Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Random 7

It appears that I've been tagged, and that means I need to post 7 random things about me that you don't know. So here's my shot at that:

1. I don't tie my shoelaces the same way you do (or the rest of the world). When I was about 4 years old, I taught myself to tie them, without the assistance of a supervising adult....I came up with my own method, and to this day, people will comment on the oddity of it, if they happen to catch me tying them.

2. I'd rather eat the frosting than the cake. Always.

3. I hate talking on the telephone and will do almost anything to avoid having to make a social call (work calls are a must, although I will email as first choice whenever possible). And I especially hate cell phones.

4. Too many of the same type of people in one place makes me nervous. I am uncomfortable in a crowd of all white, all black, all Asian, all German, all straight, all anything. Mono-gatherings feel cultish to me for some reason, and I am most relaxed in a diverse crowd of people. In fact, I enjoy it more when I am in the minority...the novelty in the crowd.

5. I want to be married either once or about eight times. Currently working on just the one. But if it doesn't work out, I'll seek at least seven more proposals. :) Getting married is so romantic; being married not so much. So, why not?

6. The oldest dress in my closet is probably 18 years old. That's what happens when you buy the classics -- they become vintage in your own closet. I actually have a pair of jeans that is 20 years old. I don't wear them, but I keep them and try them on once a year to make sure they still fit.

7. I secretly admire daring women, even when they break social and moral rules. For example, Carla Bruni fascinates me. She's very aware of her power as a beautiful woman, and she unabashedly uses it to move about the world. Yes, much of it is wrong and oh so scandalous, but it fascinates me to see her toss off the mores of society and do whatever she wants....and get away with it so stylishly. Fabulous! I would never have the boldness to live like that, and it certainly has its downsides, but I secretly love audacity of it all.

That's the Top 7.


I've been meaning to post this but have been too busy gathering my thoughts and trying to wring the current chaos from my days. I have made a job decision!

It was not easy, and I will have regrets about not taking the other. But if I had taken the other, I'd have regrets about not taking this one. So goes the world....

I have taken a strategy position with a global consulting and technology provider. I will be coming in just under Vice President level, so there's something to shoot for immediately. We'll see how long it takes me to get there....there aren't many (almost none, in fact) women in VP positions, so we'll see if I can plant a flag there in the near future!

I will be working on the Global Team (the company is based in Paris, my boss is Canadian, and his boss is in the UK)....focused on helping them become more successful in the North American market. I have a track record of sales success in this area, but this time I am going to help them from a strategy perspective, trying to help position them to go to market more effectively. So I won't actually be doing the sales thing myself (although perhaps as an exception, if needed)...I'll be more focused on marketing, branding, alliances, sales operations and bid management. And I'm excited about it!

I'll start next week...until then, I'm at the Florida house, trying to soak up a quick tan.

Upward and onward!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Decisions, Decisions....

This job decision thing has become a whirlwind of activity. My head is spinning. I have been back and forth all week, leaning one way on one day, the other way the next.

It has been very difficult. I have two opportunities which are both stellar. Both parties have been very accommodating and professional, and I've been made to feel like a prize catch by all. I wish I could take them both, and I will most certainly have some regrets over the other, no matter which one I take. Ugh!

It's actually gotten a bit crazy this week. Job #1 had pulled ahead on Tuesday, but on Wednesday, job opp #2 contacted me and asked me if I could 'come to Toronto tonight' to meet Mr. Big from the UK who had flown in for a meeting in Canada. What?

In response to that craziness, I actually went. I got on a flight and found myself in Toronto that night, with a short but effective 20-minute meeting with the head of the UK early the next morning. And apparently, I've been given the thumbs up, and they want me on board -- offer on the way, and I'd actually report up to Mr. UK's organization, though U.S.-based for now. Interesting.

So now I'm really leaning that direction. Overall, both are terrific career opportunities, but opp #2 has some unique features attached to it. Both have equally good compensation and interesting work. But #2 comes with a former mentor from a previous company (an executive who is terrific to work for), the opportunity to go global (literally) and do an ex-Pat package to the UK in the future, and it gives me the opportunity to have some flexibility of work location, which allows me to work from both Dallas and Florida (and do some home office).

All week, I've been fighting logic vs. emotion, personal loyalty vs. something all new, quality of life vs. career enhancement. In the end, I am asking myself a basic question: What excites me? That's the key. And I think job #2 excites me, mostly for the quality of life and life experience options it offers. I'm not seeing that so much in the other now.

I will have to make a final decision and communicate it on Monday. I dread that, because the other guys won't take it well, and I hope they don't make it even more difficult to say 'no'. Ideally, I'll try to find a way to exit gracefully while preserving the opportunity to revisit them in the future, if job #2 does not turn out well for me.

I so hate to disappoint people, and Monday will be very difficult for me. Ugh!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What's a Girl To Do?

Okay, now the afore-mentioned problem (too many job options) is becoming a bad problem to have, because I need to make a decision. And I have never been so undecided over something in my life!

I have two good opportunities. Both have positives, both negatives. One has a friend and former colleague attached to it. The other has a brilliant equity play if I do well. One has some travel involved; the other has more travel involved....and while I don't mind travel, I don't want it to completely rob me of quality of home life (and I know it can). So I need to be careful there.

There's a lot more to consider, but I need to get to a decision point soon. The personal relationship is weighing heavily on me, but I can't let that sway me if the better career future is with the other job. And my colleague is not making it easy on me....attempting to influence me at every turn, as he really wants me to come on board with him. And I'd like to work with him, but not at the expense of the other opportunity, if it is the better career play. Ugh! Decisions!

Hopefully things will come to full light for me shortly. I'd hate to have to resort to a coin toss at the end of all this. This is far too important to let it rely on that.

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Good Problem to Have

This is a problem, albeit a good one to have.

I posted my resume online on a few job boards, and this week, I have been inundated with responses from employers and recruiters. Now I know these things come in waves. I'll have 10 calls this week, none the next. But when they come at you, they come fast and furious. Yesterday, I had 5 inquiries from recruiters.

*catches breath*

I've been through 4 rounds of interviews with one particular opportunity, and next up they want me to fly in and speak with the CEO. While I'm gung ho to do that, I almost hate to move things along with this so quickly with all the other potential gigs knocking on my door.

This morning, I got a call from an executive I used to work with. He has taken over as leader of North American sales for a global consulting and technology firm, and he wants to grab me quickly before I get scooped up by someone else. (He got wind that I was back in the market and opps were flying my way left and right.) I really like working for this guy, and he is likely the best fit from a culture standpoint, but the other company (4 rounds of interviews) almost feels a bit more like a promotion. The downside is there's lots of travel, and I don't know the person I'd be working for.

So lots to think about, much to figure out, and very little time to do it in. I have made a list of my criteria on a decision -- compensation, quality of life, career potential, etc. -- and I'm trying to use that as a guide. But this is tough. What does one do, and how does one really decide?

Like I said, a good problem to have.