Thursday, August 02, 2012

A Prince or a Frog

Normally, when you start dating your next big love, at some point, after the first sharing moments, or after you get to know the person more, you might get to a point where you doubt... it this the right one?. He seemed to be perfect, but still, is this what I do really need?

Sometimes it might be because your backgrounds are so different that you seem not to agree on the very basics, or because in the close contact, that person is not exactly as you thought he could be.

Sometimes is only that you´re that so used to your previous status (either you were single or sharing with another partner) that you find it quite complicated to come along with this new ways of doing things.

Sometimes it´s about the family of your partner. I have heard a lot of people saying "If it was not because of the mom/sister/brother/uncle/etc. it would be great". Many people end up saying those people were the ones messing up with the relationship.

In summary, the change itself can be complicated to deal with at a given point, and then it´s when you start asking yourself: Should I continue with this?, Will it be OK in the end? Will those differences between us become a real problem in the relationship? Will it be better to just leave it?

Well, in jobs it is the same.  At some point you decide to commit with one position, because the company seems wonderful, the project seems engaging and the future looked absolutely promising, but I always find that after a brief period of time, you start rethinking about it.  Maybe it´s because the company is so different or has different working processes you´re just not used to. Sometimes you can screw your first steps just because you still don´t know the dynamics of the company.

Maybe the politics or the culture, although  interesting, seem to give you a hard time when it comes to doing your job well, and start having results. Sometimes you feel the need to push for a job well done, and it seems to be worthless.

Sometimes it´s just about the people, the culture or the customs of the people you work with. I remember a place where the mood of the people was so aggressive it became scaring.  I have seen places where, even if pretending to be charming and loving, in the end there were “knifes” in the back of many people. Sometimes people is so new to the company (as you are) that they´re just trying to cover the lack of experience by blocking your work.

The worse case is the one related with the Holly Cows. Truth is you find them in every single company, but when these people just seem frightened by your efforts and your ideas, they start messing up with your work.

In summary, the change in jobs may be complicated itself, but can be twice as challenging when those variables are added to the equation.  At some point you start asking to yourself: Should I continue on with this?, Will it be worth the effort? Will those politics / culture / manners be a major blocker when it comes to working well and having results? What if I just leave it and look for another place?

The difference between a relationship and a job is that in the first ones, it´s just about people losing people…sad but manageable. When it comes to jobs, though, it´s not only about leaving a place to work, it can even be the difference between having money or not.

Anyways, in both cases, sometimes you have to give it some time just to see if it´s only a matter of adaptability to change or if it´s a major issue...only time can say.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Three Loves, Three Jobs

Three loves, three jobs.

So, there you are after lots and lots of dates, preparing yourself for the new experiences, grooming  you up, being social, nice, intelligent, etc.  In the end, if you try hard on something, you end up getting it, right? In the end, let´s say that after lots of dates you finally get three great love prospects. 

The first one is rather old, and of course quite a lot more conservative than you.  He´s handsome, and has a lot, yes , a lot of money.  He would be great for you in terms of experience and life style. He knows a lot, or at least he says so, and quite frankly you would be more than safe with him, even when you´re the kind of girl that is anti conservative, totally irrational about money, adventurous.

Although conversation is interesting and there´s always something new in the speech, at some level you don´t have that many things to share with him, so you end up thinking:  “How did you end up dating this guy in the first place?”. Was it only because of the looks, because of the style, because of the money….

Your second prospect is all the opposite, he´s young, strong, happy, somewhat a hipster. Although not specifically handsome, he has something that appeals you a lot.  I would say he´s the black sheep of a preppy family but not sure.  The thing is that, young as he is, he´s not really ready to commit. I mean, he can be with you, and he wants to, he can make you happy, hang out with you and so on, but when it comes to commitment…hmmm, things are not that clear.  He would say something like “we should see what the future holds”. 

He´s adventurous as you, but to be honest, you are not really sure if he´s a wealthy hipster or a guy with no money but with nice friends around… With him, conversation is always funny, but somewhat superficial. He wants to talk about quite different things all at the same time, sometimes he loses you, would a young hipster do for what you´re looking for?

Finally, your third shot. You meet this guy, more less you age, your background.  He says he makes a good life, he´s got money and a stable situation.  God he´s handsome.  As you talk, you really feel this guy connects with you, with your emotions, your desires. He sees life in the same way you see it.  You could spend hours talking to this guy, not even noticing the time. He seems to be a perfect match, but there´s only one problem, He´s foreign, say you met him during summer, so he needs to leave to his home town. 

You could always go for a long distance relationship, but to be honest, would either of you be up for that? Choosing this guy would mean to leave all you have in your life and run for a complete new adventure, in a different city or country, different friends and reality, you must leave things behind.
If the three of them would be madly after you at the same time, I´d bet your question would be “what do I do”, should I choose based in stability, fun or adventure?

Well, in jobs as it might happen with loves, sometimes you find this kind of situations.  As I have been telling over and over again, my main target during the last month was to get an amazing job where I can succeed as a professional and at the same time, learn and be part of an amazing project.  As strange as it might seem, I have been put to the exact same situation as I´m describing in the previous lines.  I have been “dating” lots of recruiters and companies, putting the best of me in each interview, grooming me and my profile up so I´m the best option for the positions available.

I don´t mean to be presumptuous, but I have had quite good luck with getting interviews. In fact, after an exhausting month of massive applications, cover letters, killer questions, exercises and interviews, I ended up being finalist in three different companies. I have applied always for the position of Online product manager, and I got three options, just as the guys I explained before.

The first was an huge and solid company. Let´s say a bank, super traditional, full of people in suits and business clothes. Full of people being 10+ years developing their activity and quite frankly one of the most innovative companies if we speak about online services.  The problem was that the project sounded so boring that I could hardly make a face expresses  “I would love to work for this company”. 

The money was good, the benefits were good as well, but when it comes about career, well, coming from when I came before, I foresaw I would leave a bad experience again. Anyways,  who knows, I´m a mom and a wife with a mortgage over my shoulders, so maybe it´s a matter of responsibility to go for this job.

My second option was the total opposite.  I was called to work for a Startup.  Don´t get me wrong, I have applied for a lot of startups that look just as preppy as the most corporate company, but this one was different.  Located in what Spanish people call “finca regia”, it looked like a quite unorganized company.

 They were just about to launch their website, and they are 100% sure that it will be a big hit , so they´re hiring everybody.  In fact I guess it was a blessing that my former company decided to let us go, so they could take us in the perfect moment and make us part of the adventure.  For product managers, it could mean an amazing opportunity to try and do anything that other companies won´t let you…or maybe not.

One of the main problems was, of course, the age of the company (almost a baby, right?). The second problem what the kind of contract they were offering. They wanted all of us to be freelancers…yes, no direct relationship with the company, no commitment. They are offering a “Trade” contract, which in my given situation was not the best option.  I have found it really complicated to put in the same balance my stability and my opportunity to grow as a professional.  If the startup goes well, then you will always be on top, you would even become one of those sacred cows that no one dares to touch, but what if not?. I would end up in the same place I am now.

The third and most appealing job position was just like the last date I relate in past lines.  An amazing company,  with investors such as google or skype. The company has such an innovative product and business model, and an international  culture (which I love).  This is not a startup but it´s still working as such, which could mean enough resources to be adventurous and try innovative things without many blockers…great deal.

Of course, they offered and amazing salary package, including stock options. Besides, they seem to like me a lot. They see me as a key factor for change in the product department (how appealing) What else would you ask for?. 

Perfect as it might seem, there´s a “but”, there´s always a “but” in every story. And in this story the problem is that the company is in Madrid.  Taking this job would mean not only to leave my adoptive city, Barcelona, but to make a move for my entire family.  This is really an adventure, right?

Well, I think that in jobs, as in loves, there´s not a right answer,  and there are always lots of issues to take into consideration before you decide to commit.  And of course, I have made my decision, but I would really, really like to know your opinions on that. Would you share with me?

 See you next time.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Let´s get ready to date again.

When you decide to go back to the single life, and after you feel like you´re ready to start dating again, normally you start looking forward to meet new people.  First, you need to start by loving yourself, you would probably start going to the gym just to be in better fit, you will visit a beauty salon to be even more attractive.  Besides, you need to identify and embrace who you are, what you´re worth of, what kind of people you want to meet, in single words, you start getting ready to date.

But before you start dating, you have to start by getting to know people. To do so, there are lots of things you normally do. The normal route is to start with friends of friends. You know, there´s always a nice friend that worries about you and tries to introduce you to people they find good for you.

Another source for dating would come out from the typical places people hang out.  Either you look for some party people, in which case the source would be a bar, disco, concert, etc. or you can also go for smart, and try to meet people at the theatre, art galleries, libraries, book stores etc. 

What normally happens is that you start meeting lots of people, but most of the cases, these people are not the kind of people you look for.  Sometimes this people is no interesting what so ever, or worse, are interesting but not ready for you.
Well, when it´s about job seeking, it also starts the same way. As I have discussed before, either because you´re sick of your company of your company is lets you go, you find yourself trying to hunt for a job, and I´m not exaggerating, I do mean Hunting. Depending upon the country, the economic situation and your personal circumstances, hunting could be from “I´ll see what´s out there for me” to “Damn, I must have a job by the end of the month”. 

The first step is normally to embrace the “job seeking mode”, which means that you must be positive, interesting and tough.  You probably start by shaping up your CV, creating a set of reusable cover letters and most of all, trying to figure out who you are, what you´re worth, what you want and where do you want to be some years from now. Furthermore, you have to be prepared for tricky questions, different corporate cultures, even some creepy recruiters.  In single words, just as you must be prepared to meet all kinds of people while dating.

You start by doing your smart search, contacting your friends, ex coworkers, college mates and old bosses just to spread the word about your new status.  They would certainly give you some advice on companies that are hiring. It´s probable that some of your friends  tell you about an opportunity that´s just perfect for you. Social networks seems to be the “new black” for this purpose.

The second source of job opportunities, of course, are the job posting websites. Those are the places where all the companies looking for talent are, right?.  Well, exactly as it could happen with dating out of bars and order places, chances are that you find all kind of things and most of them are not interesting at all.

Depending upon what you are (office manager, product manager, developer, project manager, marketer) chances are that you find jobs that are entitled as your current position but have nothing to do with what you do.  Chances are that you will have to prepare yourself to date and date over and over again, either when you want to meet a new love or a new job, so, be patient, because it takes time.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Let go from your job, just like being abandoned by the one you love

As I have explained before, most of the times you want to look for a new job while you´re still in your company. There you have learned stuff, probably gained a bunch of great friends and at some level, you have made it part of your life.

When this happens, well, a part of you feels guilty about the new opportunity, but in the other hand, if you look for something better, it is because you don´t find at home what you want, right?

But, what happens if it´s the other way around, if at some point your company just doesn´t want you anymore, maybe they cannot afford you, sometimes the strategy makes them get rid of you, or even worse, the company is forced to close due to economical, legal, managerial issues…a complete disgrace.

Well, I have been through this creepy situation at least three times. The first one, while I was so young, was because the American company I worked at decided to withdraw from the Ecuadorian market (damned macro economical instability). The second time, I decided to move to the “online world” and I got busted along with the 2000 internet bubble.

The third time, just about a month ago, my company decided that it was not such a good idea to have an IT provider located in Barcelona, to serve Canadian, US, UK and Asian iGaming platforms and websites.  Who was the idiot that had the big idea in the first place?

Anyways, when this happens, I suppose the sensation must be the same as when your partner tells you he/she doesn´t love you anymore.  "What? Me? I am great, how come you don´t want me anymore.  You´ll see, I will find someone 10 times better than you" …. And then the game begins. 

First step, you need mourn a little, you know, just to assimilate the new situation, take care of your finances, get a good idea on how to pass the information to the people that love you, they will certainly be worried about you.

Second, you do need to figure out who you are, what are your values, what are you good at. You need to learn to love yourself again so that others love you.  End of the day, if you´re the unloved , you need to be certain that you can overcome the situation, that you´re good , that you can do it again, and 10 times better.

It´s quite easy to say so, at some level it seems to be obvious, but reality is that, when you´re laid off by your company, as when you´re abandoned by your beloved one, you just have to fight hard to put yourself together and start all over again... and some times it seems to be just so complicated you don´t know even where to start...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Job seeking while still working, Is it like cheating on your partner?

First of all, let me explain who I am.  My name is Yess, I started working 15 years ago, so I would say I have been in the market for 15 years.  I have been working in marketing for the last 5, and during 4 I worked for one of the top most important internet companies of Spain, So I would say that I know something about Jobs.

I am a girl, 36, married, and with some experience about dating, finding new people, falling in love, as any other woman my age can be.  Having experiences in both sides, I wanted to compare both words, because I see lots of similarities.

When I decided to change from one job to another, I have always found myself doing something I think most people must do when they cheat on their partners. 

I have always seen those scenes in movies or TV shows where the cheater hides away in order to receive a mysterious call from the lover, or doesn´t get home on time, or leaves early just to meet with the lover, the one that , for sure,  gives cheaters long hours of joy, sex, pleasure, etc.

Well, taking the sex away, I have found myself that looking for a job can be quite a lot like having an affair.

I have found myself receiving mysterious calls with the typical question “Are you available for a chat now”.  I have received and seen people receive them and just run to the street, to the bathroom or to a meeting room in the office just in order to have a quick yet very important conversation about a new job opportunity.

 I have also seen myself inventing mysterious doctor appointments, kid´s school meetings or sudden low sugar attacks in order to meet the recruiter, the HR manager, the one offering me the new job (the affair?).

I have also felt the rush, the joy and the stomach stretch when the recruiter has given me the final proposal…wow, pure pleasure, isn´t it?

 Well, I have always said that looking for a job is one of those hypocrite things you end up doing in order to grow as a professional.  Your company is the last one to know that you´re after a new opportunity, you will ALWAYS lie to them until the moment you find your big shot…in other words, your company turns out to be your partner, the one last to acknowledge that you´re having an affair.

I also think that unlike in human relations, it´s the right thing to do when you feel you´re not in the right place or when you feel this is the right timing to try a move.

To those of you seeking for your big shot, keep on doing it. In the end, it´s your future the only one that matters, right?