Thursday, August 17, 2006

Journey of an Afro-preneur: Job Dilemma

Yesterday I went for a Job Interview at one of the local companies in Nairobi, a friend of mine had given me a heads-up on the Job opening so I sent my CV/Resume on a long shot attempt and I was surprised when they called me in.

I need to give you some history about this particular job, in 2005 around July the same guy had told me about the opening and I managed to get an interview. For those of you who've had the nerve wracking experience of going for interviews am sure you know the tension one feels during the interview process ("they" say you get better with time, am not sure if whether "they" meant you get better at being nervous or you get better at handling the nervousness). I was unlucky enough to be thrown in one room with the Technical Director a 110kg 6+ feet man and the Technical Manager who just looked malnutritioned, I think the director had been taking the manager's lunch, anyway the two guys proceeded to attack me from two angles. The tech manager asked me very specific questions relating to technology where general answers were not acceptable whereas the Director would just "scratch the surface" and focus on general aspects of the tasks I had undertaken, needless to say the "good cop/bad cop" routine worked like a nonsense and slowly but surely they broke me down. I remember that at one point I remarked that I felt that I had stayed too long in my current job and had been coding for a long time, the tech manager took the opportunity to point out to me that he had been programming since 1985 which would make my 3 years of development look like 3 days.

I left the interview room confident that I had missed the job, my hunch was correct and two days the manager called me to tell me that he felt that I wasn't quite ready for the job and that may be in a year or two he would consider me. Well a year has passed and there I was in the same building but different boardroom, I was surprised that he could barely remember me judging by the questions he asked me. At the end of the interview he basically offered me the job but was quick to point out that he felt that it was too soon for me to leave my current position, he explained that this was a personal opinion not likely to affect his decision whether or no to hire me, he told me to go and think about it and contact him within the next few days.

So here I am with a few things going through my mind, Should I leave my current position which I have only held since April 06 in order to move to a totally new setup? I have a policy against changing jobs before staying in an organisation for less then a year, I feel that a year is usually the minimum period one should work in an organisation for you to give an objective view of whether the organisation meets your needs or is inline with your goals for growth. On one hand is increased salary, new challenges on the other hand a need for stability and an opportunity to work for an organisation that is pioneering the call center business in this region and a chance to be part of it.

I talked to Pilgrim about the matter and she helped me clear the doubts I had over the decision then I decided to head to Monster and get some advice from one of the forums they have, I found a rather interesting post which seemed to address some of my concerns. So I saw the best way to proceed was to express my interest in the job and see how it goes. I'm expecting a response from them by this friday.

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