Unexpected Departures

Sometimes events consume you to the point that you just have to let them complete their course. There is little that can be done to stop the juggernaut, you just have to grin and bear it. A case in point, is my job. On Tuesday 7th June, I was told by my colleague, Richard that he was leaving. I was gutted to hear this completely unexpected news. This would have a major effect on my workload, while management rushed to find a suitable replacement. In any case, I had already planned for such an eventuality but spending a great deal of time redrafted and updating my CV and posting it on-line to Monster. This was more in hope than in expectation and I did little to actually actively hunt jobs, even after the news had been made public. I had made the decision to see how things panned out with the streamlined reporting team. A new line manager, a fresh start did have some benefits plus the opportunity to once again increase my profile at the firm. A mere eight days after I had been informed of the news of the imminent departure, I received an e-mail about a local position. I replied sending an updated version of my CV and expected to hear little else about it. In fact, while working from home on Friday 24th June, I actually thought it would be worth chasing the agency to confirm my application had been unsuccessful. I did not need to, I got a phone call around 4pm. I had been invited for interview.

In the week leading up the interview I was extremely nervous. This was easily the biggest job interview of my career to date, but also with one of the biggest players in the industry. A company I had dreamed of working for. A dream I could potentially realise, depending on my performance in within a two hour interview. The pressure was on and I felt it. Support from family was extremely important and I owe a great deal to my sister Samantha and my dearest wife to be, Michelle. I knew that if I could get this together, it could be a major turning point not just in my work life but in my home life also. The two hour commute to Swindon could end and I could finally bring balance to my work-life.

I decided to share the news of my interview with only my close family members. There was no need to tweet about such things, particularly as in the past boasting usually turns the outcome out of my favour. I secured the time off work and then prepared for several evenings in the week prior to the interview on Friday 1st July. (I should really mention that I had two phone interviews for another position based in London also but that would really be taking the biscuit. Oh and they were international calls to Switzerland, not easy to conduct an interview when the interviewer keeps dropping in and out due to a bad line).

If I had told you I was nervous that would have been a major understatement. I was a train wreck of anxiety and apprehension knowing how much was at stake that morning. Even the thought of catching Transformers: Dark Of The Moon with my sister, Natalie, later that evening could not take my mind away from the challenge ahead. As I drove from Slough to Reading, a journey I know all too well, I felt positive. Would confidence get me through this alone?

As I left the office and headed to my car, parked in the visitors’ area, directly opposite the main reception, I took a deep breath and tried to gauge how I had performed. I had completed the Excel test and was confident of a pass mark. The interview itself had been an intense, but informal two-hour affair. I learnt more about the corporation setup and how everything fitted together. At one point, I was told that I may not find some aspects of the job that interesting as it involved waiting on ancient Excel add-ins to pull back data. I assured the interviewer that I was a patient individual and happy to investigate ways to improve processes during any downtime while back-end systems update. I think I came across well but you can never tell. I was not sure if I would be successful.

Instead of continuing with any further post-interview post mortem, I decided to concentrate on the weekend I had planned ahead. The final movie in the Transformers trilogy and meeting up with my friend Clive in the evening before enjoying a rare quiet weekend at my parents. The verdict would arrive sometime on Monday and I was happy to wait.


I got the phone call I had been waiting for around 1pm, and it was excellent news. I had been offered the job at Microsoft. I was over the moon, quick to share news with my fiancé, Michelle and my immediate family. Around 3pm this afternoon, when my manager arrived back at her desk, I asked for a few minutes to inform her of my news. It was a shock and the thought of my imminent departure did not go down well, particularly as a key figure of the reporting team was leaving by the end of the week. While I have made some great friends here and enjoyed my time working for the biggest microchip manufacturer in the world, it was the right time to move on. Yes, I had achieved a great deal in eighteen months and left somewhat of a legacy, but the long journey and lack of long term career progression were just one of many reasons to move on. I was excited about the new challenge that lies ahead and the fact that I would have so much to learn. Before any of that though, I have a wedding to semi-arrange!

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