Thursday, November 02, 2006

Pseudo Update

I don't want to jinx the possibilities for the positions I'm interested in, so I'll post an update on the positions I'm either not interested in or can't have.

On Monday I interviewed with a company that creates kids' games for handheld and mobile devices. While I liked their products and thrilled at the very short commute to their offices, and while I enjoyed speaking a little German with some of the management staff , I knew fairly quickly that this job is not for me. The CEO made it abundantly clear that "his workers" (first red flag) are not to be on the Internet and better not be "writing love notes" during work hours. I mentioned that the work there is obviously creative and that -- for me, at least -- that creativity can't be turned on and off like a faucet. I told him that I might well be working at 2:30 in the morning, but that on any particular day, I might not be full of creativity at 2:30 in the afternoon, inferring that I might be on the Internet (posting to this blog!) or writing a note (likely not a love note, though?!) to a friend. "Then go for a walk," he warned me. Wow. I'm almost 50, have been designing kids' media for over 25 years, and am perfectly capable of monitoring my own hours and getting the job done -- and I have certainly put in my share of well-over-40-hour weeks... but not because some Big Boss Man is monitoring everything I do. Instead, I am actually capable of starting a project, overseeing all aspects of it, and finishing it on time and within budget -- because *I* monitor myself and my work and because producing a great product is important to me. (I know -- amazing!) The way I see it, good people should be hired for their expertise and then be trusted to put that expertise to work, without road blocks and without an elementary school style of management/control. "Lead from behind with a flashlight" is a metaphor I like for effective leadership that fosters creativity and responsibility. I even mentioned that in my interview -- and it was greeted with blank stares.

Nope -- that place would drive me bonkers, and if a job offer should come my way on that one, I will turn it down.

Then I continued the interview process with a few companies I like a lot and would like to consider offers from -- and that's all I'll say about that, not wanting to jinx anything that might be in the works.

Yesterday I interviewed with a FABULOUS start-up company -- and this one I'll mention by name (Exbiblio!) because I want everyone in the world to take notice of the incredible product they're making, their exemplary values and the absolutely wonderful approach they have to business -- and to life. I knew they didn't have a specific job for me (because their product is already designed and the implementation is much too technical for me), but I was hoping that there might be a fit for my background in education and media... and there might be, someday -- but not now. I believe that, if they do this right (and that means hiring an absolutely kick-ass marketing person), within a few years, their product will be in the handful of necessities we dump on the dresser each evening -- car keys, wallet, comb, iPod, and oPen! I absolutely love the idea of leaving technology behind and heading off for camping, a boat ride, or backpacking... and taking technology with you at the same time, in the form of this little pen-sized scanner than allows you to open up huge related worlds (resources & references, blogging communities, e-commerce, etc) when you come back to your digital world. If I were a millionaire, I'd invest heavily in Exbiblio!

Today I have meetings at Starbucks for some networking opportunities, and tomorrow I have a phone interview with a large publishing company that needs a high school health textbook written. I could do that one from home, I'm passionate about the subject matter and the required approach (health issues for high schoolers -- critical!), and like all I've heard so far. There are many unanswered questions on that one, though, so we shall see...

And one of these days I am determined to clean and cook like a great housewife, then sit down in front of the TV and watch a soap opera! I haven't been home without employment since I had four young kids under the age of 9 at my feet every minute of every day (my happiest years!), and I definitely never watched a soap opera then! In fact, I don't hesitate for a second to point out that the hardest -- and most rewarding -- job I ever had, or ever will have, was during my un-paid, stay-at-home-mom years. I absolutely believe that no CEO, no hot-shot attorney, no frazzled politician, works as hard as the average stay-at-home mom does -- and I honor, revere and respect them more and more the further away I get from those years! I will never, ever have a job that demands those hours and that dedication for that (non) pay again, no matter how "important" a job I land!

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Adam Behringer said...

Thank you for the kind words about Exbiblio. We were glad you came to visit us.

Good luck on your job leads!

Dixie said...

Yikes! That first place sounds like Uptightville!

Exbiblio, huh? You've piqued my interest!

Hope you get the very job that you want.

Betsy said...

Wow, you've had a busy week! I'm with Dixie-- that first place sounds awful! why do they care how you spend your day as long as the job gets done? I'm convinced that most employees who work in a flexible environment will work harder and produce better work!

The textbook thing sounds fabulous! I would love to do something like that!

Good luck with everything!

Betsy said...

Ooooooh! Exbiblio is way cool! I want one!!!!!!!!!!!

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