Games

I thought about it. The thing that gives me pause about the new job is the hours. 40 hours a week vs 37.5. It’s not much per week but it adds up to an extra 3 weeks working per year. The salary more than covers it though. That’s really the only downside. About the current job, I’m busy but in general find it stress free. There are occasional exceptions, but they are not the norm. We had a meeting on Wednesday (before I handed in my notice) and the MD said he wasn’t expecting to get everyone back in the office full time. So, really, if it wasn’t for the salary shenanigans, I wouldn’t be considering moving.

I feel like we are playing silly games with the salary. When I gave my notice, the reaction was very much “oh, you want more money? Why didn’t you say?”. Well, I did, and it still wasn’t competitive? Then they’re shocked when I get a better offer and leave 🤷 Like, really, you’ve been running a company for 20 years and you didn’t know that people leave when they’re underpaid? Don’t give me this rubbish.

I have some distrust over these shenanigans, but overall no other bad feelings right now. So I think the outcome really depends on how the MD handles it tomorrow and what he actually offers. If I feel he’s continuing to play games then I’m better off elsewhere, otherwise let’s see exactly how the two offers compare.

Drama

I handed in my notice and apparently sent a few people into a panic. My timing was terrible, as the MD was out so couldn’t handle it, but instead got my manager and the (I don’t know his job title? but he’s kind of the second in command) to discuss it. They both seem to think the MD will give a counter offer.

Anyway, the MD is going to review it over the weekend and get back to me on Monday. I’m not really sure what to expect with this. Despite my manager’s optimism, the MD has consistently low balled me when it comes to pay. On the other hand, he’d be silly not to match the offer, because it is the going rate for my level of skill, and hiring is hard and my departure leaves the company quite understaffed.

But am I open to counter offers? A few days ago I said I wasn’t, but if they do match the salary then I’m not sure my case for leaving and starting a new job is so compelling anymore. The MD also laid out a few days ago that he wasn’t expecting to go back to full time in the office, which was also a big fear of mine. So if the salary is equal, the main points are the hours (37.5 currently vs 40 in the new job) and the tech (more modern, CV friendly in the new job). Well, and the stress and risk of starting a new job.

I suppose I need to decide on my thresholds and see what Monday brings.

Happenings

I’m not at all happy with the weather the past few days. I tried running this morning and it was absolutely horrible.

Parkrun is back at the weekend but I don’t think I’ll be doing it. The COVID case numbers are shooting up very quickly, which puts me off. It seems like Parkrun has promised to return a number of times and then didn’t, but ironically now it looks like they’re actually going to do it, it’s happening at a time when there’s a higher chance of contracting COVID than any time previously.

I phoned the recruiter and said I was happy to progress. The next stage is to wait for the employer to send everything through. I’m not used to such a slow process! And it’s playing on my anxiety. Apparently they do some kind of background checking. The recruiter told me there would be a credit check (why?!) and a criminal record check. I’ve never had to deal with this for a job before so I don’t know what to expect. From my research it appears it will be the basic DBS check, because my role is not eligible for the standard or enhanced checks.

But since I’ve never done this and don’t know what to expect then I guess I should wait until this clears before actually handing in my notice? Obviously, I’m worrying I’ll fail the background check despite there being no reason I should. I’m worrying about references too. I’m sure my current employer will be fine, but the previous one… I have low expectations of them. I keep telling myself that they would gain nothing by starting a fight with me and potentially exposing themselves to a hefty lost earnings lawsuit, but eh. What if they just refused to give a reference? Thanks, anxiety.

Have a little faith

So, they have offered it to me after all. The recruiter phoned me Friday afternoon. I’ve said I’ll think about it over the weekend, but I’m pretty happy.

The only downside is the 40 hours vs 37.5, but as it’ll be mostly remote I’m OK with that. Everything else is either the same or better. A big thing is that they are using more modern technology, meaning I’ve solved the problem I would have if I stayed here for a few years, which is that the technology we use is rapidly approaching legacy status if it hasn’t got there already. The treadmill of technology…

I’m pleased with the salary. My employer gave me a 5% pay rise recently, and only because I complained that I hadn’t had one for over a year and a half (after being contractually promised a review after six months). He said (very unnecessarily) that most other companies weren’t doing pay rises with the uncertainty of the pandemic and he assured me that the raise he gave me was ahead of the average. The new job is a 23% raise.

The thing that stands out for me is that when I interviewed there, he asked how much I was making and then told me I was underpaid and offered a small raise over that. I’m sure he thinks this saves him money, but how much is it going to cost to replace me? Far more than what he’s saved. Whereas this new job didn’t ask how much I was making, they just made an offer based on their perception of my value.

So next week it will be formalised and I’ll give my notice. I’m not sure if my employer will counter-offer. I’d like to think they would, but they’re going to look a bit silly suddenly magicking up some extra money that supposedly wasn’t there before. Like Theresa May’s magic money tree. I think that they’ve burnt my trust enough on the financial side that I’m not open to counter-offers. Plus, the new job’s experience will be more valuable for my long term career value.

Uncertainty…

I’ve had no interview feedback today which surprises me. Pretty much every time I’ve come out of an interview thinking they’ll offer it to me, they do indeed offer it to me and usually very quickly afterwards. I feel a bit unsettled to have not heard anything. However, it is a larger firm than I’m used to dealing with and large firms tend to move slower.

I don’t think I actually mind whether or not I get the job. If I get every job I go for then that just means I’m not aiming high enough. And equally, I’m not in a rush and this job isn’t perfect. If I don’t get it, there will be another comparable one along at some point. Either outcome is fine.

And yet I have been quite stressed again today. I’ve also been very hungry. Since I haven’t been running much lately I haven’t been getting hungry, but I guess anxiety will do that too.

I’ve been trying to force my body to relax a bit more. I spent the afternoon working on my laptop…. while laying in bed. It helps!

Interview

The interview went well, or at least I think it did. At the risk of sounding arrogant I think they will make me an offer. The question is: will I accept it? It’s 40 hours a week vs my current 37.5, but I’m happy enough with everything else that as long as the salary fairly reflects the extra hours I’ll probably accept. I guess there are a few big ifs in there. If they offer it to me, and if they go up to the top end of their salary range.

I feel like I’m jumping the gun a bit though. After I went through it all in my own head a few days ago I think that staying put for the moment is probably the right strategy. I can afford to see how things play out with my current employer, and maybe that’s even preferable. So if nothing comes of this, I probably won’t apply for anything else just yet.

I can’t believe how stressed my body has been today. The interview was this morning, but my heart rate stayed above 70 all afternoon. That’s crazy.

Changing plans

I ended up cancelling the gambling company interview. I wasn’t that struck on them to start with, but I went through the Glassdoor interview reviews and that put me off more. There were a couple of reviews for the same level of position saying they’d been asked to do a week long task for free and then been rejected after doing it. Yeah, no.

So anyway….

I tried running in my new insoles yesterday and it was not a great experience. I am still getting slight numbness, even after barely running for the past few weeks, which is much worse than this has been in the past. Even with the insoles. I’m not sure if they’re helping at all, because the support is towards the back of the shoe, but if I’m pronating at the very last stage then my heel is already off the ground at that point. The other thing is that even after a fairly short run, the skin on my big toe was really sore. I have a callous down the side of it (probably from pronating), but this felt like a blister was forming underneath it. I’m not sure what that means…

Popularity

I have two interviews this coming week. One is the second interview from the phone interview I did a few days ago. I misunderstood when he said technical test – it’s actually a ‘collaborative’ coding/technical test thing done there and then inside the interview. That’s good as it really is time limited to 45 minutes, but bad because, well, I’ve never done that before in an interview setting. Which is funny. It’s a test designed to show I can do what I’ve been doing every day for the past decade, and I’m worried I might not be able to do well on it because I’ve never done it before.

The other interview is a phone interview. It’s come via the same agency – when she phoned me to tell me about the second interview, she threw this one in there and said “I’ll send you through a spec, and get back to me if you’re interested”. Less than two hours later, her boss emailed me to say “great news, they want to interview you! Are you free Monday?”. Well, I didn’t actually say I was interested and I haven’t looked at the spec yet, but…

I’m not sure about this one at all. I would have filtered myself out if I’d seen the spec published as an advert. They are looking for Umbraco experience, which I don’t have. I don’t get why they’ve written a spec saying Umbraco experience is a must, and then they see my CV and instantly want to interview me. The other thing is that the software they make is for online gambling. That’s a very exploitative industry. On the other hand, how many employers don’t exploit people?

I would have skipped it even if they hadn’t asked for Umbraco experience, though. Umbraco is a content management system (like WordPress) and if your technical problem looks like a CMS… Well, I’m not sure you’re going to keep me interested for long. But we’ll see

Interview…

I had an interview today. It went OK I think. I got really nervous about it, but I don’t know why. I also got really nervous about seeing the physio last week, because…? The tablets make me more functional when I’m nervous but I’m not sure they reduce the nerves at all.

He asked me some technical questions, and I got the hard ones right and the easy ones wrong (duh). Not because I didn’t know the answer, just because I’m not used to having to suddenly remember and regurgitate obscure technical trivia over the phone. I’m not too worried because I was able to speak in depth on the harder stuff. Apparently the next stage is a technical test, which is usually where I look at it and go “I’m not spending the next week doing this!”, but we’ll see. He said it would be about 45 minutes, which is reasonable… assuming this estimate bears any relation to reality (big if).

I’m not too sure what I think at the moment. The recruiter told me it would be predominantly remote, in the office around once a month. But the interviewer had other ideas and said they were thinking of it being more of a hybrid role with 2-3 days a week in the office. The plus side is that it’s within walking distance (just about), so 2-3 days in the office there is much better than 2-3 days in the office at my current employer. But that’s not really the right comparison, is it?

Freedom?

So apparently we’re out of lockdown and most restrictions disappear on the 19th, or two weeks today. In the same press conference, the Government predicted that cases will rise to about 50,000 per day by the end of the month. I think this is completely bonkers.

But what I’m most concerned about is the removal of the work from home guidance. Personally I like working from home, but, ignoring that, I’ve only had one vaccine dose so far. So I’m definitely not getting on a train before I’ve had two doses. And even after that… I just can’t see myself commuting regularly. Commuting is horrible and while there may exist pleasant offices, my employer’s is not one of them. My ‘office’ at home is a hundred times nicer than an open plan office.

I don’t know whether my employer will start pushing for me to come back to the office, but he was starting to talk about it when we did salary review a few weeks ago.

I re-arranged my ‘office’ over the weekend so I feel ready to start interviewing again. I’ve been getting inundated by recruiters lately, so I went back through the last few days’ email. I found and replied to six that looked potentially promising.