For the Teabag in All of Us

Not that kind of teabag. Don't be gross.

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Location: South Florida, United States

If I go about this properly, the blog will (eventually) explain enough about me, so let me just explain the blog, or at least the title of it, here:

"A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water."
--Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Wish me luck...

I have an interview tomorrow. I've only been at my current job for about 3 months. But I don't like it very much -- I think the executives think I'm stupid (which I don't get at all), and mainly I feel like a glorified secretary. Maybe it's shallow of me, but I feel pretty strongly that it's a dealbreaker if the girl with over 10 years of experience and a law degree winds up sitting in a cube, especially while the people that report to her are sitting pretty in offices, by mere virtue of the fact that they've been there longer.

My boss (who is also new to the company, so we understand each other on a lot of these issues) basically told me that I'd be within my rights to pre-empt one of them out of their offices, but I would NEVER. I have enough trouble convincing people that YES a chubby little girl with no wrinkles (sometimes it's a liability being young!) has INDEED been in this business since 95, and does in fact know the regulations like the back of her hand and is actually quite adept at her job. Whoa, I'm getting off point. My point is, I have enough trouble being the uppity (in their opinions) new girl with the exaggerated (in their opinions) salary.... so I can only imagine the eye-darts if I kicked one of the old-skool girls out of her office just so that I could have some motherfucking privacy while on the phone with the New Hampshire securities Commissioner. Eeesh.

Oooooookay, rant off. Maybe. On to the interview news.

The company is basically buying out what's left of my old company. Seems weird, right? Why leave a company and then go work for its successor (which is not to say that the job is in the bag, but here's hoping). The thing about my old firm is, I LOVED the people, but hated the management, and thus, the risk-- and I guess you need to understand a little bit of what I do to understand why this is so important. Basically, what I do is tell people what to do -- I interpret the applicable regulations, apply them to my company's business, and ensure that the policies as I have implemented them are being followed. When they are NOT being followed (or if they feel I've implemented/interpreted incorrectly), the regulators (in my case, the NASD, state securities bureaus, and the almighty Securities & Exchange Commission -- which, btw, is my dream job extraordinaire) come in and kick up a fuss, and start doling out sanctions and censures, and I end up with a fistful of liability, facing the possible loss of my securities licenses (these exams are really not fun, people) and worse, my bar license.

Wow, there are a lot of parentheticals in that paragraph. I'ma have to keep it simple. I know my job bores the piss out of most people.

Anyway, I love the idea of working for a company that is basically my old firm -- same type of business (none of this insurance bollocks), a lot of the same quality people, and the freedom to work confidently, surrounded by people who appreciate my work. Except the liability is still there, because... well, it's a long story because why. Leave it at bad blood between old management and local regulators. And now here's the kicker -- they want me to take on the TOP compliance position. Which is maximum risk exposure. I don't really feel ready for this, partly because of the risk but also partly because I just don't think I know enough to do this job. My old boss, however, has given me a glowing reference, during which he's explained to them that I am perfectly capable, even though I keep insisting that I'm not. And then, he told me the nicest thing that anyone has ever said to me in my professional life. He's a 30-year veteran of this industry, a real hard-worker and a fount of knowledge. And he told me (and the new co) that I make him a better compliance person. Wow.

I've discussed it with them, and the agreement seems to be to let me come in at 2d place (which is where I am now, except in a CUBE. Aaaahhh!!), and then in 6-8 months, step up to the top position. I am much more comfortable with this.

On the other hand, if it doesn't work out? Now I'm a job-hopper. Which I've already got a little bit of on my CV, thanks to tech bubble bursting in Nov 2000. (Don't ask).

I'm so afraid of making the wrong decision. I'm also TOTALLY getting ahead of myself since they haven't offered me the job ...tomorrow is my 3d interview though -- I've met with the current head of compliance twice, now I have to meet the other execs.

Do I hang on at this company even though I'm unhappy (and as much as an issue I make out of it, it's really NOT just the office thing, y'all)? Or do I take the risk -- in this new firm and in myself?

I know you can't make the decision for me. But it just feels good to get it out of my head and onto a bit of paper (otherwise known as my laptop screen).


Blogger sassinak said...

only one thing to say. you just leave the three month place off your resume.

that said, make SURE you want whatever job you take next because keeping one for a couple of years helps.

THAT said? everyone groks the tech bubble crap... 'why did you leave?' 'tech bubble' 'ahhh'

it's just a thing now that happened to everyone.

anyway dude all i can say is follow your heart and let the universe take care of the rest.

1/24/2006 11:45:00 PM  
Blogger JMai said...

I would def. leave it off the CV -- unfortunately my professional life is a public record, and anyone can see that I've been licensed here for 3 months. Which is less of an issue if I stick atround at the new place ofr 3 or more years, but quite bad I think if it doesn't work out.

Of course there are no guarantees. That sucks.

My heart says I will be unhappy here no matter what, because I can't shake the feeling that (other than my boss) the execs have no faith in my abilities. I will be happier where I can make a difference, and money is a factor too. If these guys offer me at least 10K over what I make now, with a 15-20% bump at the time I take over the head position, then I'll probably take it.

A lot of my fear is rooted in the regulatory atmosphere down here. But that's a whole other post (which no one but other securities law freaks will read).

Thanks for the good word, sass.

1/25/2006 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Natalia said...

Job hopping schmopping...I think people are aware tha nowadays there is no loyalty. I am not saying that there shouldn't be but the fact is that corporations so fuck their employees that employees are hardly motivated to feel any sort of loyalty and will leave at the opportunity of a better salary, better benefits and a better working atmosphere. That's just how the cookie crumbles. And also people are aware that there has been a lot of movement of places buying places, people being downsized and the .coms sinking.

That said, surely it looks better to have a steady employment history. Which you do for the most part.

I don't get the whole Christian thing in your company to tell you the truth. It baffles the fuck out of me. I think that contributes to the bad working environment. Or maybe it would for me cause I have such a basic rejection of religion. will make the right choice, what makes sense and feels right.

Fingers crossed...good luck :)



1/25/2006 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Alice said...

i say make the move. i've stayed in my current job for a year so it would "look good" on paper and i am now so miserable i am ready to quit at the drop of a hat, and *really* mess up my professional life! if you know you won't be happy there (and i would totally trust that feeling) just get out...

1/25/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Casually Me said...

I'm just damn glad I don't have to work right now. How do you people do it without going on a 12 state killing spree? My last job, with homeland security...stop laughing..I threw a fellow worker into a dumpster...while in front of the flying public...had to carry the kid squirming and kicking about 50 yards...but I told him to stop bothering the adults...haha..

1/25/2006 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger JMai said...

Well, I am back from super-long interview and I think it went okay. I'm basically crap at gauging people's interview reactions, so for all I know I bombed it, but I was honest about my shortcomings (they have an institutional bond desk and a market making dept which I don't have the expertise to manage) and also honest about my strengths, so if I did bomb it, it won't be for coming across too fake.

Butt -- Job hopping is bad, yo. I will need to stay at this place for a good, long time if I'm going to be rich and famous before I'm 40. Part of it is Florida -- it's where old people go to die, and give their money to unscrupulous brokers just before they die. So we're all marked with a big fat F for Fraud.

Alice -- I tend to trust the gut. I guess I'll have a clearer gut feeling once I make it through to the offer/acceptance process.

Casually -- I'd much prefer NOT working and instead travelling the world, learning new languages and cooking new dishes, etc... but for now I'm just a squirrel tryin'ta get a nut.

I can't believe I've used that line twice in one week now.

1/25/2006 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger sassinak said...

i think you have fully got the right attitude.

have fun with your gut :)


1/25/2006 11:52:00 PM  
Blogger Hubris said...

Play the Lotto. Think about it... Never work ever again.. unless you want to :)

1/26/2006 02:11:00 PM  
Blogger JMai said...

Ha. You know, I'm generally not a cynic, but I just don't really believe in the lotto. It's like some kind of urban myth or something.

I'll take my chances with the rest of the working sheep... baaaa

1/26/2006 05:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many times we can be our own worst enemies...what I mean is that we sometimes have a tendency to water down and even dismiss our true capabilities sometimes...having confidence in yourself and in your decisions/capabilities should not be a concern for you...the Jen that I know can go above and beyond with her eyes closed...go show'em what the new kid on the block can'll be perfectly fine...Taz

1/26/2006 11:03:00 PM  
Blogger JMai said...

Amy, is that you? You made me weepy just now! Thank you

-hugs muchly-

Yay Cancun in 3 weeks!

1/27/2006 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger Chuck said...

Good luck with the potentially new job! I don't know how you haven't ousted one of your underlings from their nice must be a real good person! ;-)

Thanks for visiting my blog, and for the comment!

1/27/2006 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger JMai said...

You're very welcome... your post made me laugh right out loud. As I'm typing this it occurs to me that it makes more sense to post it on YOUR blog than mine... ahhhh fuckit. -s-

1/27/2006 09:09:00 PM  
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