It’s a bit surreal to jump from being on one side of the interviewing table to the other in the course of what is sometimes less than an hour. I’ve made the decision to start putting myself out there for new roles, not that I’m ready today to make the leap, but just in case the right thing comes along. I also think it’s natural for early employees of a startup to start looking for their next venture around year 3, as I read yesterday, the people who are great at building businesses are often not the same people who are great at scaling them.
There are some people at my company who would look down upon an early employee moving on as a sign of disloyalty, but I think it’s actually anything but that. At this point, I believe there is someone out there who can step into my role and probably do a better job. I’m more hands on, get things done, stay up all night to make it happen, vs managing many moving parts and people 9-6. Maybe it’s just the ADHD. But I’m definitely more suited to a 1-20 person company than an 100+ person business.
One thing is, I want to make sure not to get distracted by what’s next and let that effect my day-to-day work. I have a mile-high plate of tasks to get done that really should be distributed amongst a team, and my focus is fading in and out. I am distracted, which is not productive. I’m distracted because many of the company’s early employees are making the choice to leave, and it’s just an entirely different business. I really wonder if I left if someone else could come in and do my job better, therefore helping the company more. I’d be curious to see who they’d get to replace me and if they’d effectively manage all the moving parts, or put their foot down and require more help.
It’s clear to me that my interviewing skills are very rusty. I’ve had two phone interviews so far and they did not go well. What I learned from them also is that while my resume now (finally) gets my foot in the door, my skillset is really not qualified for any normal position within any somewhat established business. I’m a startup marketer, a brand builder, a do everything it takes to get the first 100-500 customers-er. That is a lot different from marketing for a more established company. I’ve also realized that as much as I like to think of myself as a leader and strategist, sometimes my best work is in collaboration with a leader who helps drive aggressive and even impossible direction.
So my interviews were a bit painful. As I’m not really looking, looking, I didn’t let myself get too depressed about how they went over. But I also have thought about all my past positions that I have finagled my way into. When I sat in the car exclaiming to my boyfriend “I’m not qualified for any job I want” and he quipped back “you’ve never been qualified for any job you have gotten.” True. I’ve always come in as some random writer, some random I’ll do anything it takes to help out, and then people see the value in me. I have good ideas and work ethic, especially when I’m in a very young business and feeling inspired, but that’s hard to explain in a job interview. I like to show not tell.
Maybe that’s it, though. I’ll always be finding my “next” job by consulting in between gigs, finding the right fit with a small company, and hopefully landing some more solid from there. It’s possible. I just am amazed that my company still likes the work I do today. I have such an impostor complex, it’s not even funny. I don’t think they’re going to let me go anytime soon, unless I just fall into a deep depression and stop showing up to work or something. So if I’m going to move on, it has to be my decision. It could happen organically at a transition period in the company, or I could just call it when I feel like I’m not adding as much value as a person in my role should. That is the decision I will need to make. I have 16 months left until my initial options grant is fully vested. That’s not an extremely long period of time. It is for the business, and it will be a fascinating and educational 16 months if I do stay through. What is 16 months in the grand scheme of things anyway?