Curiouser and curiouser.
I turned the job down, via email.
Half an hour later I had the line manager on the phone, with the sole purpose of changing my mind. He stated that the “trench work” aspects of the job had, he felt, been over-stated. This job would be a stepping stone to something better, he said. And I was not going to just step into a strategist role within an agency without doing something like it – a point I must concede I believe he is entirely right on.
The thing is that this man, the one who will be my manager, I somehow sense that I can trust. Not something I can say for some of the all the other management I met along the way. But the one I would be reporting to, I somehow feel that he does have my best interests at heart. To take a drop in salary is annoying, to be sure, and something they will not be moved upon (I tried). But I don’t think I should let that stop me from taking an opportunity like this. And to call me in order to convince me that this is the next step in my career – surely that shows something?
At the forefront of my mind, I know, is the fact that they can say anything to get you into the job. Once you’re there it can be quite a different story. Once you’re in the dragon’s lair it can be much harder to get yourself out again without being torn to shreds.
And I have another interview. It was meant to be later this week but I brought it forward – telling them honestly that I had another offer on the table and needed to see them as soon as possible. It’s another agency, one that sounds far more fun and possibly less drudgery. The former I feel keeps trying to tempt me in with the glamour of attending things like the BRIT Awards and the Oliviers. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that such events are not tempting or that the shallow part of me sees the opportunity for some serious Instagram envy. It’s just that I don’t want to sacrifice some part of myself or my professional progression just for the sake of some silly parties.
The other agency seems somehow steadier, firmer. My first impression is that it stands on more solid ground with its client list, rather than setting store by one enormous one. True, I don’t think it is as large, but it has an entirely different character to my view. Something gentler, more maternal. The other feels like I may be about to leap into a nest of vipers just to find the gold in the middle.
Because the truth is I’m very close to re-thinking and accepting the first offer. True, it isn’t perfect, but as I said I trust the man who will be my line manager. It could be the grounding and experience I need in order to become great at social media and digital marketing practices. It could be…Or it could break me.
If I take it I cannot fail. No matter what it takes, I cannot fail at it. I have them begging me to take their offer, I cannot then turn around and be a disappointment to them. It is simply not in my nature. It could be the most wonderful opportunity, or it could be an utter disaster. Unfortunately, there is simply no way to know before I arrive there. Even if I do accept, I will do so with great trepidation. I have emerged from my last company a little wiser and a lot more cautious.
But perhaps that’s not entirely a bad thing.
I must give my answer imminently. And yet I still do not know entirely what I should do. Should I say no to the first and hope that the second opportunity works out? That seems naive? Should I accept the first and, if the second one is better, just change my mind and jump ship? Seems rather like screwing them over, but I guess business is business, right? That’s what my aunt would say.
I think that is what I shall do. I shall say Yes to agency 1 while going along to the second interview today and hearing what they have to say. If agency 2 is better and offers a more tempting deal, I shall simply accept and tell agency 1 a better offer came up.
It’s all business. It’s my future. If I have learned anything about working in the last four years of London life, it’s that a company will never hesitate to screw you over if it’s in their best interests. So it makes sense that, when a company wants us, we should feel no qualms about doing the same.
As Dr Abdul Kalam said: “Love your job but don’t love your company, because you never know when your company will stop loving you.”