Let's Make A Deal

August 18, 2008

For the past six weeks or so I have been participating in a placement program at my employer.  My position was eliminated and this program is designed to locate a new position for me within the company.  While I applaud the thinking behind the program - that it is better to retain employees than to release them only to hire others - there are some aspects of it that have been stressful for Sibylle and me.

The most difficult thing is how offers are presented.  Assuming that an interview results in an offer I have to accept that position or decline.  Should I decide to decline, the position is gone, removed from consideration permanently.  If more than one offer should be made, I will only know about the first one, as they are filtered through Human Resources.

In other words, we are playing a form of "Let's Make A Deal" with my career.  At some point I may have a job offer in my hands.  And the internal dialog, with my doubts and curiosity playing the part of Monty Hall, will be saying, "Hm.  But I had that other interview that went really well, I wonder if they will make me an offer?"  If I let go of the first offer and take a chance on their being another one behind door number one, I may strike gold, or I may find myself unemployed come the end of the placement program.

This facet of the program has required that I do some serious evaluating about the merits of potential outcomes.  The positions that I am interviewing for are somewhat varied: IT project leader, non-IT project leader, server administration, and mainframe developer.  Two are at my present employer and two are at the much larger parent corporation.  There is simply no way to compare them, and in the end I think comparing and contrasting them is fruitless.  Having a favorite or favored position does me no good unless I receive an offer for that position first.  

Twenty years ago I went to work for a utility company, and in the course of the nearly nine years that followed I held a number of positions within that organization.  Some were more to my liking than others, but ultimately I was employed and liked my employer.  I feel some of the same affinity for my current employer.  I'd like to stay, and if that means my title and day-to-day responsibilities change occasionally to something new, then so be it.

No, I don't care for the "Let's Make A Deal" aspect of the offer process, but I do, very much, like that I am being given a change to make a deal at all.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.