Thursday, June 01, 2006

Employment Update

If you recall in my May 1 post I talked about Joe’s upcoming interview for the job with the state of DE. I purposely haven’t posted about it because things were still a bit uncertain for a while, but now its time to provide an update.

He felt his interview went very well. It was a typical panel interview, where the 3 panelists took turns asking questions while another of the panelist took notes. They were impressed with Joe’s qualifications and were a bit surprised that he would even be interested in the job. In fact, they asked him why he applied for a job where he’d manage 4 people when he’s previously held positions where he ran an entire department or site. He explained that it was our interest in relocating to DE that first caused him to look into the state jobs, and that it was his interest in this particular position that resulted in his application.

The man leading the interview brought up the salary issue, indicating that the position would not be able to match his last salary as the Director of a clinic. He responded that he understood, and was prepared for a lesser salary since he knew the cost of living was less expensive in DE. Joe also told him that he’d seen the mid-range salary on the job posting and was comfortable with that. The interview leader explained that most new employees start at the bottom of the salary range for the job grade rather than the mid-point range. Joe said that he felt his many years of experience in the field should be taken into consideration. All in all, Joe felt the interview went well.

About 2 weeks later Joe received a call from one of the other male interviewers (not the interview leader), indicating they had selected him as the candidate with which they wanted to move forward. Joe responded positively. Then the panelist brought up the salary question again, asking if Joe would be willing to take the position at the starting salary. Joe said no, but indicated he would be willing to take the position at the mid-range salary. The panelist explained that it wasn’t done often, and would require ‘more than just a phone call’. Apparently they would have to fill out some paperwork and write up a justification for starting a new employee at a rate higher than the entry salary. But the panelist said that he would be the supervisor for this position and he wanted Joe, so they would proceed with the necessary paperwork.

Joe told the panelist that he would like to visit the site where he’d be working and meet the team he’d be managing before making a final commitment. The panelist thought it was a great idea and agreed to set it up. So a few days later, Joe drove to the panelist’s office and they rode together to the site. Its located in an old, red brick fire station that’s been converted into office space. He met the team he’d be managing and asked them questions to get to know them, their work, and their strengths/weaknesses. He felt a good connection with them and they seemed to like him too. He found their collective ‘style’ to be similar to his own, which pleased him. So on the drive back to the panelist’s office Joe told him he was willing to commit to taking the position, pending the approval of the mid-range starting salary. He and the panelist were happy when they parted ways.

Up to this point, I had not yet discussed with my boss the possibility of us moving to DE and me establishing a home office. I was pretty sure my boss would be comfortable with this, since I know of others in the company and even within my job classification who have home offices, but I’d not broached the subject with my boss yet.

I asked my two colleagues if they thought I should tell my boss before I knew about Joe and his job possibility, or if they thought I should wait and tell my boss when I knew for sure that Joe had gotten the job. They agreed that I should wait until I knew for sure that Joe had the job so that I could tell our boss we were moving, and that I would like to take my job with me. They thought this would give me more leverage. I also began to think this was wise, just in case Joe didn’t get the job or didn’t want the job I wouldn’t have to go back to my boss and say ‘never mind’ about moving.

Just by coincidence, on the very day when Joe was having his site visit and meeting the team, my boss stopped in at my office on his way to a meeting in the area. He asked me how things were going, etc, and then asked how Joe’s private practice was going. I explained that it was increasing slowly, but that Joe was considering applying for a job he’d seen online in DE. I told my boss that he’d asked me how this might affect my job and I told him I was comfortable inquiring with my boss about the possibility of taking my job to DE and having a home office, since others in the company had done so. Before I could even finish the so-called conversation, my boss said, “Sure – I’d have no problem with that at all.”

All during this process I’ve been saying to Joe ‘Go ahead and apply for the job, but with no expectations. Let’s just put it out there and see how the Universe responds’. I truly was prepared for whatever feeling or indication we might receive. If Joe didn’t get selected for an interview, or didn’t like the job or location, or if my boss was not open to the idea of me working from a home office – any of these things likely would have been received by us as the Universe telling us to stay put. But to the contrary, everything seemed to be indicating the opposite.

Gently, and little by little, we’ve been leaking a little of this information to our family and the friends we’ve seen recently. Neither of us really wants to come out and say “We’re moving!” because Joe hasn’t gotten his formal offer letter with the agreed upon salary yet, and because we don’t want to shock those who are close to us and who probably had no idea what we’ve been considering. First Joe told his sister, who was not very enthusiastic. She and Joe are very close and see each other frequently. Us living 120 miles away would reduce the frequency with which they’d be able to get together. She likely also feels as Joe’s mother feels: After a few months we won’t come back to visit very much. We have dinner with Joe’s mother every Thursday, so that would not be possible after we move. I also told my aunt Mary, who initially had a similar reaction. She believes us when we say we’ll come back often to visit, but is afraid that after awhile we’ll get tired of all that travel and will not come back as often. Fortunately the few friends we’ve told have been more supportive.

There are many details to be discussed and figured out as this begins to change from a possibility to a reality, but I’ll report on those in later posts. For now, I’m just smiling about the idea of living near the beach.

1 comment:

Bugsy (aka Joe) said...

Wow! That does sound like the Universe is talking to you! I know this is a difficult situation with some tough decisions, but I'm sure you guys will figure it out.

Of course, we'll miss you guys if you do move. This my require many dolls to overcome!

Best of luck!