Addy's blog: Job hunting again...

Following from my last blog “No llama, no drama" where I detailed my childcare nightmare situation, I’m happy to report new Nanny has settled in well and picked up our routine with minimal handover or supervision. The second part of the drama in that blog was regarding my job situation, which has not fared as well! I’ve now got clarity and am formally at risk of redundancy if I don’t secure another role before the end of February. Now at the outset of the discussions I thought 12 weeks would be plenty of time to find something else internally but it seems I was very naïve. I lost December to actually finishing off the major project I was working on, and no one had any budgets signed off for January. So then into February, I’ve got 5 different potential roles I’m discussing, but so far haven’t been able to get any of them past the post. Budgets frozen or cut, sudden hiring freezes or just the usual “not signed off yet" are the general reasons.

I find all this very frustrating, but doubly so as my firm has female gender targets they want to meet, but at my level (CEO-4) it’s a pipeline not a target. I don’t actually know what being a pipeline means, but I can assure you I have found no actual practical advice or action to help me. I’m also really troubled by using any positive action because of my sex. I want to secure a job because I’d be good at it, not just because I was born female. But at this stage of the game I’m willing to try anything. I even emailed our most senior female executive to ask her advice as it’s in her objectives to increase female diversity, but I’m still waiting for a response. This week also sees us publishing our second gender pay gap report and I’m sure it will make it very stark reading for parts of my organisation, and not, I predict, in a good way.

All this got me thinking about the differences between men and women generally. I don’t usually prescribe to the men are from Mars, women are from Venus school of thought, but I realise suddenly we are very different. Many of my male counterparts would probably be standing from the rooftops shouting their achievements, and whilst I’m confident, that still doesn’t sit well with me. I’m great at networking, but seem to fall down at the “closing" part of selling myself. And to cap it all off, my confidence is taking a bit of a bashing so I’m struggling to stay positive. In my first 4 years at my bank I’d had 10 bosses, 5 jobs and 2 kids – and I can only take responsibility for the last part! With all that change it’s been hard to stay focused, but I did secure a role post being made redundant on second mat leave, and have managed to stay in it for 18 months and actually deliver something - which was refreshing. But my prize was being made redundant again!

I’m now aggressively job hunting externally too, and have had several interviews with one organisation for an excellent role but there’s a small wrinkle - the job is in a different country. Moving abroad has been an option on and off over the years, but Mr A is finally in a role he likes and is doing really well in it. Our small people are almost 4 and 2.5 so quite portable at this age, but I’m reticent to up sticks (should I get offered the role) until I’m sure I like the role, the new organisation, and most importantly the new country. Perhaps all the constant change at my current place had made me wary of committing to anything new? So, if I do get offered it, I have to face the potential of commuting to a different country each week until I either get too tired to face it anymore, or Mr A is happy to move too and leave a dream job.

Which gets me back to thinking about the differences between the sexes. I know plenty of men who do this kind of commute to London each week, but I don’t know any women, and it is certainly far less common again for working mums. It might be my bruised confidence speaking, or the fact that I’ve been ill for several weeks (stress isn’t helping) but I can’t shake the feeling that despite the fact I'm the main earner and might have little choice, society will judge me for considering taking a job abroad. I’m not looking forward to being away from my husband and kids all week, and missing out on all that brings. Or perhaps I’m judging myself too hard, and if I get the role it all work out for us and be the best thing that ever happened?

Addy is a director in risk for a bank in the city, with two young kids, a lovely husband a supportive nanny and 2 mad rescue cats.

Category: A Citymother's Diary

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