sabotaging. Not this gal! But that is another post, for another day after the immediate challenges are abated.
While reviewing my work history for files and documents that are my own and can become some of my broader portfolio, I started looking at some of the quotes I have collected while evaluating my current situation. It is interesting to see what I have been thinking over all of these years. Below is a quote from an article I saved when I realized this job that is ending was headed this direction.
The trick to advancing your career and getting paid more is to add value by making certain your contributions are worth more than you’re paid.
Two years ago was a very emotional time for me, professionally. The manager I had been working with since I walked in the front door was being promoted. A well-deserved promotion and essentially one of my personal goals for measuring my success in this role. I was thrilled.
I wasn’t as thrilled when the next shoe dropped and I found out he was moving on and I was being left behind with a new manager. A green wannabe manager. Tough role to fill. Things haven’t been great, either way.
The toughest part for me was changing my style. We never really found a good cadence of mutual respect and appreciation. We would go months without having a conversation. Never a good sign.
Good news is, I need not worry about the challenges around planning as I was informed yesterday that my last day will be next Friday.
Bad news is, now I MUST find a new job and quickly, if at all possible. My husband has a job, but he doesn’t get paid very well. I have stuck around, longer than I should have because the pay was fair. I am not over-paid by any means, but the commute wasn’t awful and I really did care for the team I had been instrumental in building over the last 6 years. We were finally doing things and I was enjoying my role, for the most part again, but all good things must come to an end.
Callout to anyone who might know of any positions for a Scrum Master in the greater Seattle area – preferably on the east side.