Thursday, February 16, 2012

Eeek! (Not my normal posting topic)

I've been in my current job for 4 years now.  It's what I refer to as a "specialist administrator job".  Filing and typing and stuff is minimal and much of my time is spent either setting up and auditing parts of our database or else providing helpdesk-type support for our users.  It doesn't stretch me any more (and hasn't done for some time now) but it pays much more than anywhere else locally would pay me for a similar level of ability.  I also happen to work in a fairly unique field and working anywhere else which actually needs my expertise would require a 50 mile round-trip commute every day just to get to the office.  I do quite like my job though; it also pays the bills and the people I work with are amazing so it's really much better than it sounds.  Coming up for two years ago, I went on secondment to another team but ended up returning earlier than expected to my normal role.  With hindsight, it was a very silly idea to start a new job while Gav was still in ICU and only two weeks after my nan had passed away.  I could have done with staying put in my normal job that summer!  Anyway, stuff happened that I couldn't cope with, I was making mistakes left, right and centre and became convinced that I was a complete failure.  After Gav got discharged from hospital and then promptly readmitted with an infection only a week or two later, I ended up going on sick leave with "low mood" for 3 1/2 weeks and HR recommended that I go back to my old job.  People were surprised that I was willing to go back at the busiest time of year but I'd started in the office as a temp at that time 3 years earlier and the chaos was what I was used to!  I knew that I could do all those dull and repetitive admin jobs (like alphabetising 12,000 labelled envelopes) without a problem.  I've tried my hardest to work on my confidence since then but it hasn't always been easy.  One of the biggest helps has been to completely ignore things like Failblog and all the other places on the internet where the word "fail" is horribly misused.  I've decided that failure should only be used of measurable outcomes.  I could fail an exam; I could fail to pot the red in pool and instead pot the black; I could fail to cook the meat enough.  Putting cheese in the omelette that I'm cooking for myself instead of the ham that I wanted isn't a failure.  It might not be a ham omelette but is it still a tasty dinner?  If the answer's yes then I've succeeded, not failed.

So, we've established what happened the last time I tried to apply for a new job.  I've also been told by our section leader that I "could go far".  I think the rough idea was that my secondment would go amazingly well and it'd allow me to start zigzagging up our job ladder and the one where I did my secondment and I'd eventually end up pretty much at her level.  A fantastic idea, had everything worked out as we expected!  But I came back sorely lacking in confidence and with far too much going on at home to cope with more than the normal routine of audits and set-up.  Recently though, I've been starting to get bored with my usual work, particularly when I found out that the requested promotion to a senior administrator wasn't going to happen.  I fully admit to having kept an eye out for other jobs locally but those that I could do didn't pay me enough and those that I could afford to do required a completely different skill set.

There's been a draft job advert sat in our printing tray for most of the week so far but I hadn't really read it.  It looked halfway interesting but the pay grade was "TBC" as was the duration of the contract.  I happened to check our intranet this afternoon and saw that the jobs page had just been updated.  Oddly enough, I scrolled through the whole list today.  Normally, I just scroll through the ones at the top until I find one I remember being posted earlier on in the week as I've always assumed that they're sorted by date posted.  It turns out that they've changed the system and now sort them by closing date and one of the jobs in the middle of the list was for this post where I'd seen the draft advert.  Unlike the others posted today which all have a month until the closing date, this one only has 1 1/2 weeks so appears in the middle of the list.  Essentially, it's for a data analyst post.  It's got a complicated job title to it but that's perfectly standard with public sector posts.  It's two grades up from where I am now but everything listed in the job description and person specification is all stuff that I've done before.  Perhaps I haven't worked on some of the stuff listed for nearly 10 years but, even so, it's something that I've always been pretty good at and it shouldn't take me to long to get back in the swing of things.  It's not going to be easy to work out which examples I'm going to be using to prove that I meet the person specification as they're all going to be scattered between just about every single job or voluntary position I've ever held in my entire adult life.  The other good thing about the job is that it's internal applicants only.  Certainly from our office, there's only likely to be one other applicant and, should I lose out to him, I'd consider that perfectly fair.  I suspect that I'd win in comparison to him on the intrapersonal stuff although he'd easily win on database queries.  The only trouble is that I have absolutely no idea who else across our entire organisation would also be interested in applying for it.  I think that everyone I know who'd be a likely suspect is already grade 5 or above but I have no idea whether there's anyone else out there.  I can't be the only person who's working in a completely different area at the moment who wants to change so I haven't got a chance of guessing who else I might be up against.  That is, if anyone else noticed that it was on the jobs page!

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