Last night I was buzzing because a) (this is very sad) I won a trophy for ‘dancer of the term’ at my dance class and b) (this is even sadder) my blog got the most hits it had had for a few weeks.
But today as I walked into the house, I felt myself slump massively. The reason? I am being interviewed for my own job next week. TWICE. My interview is next time I go to work. Hence the slump.
It’s a weird feeling applying for your own job. Of course, technically, it’s not my own job. We are being restructured and all the jobs are being changed. I am applying for two jobs very similar to my own, but a bit more multi-skilled. One is a grade up. One is a grade down.
Needless to say the best case scenario is the higher grade job on my current hours. Worst case scenario is no job at all. In between there is a continuum which takes in getting a job, but having to do entirely different hours, throwing my delicate childcare arrangements into disarray and putting immense pressure on my family. At times like this, I always imagine the worst case scenario. In the words of the great Sophie Ellis Bextor and theaudience (that is not a typo – google them) – a pessimist is never disappointed.
The atmosphere at work is already weird. Managers’ interviews take place this week. Many of the candidates are my close colleagues. They keep disappearing for two hours at a time for a stressful test followed by a stressful interview. By the end of this week they will know what job they’ve got. If they haven’t got a manager’s job, some of them will be up against me for the senior officers’ jobs.
And if they have got a manager’s job, they will be interviewing their colleagues in a relentless round of interviews all next week.
Yet, despite this, the atmosphere is one of camaraderie. Everyone is wishing their colleagues luck – and they genuinely mean it. They are supportive when a colleague comes out drained and shell-shocked by their interview experience.
I want it all to go away. I want to hide under a duvet and wake up next Tuesday afternoon to be told I’ve got a job. Preferably the higher grade job on my current hours. And all my colleagues have jobs too and we can carry on working like the big, crazy, happy family we are (see Friends and colleagues in November).
But this isn’t what I should do. I have to PREPARE. I have to look at the job specs, I have to look at my applications. I have to think about examples of where I’ve worked well, where I’ve managed projects, where I’ve solved crises and, yes, where perhaps I haven’t done as well as I might and the lessons I’ve learned.
I’ve worked there 12 years. That’s a lot of good stuff and a little bit of bad stuff to remember. I’ve dealt with train crashes, floods and appalling child abuse. And I’ve dealt with library story times and holes in the road.
But do I have time to formulate my thoughts and prepare? With three kids, in the run-up to Christmas, what do you think? I have things I need to do and things I want to do.
I have school governors meetings tomorrow and Friday morning. That will pretty much wipe out both those mornings. I have Christmas cards to write. I have a few presents to buy and a few to wrap. I have rugby matches to watch. I have hoovering and washing to do and a Christmas tree to put up. I have a school nativity to watch. And I really, really want to go to see Arthur Christmas!
Ideally I will do my preparation while the kids are at school, so the family is spared the inevitable rollercoaster of my emotion – anger, depression, defeatism and finally determination.
Between my two interviews I have my boys’ Beavers and Cubs show, then their school show after the second interview. I don’t want the pressure of the interview to take away my pleasure in watching my boys perform.
I don’t know how these next few days are going to go, but I am guessing I’m going to be tired, snappy and grumpy. This time next week it will be over and by the end of next week I will know my fate. My fingers are firmly cross. For me AND my colleagues.