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reapplying for my job

(20 Posts)
rachelzane Sun 26-Feb-17 11:39:28

Sorry if this is long, basically I'm looking for advice on what I should do and ask during our consultation period.

I've worked for my company for 14 years, public sector and my substantive role is a permanent one although I no longer like it nor the people I worked with.

I am currently seconded into another team. initially for 12 months which got extended for another 6 months, ending this March.

I love this new job. Its exactly the job/specialism that I have always wanted to do and it is a higher grade role. I always hoped that it would become permanent.

there are 4 of us in the team. our manager (I'll call him Adam) at grade 1, and three of us at grade 2 (Fiona, Lucy and me)

Adam and Fiona are permanent in the team and it was just them until me and Lucy joined on secondment. Lucy was seconded at the same time as me but from an external company. Her previous role no longer exists and she would be unemployed at the end of her secondment (she is paid by this company at the moment)

We've just had a meeting to discuss what will happen after March. Our team of 4 is going to become a team of 6. Adam and Fiona will remain in their roles/grades but Fiona will be managing three grade 3 employees (increase in responsibility but no extra pay or grade change for her. She has not been a manager for around 10 years but was one before).

Myself and Lucy have to apply for ONE post at grade 2. Although it is in the team, I don't think its the same job/specialism that we currently do. It is only a one year post and has been ringfenced for us to apply for initially.

The three grade 3 posts are specialist roles but not at the level we were previously working at and they will be regionally based, not HQ based as before. These posts will be advertised internally and externally and are not ringfenced.

There is a 2 week consultation period. I've asked a few questions and been told I can apply for any of the posts and reassured that I still have my substantive post should I be unsuccessful. I've been told the level 2 post interview will be an interview, presentation and written exercise which seems a lot for something that wont be permanent.

I already know several people who would probably apply for the grade 3 posts so a lot of competition there.

I've been very upset since I got this news. I don't want to go up against Lucy (who I haven't been able to speak to as she's gone off on the sick. I just got one text message saying "this is shit isn't it?") Fiona is very upset as she's a single parent who lives quite remotely and this extra responsibility would mean more travel for her.

I've worked bloody hard in my role. I've networked like a bastard and built up a lot of connections and had lots of positive feedback. Just last week Adam's manager approached me to say a VIP stakeholder was very complimentary about me. I do not want to be handing over all my good work to a newbie to get all the credit.

It hasn't been easy over the last year. Adam told me at times he felt I was working more at grade 3 than grade 2, that I needed to work more independently, and always tells me that I need to 'calm down' (I suffer from anxiety which I have disclosed to him and HR)

Adam and his manager will be interviewing for the grade 2 post. Fiona and Adam will be inteviewing for the grade 3 posts. I worry that Adam wont want to hire me due to what I mentioned above although he has said recently that he can see an improvement in me.

Lucy has made no secret of the fact she does not like working in the public sector and is openly applying for permanent positions elsewhere but she could still apply for this, only to leave in 2 months and where does that leave me?

I am in a union and I have a meeting with my rep this week for advice on what I should say and do. There's a 2 week consultation period.

So to summarise, I have to reapply for my current grade, compete against a colleague, apply for a lower grade position if unsuccessful, and go back to a shitty lower grade job if unsuccessful again.

Any advice would be appreciated.

yorkshirepuddingandroastbeef Sun 26-Feb-17 12:07:00

In light of everything that is happening, what would be your perfect scenario? I realise the current setup has been great for you but that's clearly not an option.

I wouldn't worry about Lucy. It doesn't sound like she is invested anyway. I also wouldn't worry about the other candidates. Who says they are any better than you? You only need one job.

Too late now but never ever admit areas of weakness. Something that you could probably conceal suddenly becomes an area of focus/can be used against you if you're not up to scratch IME. Have seen it happen time and time again with other members of staff.

rachelzane Sun 26-Feb-17 12:13:59

I want to move ahead in my career so the level 2 position would be my preference and for that to eventually become permanent - I wouldn't want to go through another interview process in a year's time.

I've never been through any kind of restructure before, my previous post never changed in terms of what I did, who I worked with, where I worked.

We all have our individual strengths and weaknesses. I am stronger at external relationships where Lucy is better at internal relationships. Fiona is good at her job but isn't so good at team work - she likes things done her way.

daisychain01 Sun 26-Feb-17 12:56:55

All you can do is put your energies into a good interview for your Grade 2 role. Blank out the detail, just go in believing you have the best chance of success. Convince them the same.

I'm not impressed with Adam's management style...

yorkshirepuddingandroastbeef Sun 26-Feb-17 16:14:50

I agree with daisychain. Just do your homework and give it your best shot. In the meantime, keep a look out for anything else that looks interesting.

I wouldn't worry too much about what is going to happen in a year's time. It could just be you are ready for the grade 3 job by then. Everything happens for a reason.

rachelzane Sun 26-Feb-17 21:22:24

I don't know what to say if I were asked at interview 'why do you want this job' or 'why are you better than the other candidate'?

I don't want to diss Lucy and I don't know how to word my answers without being too gushy / pathetic / emotional.

yorkshirepuddingandroastbeef Sun 26-Feb-17 22:20:36

Well, you need to formulate answers for all those interview questions. Tell them what they want to hear.

I very much doubt they will ask you why you are better than Lucy or any other candidate. Unless they really are crap interviewers!!!

daisychain01 Mon 27-Feb-17 03:37:30

I agree, Yorkshire, they won't waste interview time asking the candidate why they are better. That wouldn't be fair or objective anyway!

Rachel, you need to ask yourself why you want the job, unless you know the answer yourself, you will not come across as authentic. Think about your strengths, what value add you have already given in-role and your aspirations for the future.

rachelzane Mon 27-Feb-17 20:54:22

spoke to Adam today about it. He mentioned that Lucy would "probably also apply" even though "she's applying for lots of other jobs and finds the travel hard"...

wasn't really sure what to make of that.

He also thinks the grade 2 post would include a bit of line managing of the grade 3 posts as Fiona isn't keen on taking on too much.

He told me "you absolutely must apply" and I've to "keep positive".


daisychain01 Mon 27-Feb-17 21:54:49

Have you been able to trust him in the past?

That's the litmus test, trust. Without that, he is just feeding you lines.

As I said before I don't like the sound of him...

yorkshirepuddingandroastbeef Mon 27-Feb-17 22:37:31

I agree with daisy (again!) smile. He doesn't sound like one to trust.

Make all the right noises. Be positive. Be upbeat. Don't mention any misgivings (even if you have them). It could be that Lucy would be his preferred candidate but just because she is doesn't mean that she would accept it anyway.

I would casting my net outside this organisation. No point in putting your eggs all in one basket. You may find a far better proposition somewhere else.

rachelzane Mon 13-Mar-17 14:57:02

Still haven't had any application details through but it seems they'll be advertising the grade 3 posts at the same time as we are going for the grade 2 posts which doesn't seem fair time wise.

My union rep fears I am at a disadvantage because I'm the one with a substantive post. Also I have health problems and any change could make that worse / more stressful. The fact this has been trundling on for over a month now is not helping my mental health either. I am overweight and have been "jokingly" referred to as "lady". Lucy is skinny.

Tmight see me as a hassle to keep on but how would I ever know if it influenced their decision?

Fiona has revealed to me she has seen another job elsewhere that interests her.

This whole situation is shit and I need all the reassurance and advice you peeps can offer.

rachelzane Mon 13-Mar-17 14:58:09

Lazy not lady, although I am a lady too!

Twinklyfaerieglade Mon 13-Mar-17 15:17:19

Spent almost all my working life in the public sector. I have been faced with this scenario several times. Had to apply for "my" level jobs on 2 occasions, friend had to apply for their own actual job on three occasions (both over period of several years). We were both successful each time. It's madness but if you want to stay in this sector you have to suck it up.
As PP have said, be wary of Adam, don't share weaknesses or concerns. He may be ok, he maybe untrustworthy. Either way you know he has/had concerns about you. Don't feed that.
Talk to your TU but again think about your preferred outcome. Permanent promotions are rarely given to people who disrupt reorganisations.
My best advice is work out what you want then go after it whole heartedly. If you want the job, forget challenging the process and put all your efforts into giving a stonking interview. Good luck

rachelzane Mon 13-Mar-17 15:29:32

Thank you, I am already preparing as best I can although it would help if they sent through the bloody job description!

I do know that it will be an interview, a presentation and a written exercise. The written exercise is making me panic. I don't know what to expect and would the presentation be on my exercise?

Twinklyfaerieglade Mon 13-Mar-17 17:18:49

You will need to check about the written exercise and presentation. Typically you get sent the presentation topic when you are notified of the interview date. You prepare it in advance in accordance with the instructions (including how long you have and whether or not you can use PowerPoint etc). Often the presentation takes up the first 5 or 10 minutes of the interview and you are asked follow up questions. This then bridges straight into the interview Q and A section. Written tests can be either done in your own time or under exam type conditions before the interview.
This is the outline of a common format, I hope it helps to de mystify things a little. However please remember your specific process may be different, you must clarify once you have put your application in.

rachelzane Tue 14-Mar-17 06:51:40

I know when the interviews will be (April) from looking at my manager's calendar and its a whole day {shock]. interview am and written task pm.

I'm really pissed off. I can do this job. they know I can do it. But it's going to come down to a stupid interview and written exam type thing, never mind how bloody hard Lucy and I have worked over the past 20 months.

I will update once I know more because I may need more tips etc. Thanks

Ifailed Tue 14-Mar-17 06:58:24

I've been through several 'restructures' (all were a front to reduce costs) in the private sector. The only advise I can give is to concentrate on your own job and interview, if you keep on seeing it as a competition this will leak out and will not make you look good, ie not a 'team player'. I'd also have at least one backup plan and would be looking elsewhere in the employment market, sometimes the grass is definitely greener elsewhere.

rachelzane Thu 30-Mar-17 18:15:15

Well the interview was today and I find out the result next week. It was so intense. A 10 minute presentation, 5 competency questions and a 1 hour written exercise.

The presentation I think I messed up as I was so nervous and kept forgetting what I said. Also it was too long for 10 minutes meaning I rushed through some slides. Afterwards one of the 3 interviewers kept asking me the question that I thought my presentation had answered - not a good sign I don't think.

The competency questions were questions I was hoping not to get asked but I tried to adapt my rehearsed answers to meet these questions, I think my answers were too long as one of the interviewers kept looking at his watch sad

And the written (typing) exercise was to summarise 3 documents in 250 words. I typed nearly 800 in the first 1/2 hour then spent the rest of the time struggling to shorten it whilst still trying to make it make sense and capturing key info.

When they asked why I wanted the position, I'm cringing because I said I was excited about taking on new responsibilities, learning new things. i think that sounds really cheesy.

Overall I think I bombed it sad sad

rachelzane Fri 31-Mar-17 17:34:52

didn't get it. absolutely gutted and not sure what to do now. been offered lower grade position without interview which is something but its still a lower grade. don't know yet what job will actually involve, or where I'd be based or what my pay will be. I'm feeling very mixed emotions and just dont know what to do. Don't think there's anything I can do except grin and bear it really. there's nowhere else that pays what I get paid, even at this lower grade, and therefore I am stuck.

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