Alright, blog #2 in the day of blogging.  A couple weeks ago I had to make a difficult decision regarding my career.  While I’ve come to terms with it, and think I made the best decision for myself and my future, I still don’t like that I feel like I was backed into it.  For those of you who don’t know, I was working for the Susan G. Komen foundation for the past 9 months, but only as a contractor.  I’d been trying to prove myself to my new manager who’d been hired a few months after I started, but he continued to delay hiring me with various insubstantial reasons, usually ending up with the fallback that his “gut feeling” was that I wasn’t ready.  A recruiter I worked with a year ago while I was unemployed contacted me after one such conversation almost a month ago, and told me he had a job lined up that I’d be great at.  I decided to pursue it, and in less than 8 days I had been on 2 interviews and received an offer.  It was decision time.

I asked my manager to meet with me to discuss this new development.  He’d flat out told me back in February that he understood being a contractor wasn’t very stable work, and that he wouldn’t blame me for looking elsewhere – a fact I didn’t hesitate to bring up when he met with me 3 days after I initially requested the meeting.  I wanted to try and find some middle ground, to show him that I was willing, even anxious, to stay with Komen, but he didn’t seem to care.  The meeting consisted of me outlining my achievements in my time with the company, and the projects I was currently working on and what I had planned for the future, and why I felt it was time for him to meet me halfway and hire me.  While I was doing this, he was counterpointing with why he felt I wasn’t ready, and that he thought I just wasn’t “employee material” yet.

At one point he specifically told me in almost these exact words, “as a contractor, I can make one phone call to the staffing agency and in five minutes I’ll never have to see your face again.  As an employee I can still fire you, but I’d have to draw up performance evaluations, talk to HR, and possibly involve legal.”  I was shocked.  I asked if I had ever done anything to indicate that me being let go would ever even be an issue, and he quickly said that I hadn’t, but that you never know what’s gonna happen and if I were hired his options would be more limited as to how he could handle things.

That was enough for me.  I was tired of being treated as though I brought nothing to the team and that I wasn’t worth even being considered for a permanent position.  I laid it out on the table for him and said that with this other offer, I was prepared to leave if we couldn’t work something out.  He had already stated that he didn’t believe I was being productive enough to be hired (a fact I vehemently disagreed with), so I asked him that if he didn’t think I was that necessary, did he think the other person who works with me could handle the full workload on her own.  He stared at me and told me he didn’t get my meaning.  I looked at him and told him that I wanted to make it work, but would leave if we couldn’t.  All he could say was “okay”, and before I knew it I was already speaking the words that I’d never said before:  “Consider this my official notice that I’m leaving the company.”

It was empowering, and terrifying all the same.  Again, I got an “okay” as a response and then the meeting was over.  I went back to my desk, and less than half an hour later he made an announcement to the entire IT department that I’d be leaving the company for another job.  Shock of all shocks, I recently found out that he had a friend of his from a previous job interview for my position, and that his friend will be hired shortly.  Show of hands, who’s surprised?  Anyone?  No one?  That’s what I thought.  Me either.  I worked my ass off trying to prove myself to him, and all along he was biding his time until I got tired of it and left, which I did, so he could bring in someone that didn’t know the job but was his buddy.  I’m so glad that people who make it to positions of management are able to put their own desires before the needs of the company; the person he had interview was obviously not technical in nature, and had no experience with the systems we use on a daily basis, and yet he got hired.  I find it very frustrating that he’d rather bring someone in with no experience and train them for weeks to months, just to do a job that I was already doing, merely so he didn’t have to hire me.  Personal reasons?  Probably.  But it’s done with now, and I don’t ever have to deal with him again.

This week was my first week with the new job, and I’m liking it so far.  The people are nice, and my cubicle is huge compared to any I’ve worked in before.  A strange thing to be considered a perk, but I love it all the same.  Leaving Komen was hard, but I didn’t feel that I had any other options.  In two interviews the new company I work for decided that I had enough potential to hire me as an employee from day one, yet my old manager couldn’t see that same potential after evaluating me for over 6 months.  Sometimes these things happen I guess, and I can only hope that it was for a reason.  Maybe this new company is where I’m supposed to be right now.  I’ll just have to wait and see.