I applied for a job today - application number four since I decided a few months ago that my current job was acutely draining my will to live. The first application did not even yield an interview. I was shortlisted for the second position, which was rather funny considering it was at a top 10 university and the first job was at a university ranked even lower than the one at which I currently work. I felt my presentation was strong, though the interview would have gone much better had one of the panel not been there. She was a trickster, asking all the right questions, difficult little fuckers that they were. After each one tripped me up, I wanted to nod my head at her slowly and say, "Well played pretty glasses lady, well played."
I didn't get that one either. I forget why. Something about focusing too much on marketing during the presentation and interview, despite the fact that the tone of the interview implied that I was to tell them more about that side of my job rather than the other business that forms the content of my job title. That's ok, I didn't really want to live in Bristol anyway. They all talk like farmers.
Job three was at my current institution, a position involving managerial responsibilities in another faculty, but still doing the same area of work. I was shortlisted, and the interview went blissfully. All exchanges were in a language only insiders would know, and I left the interview confident that the panel thought I was the finest candidate one could ever hope to encounter. I was pretty sure that they would have licked my face, so pleased were they with my abilities and confidence. Later that day, they called to say that much as they loved me and thought I was really hot, the job was not mine. They decided to go with another internal candidate, a woman whose managerial experience was as a result of her boss's part time work hours. My boss is a lumpen, worthless deskfrau who, unfortunately for me, chooses to carry out her incompetency full-time. This is my loss, and seems to be the reason I can't progress in my own institution.
Job four, the current one, is the same job title as job three, just in another faculty. I suspect the lack of managerial experience will again be my downfall, whether that presents itself in the shortlisting process, or in an interview if it comes to that. I am endlessly frustrated by this, as it was fully acknowledged by the bad news bearer in job three that in my current position there is no scope to increase managerial responsibilities. They want someone with a background like mine, but with managerial experience, something someone in my precise position is unlikely to have. Job three appointed the only person I can think of internally who would fit that requirement, so maybe I will get lucky this time around because I'm the best of a less-than-satisfactory bunch. I could be looked over in favour of an external candidate, but universities are very exclusionary when it comes to outsiders, so that may help.
I'm going over this here rather than just in my head, because I want advice. If it is widely acknowledged by the decision makers who are familiar with my position that I cannot gain this experience I am expected to have, what the fuck am I supposed to do? They wouldn't want me if I took a job outside my area just because it had managerial aspects, so I'm stuck, and too bad for me! It's especially frustrating because they are aware of the structure within my university, and know its limitations very well.
If the feedback was something simple - that I lacked confidence in the interview, that I needed more experience within my current position - fine, I can work with that. Those are issues which can be developed. Telling me I need managerial background in a place that doesn't offer that opportunity until I get the very job I'm applying for, how does that help? Everyone in management has started somewhere, so risks were taken for every member of management staff at some point. I know there are a lot of professional women reading, including those of you in management, so what do you suggest? It is driving me mad to be stifled in this way. I'm an ambitious person who WANTS more responsibility and challenges, so this whole situation makes me want to kick a puppy. Bastards. Help.
Final warning - this is the last post before Reader Request Music Monday. I've had a few more since the previous post's petition, but I would love more. Seriously people, you don't need to pick stuff you think would be perceived as cool. I just want to know what you like for pete's sake. It ain't hard. You have just under 48 hours: barrenalbion at g mail dot com . I really can't make this any easier for you.