Withdrawing a job application - advice needed

(6 Posts)
Beigeisthenewblack Sun 21-Sep-14 20:06:44

I have applied for an internal role, acting up for 12 months to cover a senior manager's maternity leave. For various reasons, I had to leave my application until just before the deadline but decided to go for it, even though I was still undecided whether it was the right move for me. I have since been told by my line manager that I met the criteria and will be interviewed for the role soon. There are only 2 other candidates, so the odds of getting it are reasonable.

The role covers an area which I am not familiar with, so would involve a very steep learning curve, and there are some really high profile issues which will surface during the 12 month cover period. There are opportunities to have a significant impact and come out of it looking like a hero - IF you can pull them off. There is also a feeling in our department that the manager may not return after her maternity leave from various things she's said, so the person who acts up stands a good chance of being confirmed in the role after the 12 months are up. It is the kind of interesting, well paid senior role which rarely comes up in my company.

Conversely, there are several significant areas of risk in terms of things going wrong/blowing up in the post-holder's face and any mistakes would be highly visible. There is also a significant blame culture in that area of the business & the directors are of the "shit rolls downhill" school.

I felt I should apply to signal my interest in progressing in my company, as I seem to be banging my head against the wall. Knowing what I know about the company, my attitude to putting an application in was that if it was really horrible, it would only be for a year & I could go back to my current job at the end of the year with useful experience under my belt/for my CV. However, I think there's a risk that serious damage could have been done to my career by the end of the year if some of the risky areas aren't well managed (only some of which is within the post-holder's control).

So... I decided to think it over this weekend and had pretty much decided to withdraw my application tomorrow. Then my friend (works in same firm) said to me this afternoon that I shouldn't have applied if I wasn't sure, that it will look bad if I withdraw my application & that I have to go through with the interview now. She says the interview itself will be good experience, but I think pulling out after you are offered the post (if this happens) would look worse. Argh. What to do?

OP’s posts: |
ThreeBecameFour Mon 22-Sep-14 19:28:18

Personally i say go for it. Interview for it. Get a feel for the role during the interview process. I agree it may look odd withdrawing at this stage. If you withdraw afterwards at least you have a fuller picture and can say you don't feel ready to take on the challenge. If you get the role you really need to get yourself in gear to do well. Are you scared of failing or do you realise you can't do the role now? We all take risks going up the ladder. Back yourself and your abilities. Do you have a mentor? It could help in the type of role you describe. I suspect you wouldn't have applied if you didn't think you could do it? As an interviewer there is nothing worse than being messed about. At least if you withdraw further on in the process you have made more of an informed decision. Is this just nerves talking? You never know. You might surprise yourself and be successful and good at the role? wink

Beigeisthenewblack Mon 22-Sep-14 19:44:44

Thanks for replying Three. I am now about 90% decided on withdrawing. I did end up posting this in AIBU last night, as it is quiet in the Work folder. Even there, the advice was mixed, but I am feeling a lot calmer now I am thinking of withdrawing. I'll sleep on my decision to make sure.

OP’s posts: |
EBearhug Mon 22-Sep-14 22:22:55

I agree - I think it will look bad for you to withdraw. Go for it, see how the interview goes. It would be better to withdraw afterwards.

maggiethemagpie Mon 22-Sep-14 23:00:59

Nothing wrong with doing the interview and then saying afterwards that you've decided it's not for you. Sounds like you have a 2/3 chance they will go for one of the other candidates anyway (if you're all as good as each other) in which case you won't have to withdraw at all.

IME interviews are very rarely a waste of time even if you don't get/take the job. You always learn more about yourself and your abilities, plus interviewing itself is a skill which requires practice.

Lycra60 Sun 05-Aug-18 10:47:28

Know this is a VERY old thread, but just wonder what you did in the end & how it worked out. I’m in similar position at the moment. Company supported me through training, now after year in own post, they have asked for applicants for promoted role. I applied, and have had panic ever since! Feel we are ‘expected’ to apply, but have been hearing rumours that department head can be moody/volatile. I’ve let last 2 ‘step-ups’ pass and feel i should go for this, even as a stop-gap. Fear of unknown is crippling and i’m tempted to stay ‘better the devil you know’

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