Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The New Job

I've been looking around at different jobs on for some time now. The thought of working for BYU has always seemed kind of ideal to me. The half tuition if my kids get accepted there is a huge plus of course. I have a great friend and neighbor who works there, so carpooling would rock. (Not sure if that will work out, but it'd be great if it did.) And if carpooling doesn't work out, it'd be fun to have lunch with her on campus. And, as most of you know, I loved the energy on campus when I went back to school a few years back.

BYU has had a hiring freeze going on for a while but back in January-ish they lifted the freeze so I started seeing more jobs listed. I saw a job for a department secretary and decided to apply about a month ago. The job sounded ideal to me, something I could really excel at and yet give me an opportunity to learn new things and completely change the industry I work in.

I have a few BYU connections, one of the most important ones is a friend who works in HR. He told me that the department that was hiring was the Teacher Education Department in the McKay School of Education. I was thrilled. Of all the departments to work at, teacher education seemed WAY cool to me. (I don't know if I ever mentioned this, but last year I applied and was accepted into the program at UVU for post-baccalaureate teaching cert. I ended up not accepting due to some personal things going on and then I ended up as YW Pres and that needed some attention, too.)

The TED sounded fantastic! Right up my alley. I got an interview 4 weeks ago today.

The night before my interview I received a call from Sandy. Sandy is my SIL's mom. Sandy works in the McKay School of Ed. in the Communication Disorders department as their secretary. She loves her job and she was telling me about both jobs in their college. I told her I had applied for the dept. sec. job and she insisted I should apply for the exec. sec. job with the dean's office. I hemmed and hawed a lot. I had read the job description of the exec. sec. and I just didn't feel that confident about applying. But after talking to her for a while, I felt like what the heck? I'll do it. So I applied for the exec sec job that night.

I met with the Department Chair the next day, her two assistant chairs, and the college controller (as well as another lady not from their department, but apparently BYU encourages bringing in people NOT from your own department for an objective viewpoint in interviewees).

The interview went really, really well. I felt so good about it. I left feeling like I completely nailed the interview. Another interesting tip about me. I interview well. I do. I haven't applied for a ton of jobs in my lifetime, but every single job I've interviewed for I've been offered the job. A couple of days later I started hearing from my personal references that they had been receiving calls about me from BYU. YIPPEE! If my references are getting called, that's a good sign, right??

Then about 6 days roll by and I get another call. It is the college controller telling me how well I did on my interview and that were going to do something unorthodox (not sure how it was unorthodox, but...) and asked if I would be willing to have another interview, but this time with the dean of the college. The dean was looking for a secretary. The exec sec job? Wow. I was truly flattered. But, apparently there were three of us who made the cut and were asked to talk to the dean.

I went in for that interview the next day, exactly one week from my original interview. This interview was fine. Not excellent in my opinion, but nothing went terribly wrong. I left feeling extremely nervous. I was a completely ball of nerve endings. I ended up pretty much crying my eyes out that night.

I called Sandy and cried on the phone to her about how I just didn't know if I felt right about that job. She was encouraging, offering to put some calls in to the dean's office. I told her I just didn't know if I even wanted her to do that. I was a wreck.

The next day I calmed right down after taking the advice of my husband, my father, and some really good friends. Don't fret until there is a job offer.

Then the next week, another call comes. Can you come in and meet with the dean again? This time another associate dean will be there who had been out of town the week previously. Sure, I can come in. So exactly two weeks from my original interview and one week from my interview with the dean, I head back over.

This interview went really well. I felt calmer. I felt like I connected on a more personal level with these people and I left feeling pretty calm and at ease. The dean told me I had made the short list. I asked, "how short is the list?" He told me I was in the top 2.

I was told the other candidate would be coming in a couple of days later for their 2nd interview and that based on the machinations of human resources, ecclesiastical endorsements, salary review, etc. that it would take a few days after they decided to get an offer. This was mid week, so I figured I wouldn't hear until the following week.

Then two days later I got a call. 5:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon. It's the dean himself. We would like to offer you the position of executive secretary. We feel you would fit right in here. We can see you have valuable skills and your personality and professionalism would be an asset, etc.

At that very moment, I knew this was the right decision. I had fretted HARD over this. I had cried numerous times. I had driven my husband crazy with my anxiety. My biggest worry is the kids. Especially in the summer. But I've made some plans to keep them busy and since Harold and I both feel that this job is an answer to prayer, we feel like we'll receive the help from the Lord we need, especially for our children.

I gave my current employer my two weeks notice on Monday and my first day at the dean's office will be April 11.

Severing ties with Intermountain was difficult. In June I would have marked 10 years with that company. I'm toying with the idea of asking the dean if he can buy me a new set of silverware as a sign-on bonus because that is the gift I was going to choose for my 10 year mark at IHC. Hey, what girl couldn't use new silverware? At least I was being practical and not picking jewelry!

My new job will have tons of responsibility and give a variety that my inner-ADD personality can really enjoy. I crave a job that has something new every day. I like new challenges, meeting new people, taking on new tasks. Bring it!

As it turns out, my record of always getting offered the jobs for which I've interviewed? I didn't get the dept. sec. offer, but I did get the exec. sec. job. I can't feel too bad about my record being blown, can I?


Collette said...

How could they not love you and want you in their office? You will do great. A job like that is a dream job to me. Have fun and enjoy.

Brittany said...

i am beyond excited for you! this is the news of the year! you are going to rock your new job! happy day!

mom/Janet said...

I've been hoping I could hear the whole story. I'm so excited for you. You will be great. Good luck. Hey, when I visit Lynlee, we could go go lunch.

Bridget said...

Yay, yay, and another yay! I totally understand the emotional craziness you go through in the interview process. It is grueling.
I am so happy for you!

Mommy in Real Life said...

Congrats! Very awesome!! And what a great day to start (my b-day!)

Emalei said...

I am SO excited for you and your new job! (I'm even a little envious!) It will be fun to work with smart people at a place like BYU! That's my building and department! If you see James Birrell, tell him you're Emalei Smith's cousin. He loves me. :) I'll be in Provo on the 17th of April. Maybe we can meet up for lunch!!!

McGiven Family.... said...

Wow! Way to go! You deserve it!

Holley, Dane Brien & Wesley Berry said...

I really think you are going to enjoy working in Higher Education. I love it. My job at Elon has been the best of my life. If only it were in Utah!! You are absolutely right about the energy of a college campus. I love the opportunity to work with the students and be a part of something the absolutely influences the world in a positive way. You are an amazing woman with so many talents. BYU is so lucky to have you on board! Tuition perks is a wonderful thing. Wes will be transfering to Elon this Fall and will be partaking of my free tuition benefits which is a huge relief to all of us. He'll be able to graduate with very little student loan debt. I know your kids will miss having you around, but they are much older now and I think they will be able to handle it just fine! Good Luck not that you'll need it.

Sandy said...

I look forward to working with you. Too bad we are so far away from each other. I will stop by everytime I am in the MCKB.