Of hilariously accurate personality tests and fake hips

I didn’t get a second interview.

I’m totally okay with that. I’ve tested the market, seen what’s out there, and discovered more than a few things. In this case, I didn’t have enough experience to justify the salary I requested. The market just won’t support it. I didn’t even get a first interview with the initial head hunter. I kept my boss in the loop the entire time and made it clear I had no ulterior motives (read: 25% raise). It’s budgeting time, so he went and talked to his boss. They agreed they’ll see what they can do, but I’m not holding my breath. It never hurts to ask. The worst they’ll say is no.

The company in question also had me take a personality test ostensibly to see if my personality fit the position. That was a big fat no. The results themselves hit the nail on the head. In fact, it hit the nail so hard, it was driven halfway into the table. I tested as highly dominant and doesn’t play well with others. I know, I know, be still your beating hearts. I eschew structure and jump head first into things. Again, you should be sitting down. I was literally laughing out loud as I read it. Everyone I’ve sent it to has had the same reaction. In the message the head hunter left me, she said I could call back on Monday for more details. I think I’m going to just to get a more detailed explanation. And probably a good laugh.

In other work related news, one of my staff got the job he wanted in another department. Again, I’m okay with it. He was rapidly turning into dead weight. We’ve had to go through 4 internal audit tests in 6 months. The normal number is 2. Each time, there’s been one person who has been the problem child. Right as we cleaned up one mess, another one popped up. It’s insanely frustrating. I found it funny that he was offered and accepted the job, but didn’t say a word about it all day. Finally, my boss called him in and told him that we knew (duh). By the end of the day, I had 3 people saying they were interested in his position. There’s certainly no shortage of candidates.

If I’ve learned nothing by having to hire 3 people in 6 months, I definitely learned to be more forgiving. I hold others to the same high standards I hold myself (another solid hit on the personality test). The fact is, there are very few people in an office of 1500 who would meet, much less exceed, my standards. Everyone I interviewed for the last position didn’t have a college degree. I have to rein in the judgey part of myself and respect that these people are solid workers who, for one reason or another, didn’t have the same opportunities I had. He felt that some tasks were beneath him and they got ignored. He can’t pull that same shit in that department. They recently fired someone because of consistent mistakes and I’m sure they would have no hesitation in firing him if he presents the same issues. His replacement needs to understand that even if they think a task is beneath them, it still needs to get done. Put on your headphones, put your head down, and stop whining. It was very therapeutic to put that in writing.

Boy is off doing some kind of wilderness survival camp all day. I’m doing the good little housewife bit and catching up on laundry. Tonight is our standing weekend date with my dad. He talked to his orthopedist this week and he should have the right hip replaced sometime in the next few weeks. He’ll know for sure on Monday. They, wisely, won’t put antibiotics in this one. Hope everyone enjoys their weekend. ๐Ÿ˜€

XOXO!

Motivational Monday: The Trade Off

As I mentioned a week or so ago, I was recruited for a position with another firm. I didn’t end up getting an interview because the person I would be replacing had almost as much experience as I’ve been had time on this Earth. Nonetheless, it was flattering to know that someone was willing to pay more for my skills. I got another call from a recruiter and went in for a pre-interview on Friday. We went through the usual vetting process. I made it clear that I was happy where I am and if the company still wanted to speak to me, I’m up for it. These 2 experiences have helped me see more clearly what I’m (financially) worth.

It gives me a bargaining chip when the time comes. Not only are other companies willing to pay 25% or higher for my skills, I’m one of 36 people in the entire company with a Series 65 or 66. That’s out of 1500 employees. They’re getting me for bargain basement prices and they know it. However, I would need more than a 25% raise to take that leap of faith. Yes, yes, I know some of you are shaking your heads right now like I’m crazy. I probably am. Why would I turn down a 25% raise? It’s simple. I know my priorities.

I’ve had some really, really shitty bosses. Who hasn’t? I’ve been lucky enough to have one of the best bosses I’ve had in a “big girl” job for almost 2 years now. I know that my salary terms are hilariously out of sync with what I would be offered. While the recruiter said salary was negotiable for this position, I doubt they’d come back with another 25%. That’s what it would take for me to risk having another boss who makes my life absolutely miserable. The recruiter was very up front about the company. They’re a start up back office type clearing house. They’ve only got about 40 people, but the positions they’re looking to fill are all brand spanking new. I doubt they have the budget to give me a 50% raise.

I promise this isn’t a post strictly about my salary or me tooting my own horn *giggle*. It’s about knowing what trade offs you’re willing to make.

A wise person once said every decision is a trade off. What you gain on one side, you lose on the other. You may gain more money, but you lose security of knowing what you’re getting every day when you go to work. What you may gain in more personal success, you can lose in personal privacy. What you may gain in strength, you lose in flexibility (literally). What you gain in toughness, physical or emotional, you might lose in perspective. Hell, it could be as small as choosing ice cream over gummy bears because only one fits in the grocery budget. It could be as large as moving to another state and leaving the in person connections behind. It will take an unacceptable trade off ย or two before you figure out what’s worth it. I’m a firm believer in the benefits of knowing what you *don’t* want. Some people think that’s overly negative. I think allows more room for possibilities that never even crossed your mind.

As always, take everything with a grain of salt (a lime, and a shot of tequila). Consult your doctor before taking my advice. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Motivational Tidbit Takeaway: Know what it’s worth.

XOXO!

Of not wearing pants to work and turn offs

I was head hunted yesterday (a colloquialism for being recruited elsewhere while still employed) for the first time. I admit, I was flattered. The recruiter found an old resume hanging out online and called me based on that. I decided to play it straight and ask what company they were recruiting for and how much they were willing to pay. The company is a small, local independent firm. The minimum they’re willing to pay is $18,000 more than I’m making now. The maximum is $38,000 more than my current salary. My eyes about popped out of my head.

It’s no secret that my company is one of the lowest paying in the industry. I witnessed it firsthand when I saw how much my new hires were making and how low their salary would still be after a significant raise. After consulting with my dad, Boy, and my boss, they told me to go for it. I submitted my application and now I’m waiting to hear back about an interview. On paper, I’m a pretty good fit. My licenses alone are good enough to get me through the door. With 6 years in the industry under my belt, I’d be surprised if I wasn’t offered the chance to interview. I always knew I could get paid more for what I brought to the table. What I’ve been missing in pay, I’ve been making up for in environment. This opportunity definitely put that into immediate and harsh perspective.

My tattoos are almost universally a turn off to more “legitimate” firms. It doesn’t matter how smart I am, how much experience I have, or what kind of promise I show. You have tattoos? Thank you, don’t call us, we’ll call you. My boss scoffed at the idea saying it was ridiculous that people should judge me based on it. The only thing our dress code mentions regarding tattoos is that they can’t be offensive. Unless I decide not to wear pants to work, my offensive tattoo will remain covered. Frankly, not wearing pants to work is a much larger offense. Should I be offered an interview, I won’t go out of my way to hide them. I’ll present myself in proper interview attire, but I’m not going to show up in a full suit and tights in July. Been there, done that, wasn’t worth the effort. I also don’t currently have a suit that fits. I’ve given up on the bullshit. Let my qualifications speak for themselves. If someone is unwilling to hire me because of my body art, then I have no interest in working for them. Officially, we’re a business casual office. Typically, I’m one of the better dressed ones. I do consider my audience and dress appropriately. If I’m going to be standing up in front of the president of the company and other execs, I won’t show up in a sleeveless top, no matter how well tailored, which shows my arms in all their glory.

My plan is elegant in its simplicity. Show up as I would on a “nice” day to work, be honest about my experience and expectations, then leave it be. If they offer me the job, I can always say no. If they don’t offer me the job, I’m no worse off than I am now.ย 

Watch what happens.

XOXO!

Of the dreaded strengths & weakness question and the BFF filter

Today was the first time I got to be the interviewer rather than the interviewee.

I had a minor meltdown over it last night. The perfectionist kicked in. I *had* to be an excellent interviewer right off the bat. I *had* to impress everyone. I *had* to take my boss’ previous experiences with several of the candidates into consideration. I was given a total of 16 resumes and narrowed the field down to 8 for interviews. At the same time, I have to pick up everything in my new position with 100% accuracy. If not, I’m an epic failure who deserves to be publicly flogged for her shortcomings. I put myself through the “BFF” filter. Would I tell my closest friends the same things I was telling myself? Absolutely not. I’d probably kick someone who spoke that way to someone I love. Yet I keep listening to my own bullshit. I take those horrible words as gospel. Once I turned on that filter, I backtracked most of the rest of the night. If I caught myself going down that path, I’d put it through the BFF filter. Only about 2% of the thoughts passed. That’s a bit scary, n’est pas?

I’ve got 9 interviews scheduled from today until next Tuesday. A second batch of resumes will find its way into my inbox tomorrow morning. I navigated the first three with no problems. My boss sat with me for the first one, gave me feedback, and I was on my own for the next 2. I’l give him my feedback on everyone I talk to. He made it clear that this is my decision. He has his opinions and advice, but I have the last word. I’ll interview people through next Friday, then make my decision the week of the 10th (P.S. when did it get to be March?!). I didn’t think it was fair to the people who applied later to not get a crack at it. I also purposely scheduled a lot of people to interview for my own practice. Hopefully by the last few people, I’ll have come up with a better question than “what are your strengths / weaknesses?”. I hate that one. Too bad my BFF filter doesn’t have a solution for that one.

On a completely frivolous note, I’m trying some new perfumes. I learned the hard way to test fragrances out first before committing to anything. I have several small samples to test run. I keep smelling myself to see how they’re mellowing on my skin. I’m not crazy about the one I’m wearing now. I liked the one from yesterday better. Conveniently, there are a total of 7 samples to try. I’m also eyeing more glittery things to wear on my head and ridiculously sized rings. If I could get away with wearing the glittery animal ears at work, I totally would. Until then, I’ll just have to settle for my big, stupid earrings.

XOXO!