How I got myself this great job at makepositive using LinkedIn – Part – 5

  March 2, 2015       PeiMun Lim

Chapter 5 – A Busy Week

Ahmed tells me more about this platinum Salesforce partner, who appears to be growing at a phenomenal rate, hiring loads of consultants and a bulging sales pipeline.

And so, my extraordinary busy week of interviews begins on Monday morning with the HR ‘Talent Acquisition’ Director at this platinum Partner’s offices near Barbican.  I think I make an impact, because he immediately asks me to stay a little longer as he wants to arrange a meeting with the Professional Services Director, and goes off to find out if he can make time for me.

He can, and we sit down in the large office as he skims my cv and LinkedIn profile.

We talk about my previous engagements and my project management style.  Even though I have got myself Agile certified, and have worked on Rapid Application Development (RAD) projects within the Dynamics world, I do not have direct Agile project experience, and have never been a scrum master.  Suddenly I am feeling a little worried.  Perhaps my inexperience in this methodology might be my undoing.

I get a chance to ask my questions, about their long term strategy and what fuels their growth plan, especially how they intend to manage internal change during this growth when they are a very young company.  I ask about the reason for the change of CEO so early in the life of the company.  I ask about their culture and work life balance.  This place sounds like an up and coming company and that it would definitely not be boring if I choose to join the ride.

Luckily I think I manage to impress him enough as he asks me to return the next day to meet his senior project managers.  I have to reschedule that to the following day as I have an interview with the Bank for the Dynamics Contract role in the morning.

“Are you going to draw your eyes again, mummy?” My ‘colour pencil’ freezes in mid-air. Little ninja #2 looks quizzically at me.

“Um, yes. I want to look a bit nicer when I go for my interview.”  I carry on ‘colouring in’.

“I like having you home, mummy. I don’t like you working lots and lots.”

“Well, I have get a new job, Son.  Otherwise who’ll pay for your ninja death strike lessons?”

The contract position at the Bank is similar to my last gig at the local council.  Dynamics Programme Manager working with suppliers and being a champion for the system, and getting different departments to adopt the platform in order to realise benefits.

It is intriguing.  Especially since I like the ‘Programme Manager’ title.  My ego likes being the Big Boss. And it pays quite a bit, for a minimum contract of 18 months.  I sigh dreamily as I think about getting a large Supershed to house my Costco addictions.

However, as I leave the office building, I notice something.  The people who work there seem… a little miserable. And stressed. No one smiled at me.  I like being smiled at. Hmm.

Contracting jobs are pretty easy to get.  There’s normally one phone interview followed by another face to face, and then they normally make a decision within the week or two.  This face to face interview with the Bank is the only one I’d have.  I am told that they will make a decision by around Wednesday of next week.

The very next day, I am on the second interview with the Salesforce partner.  Two senior Project Managers interview and grill me on agile methodologies and how I would deal with ever changing client requirements.  I am asked about other project manage-ey questions like risk and issues management and how to deal with resources and conflict.  The questions are fairly easy although I think my limited exposure to agile projects is highlighted.

I see employees in t-shirt and jeans on a very hot day in late July, deciding to take a meeting downstairs at the outdoor bit of Starbucks.  I nod my head in approval.  There are more smiles in here, and there is less of a stuffy corporate stress aura in the atmosphere.  They tell me that they’ll get back to me by the middle of next week.

Thursday is actually the twins’ fifth birthday.  Husband has stayed up all night to make a 7 pound Minion cake.  The character from Despicable Me is made out of about 3 blocks of butter cakes I am told.  I on the other hand, needed my beauty sleep because of the morning interview in Basingstoke with a Microsoft Gold Partner.

It’s a short term cover for one of the PMs with whom I used to work with in a previous life, so I am honest and tell them that I am waiting to hear from the other ‘irons in the fire’.

I get home in time to get ready for the party.  Grandparents have also made little Minion cakes, so the boys have a great time, and I am excused for not being around so much this week. I must admit though, that this has been an extraordinary week, and I’ve never had one with so many interviews crammed in.

Tomorrow, I have one with that hippie consultancy, makepositive. It’s not an ordinary interview. I’ve been given a case study and I’ve got to role-play the part of a project manager in the midst of a project that’s besieged by all sorts of disasters.

Uh-oh.

This promises to be fun!