I mentioned before that my current boss is leaving. He’s hanging around to do our year-end reviews since they don’t have a replacement manager yet, but he’s already splitting time between our group and his new job.
Because of the desire to cut costs in our organization, my ex-boss’ bosses are still debating how to list the job posting. They seem to be reaching a consensus to list it as a very low-level management job, despite the fact that it comes with a group of 25 underlings and a host of other program management responsibilities. In fact, the level is so low that the most senior people on my program can’t even apply because it wouldn’t pay even close to what they’re making now.
Our group works well because of the camaraderie between members of our group and the free rein we’re given as long as we get our work done (and we get a lot of work done). This often means pancake breakfasts, bets on football games (whoever loses the bet buys bagels for the whole office), midday coffee breaks in the conference room, etc. As such, there is a desire to keep the management job “in the family,” i.e. making sure no new guy/girl is going to come in an attempt to change the culture.
At this time, there are only 2 people who have the required experience and also don’t make too much money to apply. I am one of them.
I’ve been getting a little bit of pressure to apply for this job. Part of it is that there’s no one else since the job is ridiculously underpaid for the amount of work (they think I don’t know this), part of it is that they’ve done the same math I have, and they know I’m one of two potential “insiders,” and hopefully part of it is because they like me and think I’d be good at it.
As a career move, it’s not a bad one. I’d be making more money more quickly – it would amount to the promotion I planned to ask for this year (I am convinced it will be denied this year and next year, but possibly 2013), or just slightly over. It would set me up for more management responsibility in the future, all the way up to CEO. (Just kidding.) I do think I’d enjoy the money aspects of it, given how much I enjoy my own, much smaller, budget.
Still, I’ve always said that I wanted to stay technical. I love the challenge of engineering, the moment of clarity when you’ve finally figured out the solution to a problem. My career aspirations were always to be an expert, to run the analysis that drives the evolution of technology. I hoped I would be smart enough to get there.
In the teeny, tiny, gossip-ridden office I work in, everyone would know if I applied, interviewed, or was offered the job. Which means they’d also know if I turned it down. In all the pressure to get me to apply, I was assured that I’d have a good chance of getting it.
I just can’t decide if I’d want it.