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No, I’m Not Kidding (Part Two)

February 3, 2010

It was  through a conversation with a friend that I learned of the degree requirement. Yes of course I had seen it on the posting on Workopolis, but most places put stuff like that in the posting, it’s not always cast in stone. Directly related work experience, particularly a decade of it, should trump a piece of paper that only proves you can regurgitate. (And if I hear the old “University teaches you how to think” crap again, I will have to punch whoever said it in the balls. I’ve worked with far to many Master degrees who couldn’t think their way out of a wet paper sack. )

Anyway, let’s get into the chronology of what happened when, as briefly as possible.

  • We find out the positions are being absorbed by the client
  • I meet with the hiring manager, someone I’ve worked for and known for many years. We discuss the positions and I give him a few thoughts I have on how it could best work for him. We discuss the degree situation (nobody on my team has one)  and he looks concerned. He says he will see what he can do.
  • After the holidays, I wait a few days and decide it’s best to follow up. He then gives me the news. The lack of a degree will be “an insurmountable obstacle”
  • I then realize that because my department’s role is being brought in-house, none of the new agencies coming online to pick up the work will need me. So I can’t work for the client, and the agencies don’t need me. I’ve been hung out to dry.
  • After a few days I get my head around it. Ok, Fine. I’ll be fine. I start the process of accepting my fate. I even start to get a little excited about doing something new.
  • A week goes by, nothing more is heard
  • Then, out of the blue, I get call for an interview. Despite my best efforts, I start to get hopeful again. Maybe the “degrees” they were interviewing weren’t so hot, maybe they are coming to their senses
  • The interview was one of those behavioral type interviews. I felt I did very well, but you never really know for sure.
  • I find out afterwards that my counterpart in the US,  the manager of the same team in our US office, has also been interviewed. He is a Canadian but commutes to the US office every day. (this is common in Windsor). He is a friend, I went to school with his brother.
  • Another week goes by, nothing.
  • I get a call at home from my friend in the US.  Despite not having a degree either, he got one of the three positions. In fact, he was offered the lead role. I congratulate him. He is confident I will be offered one of the other two spots. Says he has a gut feeling. He says it would only make sense. The best of the best for this three person team. I am happy for him but I don’t have the same gut feeling he does.
  • I wait another week, still no news.
  • As the end of January approaches, the end of my employment, I start to get very frustrated  again. I just want to know. But still, nothing.
  • Three days before the end, our company has a get together at a pub. Open bar. The pub is called “The Pour House” Funny eh?
  • After a few drinks, I leave the party and head back to the office to pack up my desk and box up all my belongings. It’s becoming very real at this point. Just before leaving I e-mail the hiring manager to inquire about the status of his hiring process.  I ask him to advise me if I am still under consideration.
  • We play phone tag for a bit, but we eventually connect and I find out what I had already suspected. He has gone “in a different direction” The thought is that they want “people who can learn the role quickly and then do it well for a maybe a few years and then move up in the company” What is implied is that you need a degree to move up. I know this to be true. In fact a degree is the price of admission only. In order to move up a Masters degree is required.
  • I thank him for the call, and offer up my services if he should need me on an interim basis during the transition.

And that’s pretty much it. There’s more to it of course. I am being careful.  But that should give you a sense of how it all went down.

So now what? More thoughts on that soon…

6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2010 11:39 am

    I am so sorry. What a bummer.
    I hope you find something else soon that is even better than this would have been.
    Just incredibly sorry.

  2. February 4, 2010 3:12 pm

    Grrr. That just sucks. Really.

    I do understand (in theory) degree requirements for getting in to a company (as high school diplomas are awarded even without basic literacy skills).

    However. Experience can totally “make up” for not having a degree.

    And in your case – you do have some post secondary education. Certainly that, plus your experience trumps any sort of standard university degree.

    I’d be pissed too.

  3. kittykillkill permalink
    February 6, 2010 11:31 am

    Frankly, I would be pissed. Especially after having to take one of those stupid time-wasting psych exams. I call bullshit.

  4. February 6, 2010 9:17 pm

    Of course they’re making the assumption that anyone working on “the team” would actually want to move up in the company.
    I turned down a number of promotions during my years in computer software simply because I liked what I was doing; I enjoyed the challenge of getting down to the nitty-gritty little detail and knowing the way the machine functioned inside-out. I was good at it.
    I was happy being a techie; I would have been as miserable as sin as a manager.
    Aren’t people who are happy in their work better performers than those who are always looking for more ?
    Who benefits from that ? Everybody !
    Chin up Syl.
    Looking forward to the “More thoughts…”

  5. February 8, 2010 1:36 pm

    Syl, I am only too familiar with the scenario you describe: you are doing a great job, the work still needs to be done and you are fully capable and available to continue doing it, but circumstances change in a way which makes everything wonky.

    While my own situation was different in detail, the main points were just as yours are now.

    I can assure you that there is another door opening, and I can also tell you that you may not anticipate how it comes about. My own journey began a bit more than a year ago, and the opening door is still not apparent. My optimism remains in place, though.

    Keep your eyes open and your faith strong, Syl. Hug Kelly, too. It does you both good.

  6. February 10, 2010 12:21 am

    You were very gracious. I’m sorry, Sylvain. I can’t wait for the part about now what! Open eyes, strong faith, hugs to Kelly, O

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