Today I met the CEO of job 4. Job 4 is a number 1 ranked (broadly speaking, management) consultancy firm with offices in New York, Asiapac and Europe. I met the CEO today – he’s also the major shareholder.
Job 4 came about in a strange way. The day I was planning on resigning from my last job – which I hated – I’d had an email out of the blue from an ex-colleague who was a senior director I’d worked with some time ago. He’s been at job 4 in a very senior fee earning role for 1.5 years. He has vouched for me very highly with the management team in this place. His email out of the blue was to see if I was interested. The email was quite vague and at first I thought he meant ‘pick my brains’, rather than ‘we have a job going, it’s right up your street and you’d be ideal’. But it was the latter – thankfully – which he meant. Anyway, I met this ex-colleague and his Ops Director last week (I was wearing jeans and trainers at that meeting as I did not look at it as a job interview!)
Today was the second and final stage – meeting the CEO. A likeable, quite quiet man. So, so far removed from those bulldogs at the firm I’ve just come out of (albeit this is a different industry), but even so. He was quiet, restrained. Paternalistic. We got on well. I told him what I’d done at the firm I was at for 5.5 years (during which time I’d reported into the CEO). I told him about the horrors of the job I’ve just come out of and why it was a cultural wasteland.
The vibe here is better than anything else I’ve gone for, including those multinational blue-chips. It’s very relaxed for a professional services firm. It’s because of the type of consultancy they provide. This is the place that I said was like a ‘Saatchi & Saatchi’ office – or how I’d imagine that to be. Funky, trendy, very laid back. Deliberately NON corporate. Flat hierarchy. This firm is the number one in its space. I’ve read articles referencing them on The Telegraph website. They work at FTSE100 level… the salary and perks are as good as (probably better if I look more closely) than all of the other roles I’ve gone for. Their office is in a lovely and very nice part of London, too.
What reticence do I or did I have then? Oh, it’s only small. It’s that the role is brand new (i.e. they’ve been extremely successful WITHOUT having one of me there) and thus it’s not really a team role as such. It would be quite a standalone role. But I’d work closely with all of the people, including the international offices. Compared with all of the other roles I’m considering – this is the most senior. This would stretch me – push me and perhaps empower me to be the best I can be. Something felt very right about the environment – very open, diverse, supportive. Culturally it’s in another stratosphere to what I’ve just come out of. You actually couldn’t get two more diametrically opposed environments. It was so relaxed – and yet high profile but in an understated way. It doesn’t have that horrible ‘wannabe’ desperateness, that horrid overstatedness, which that awful place I’ve recently left had.
The role is great. Genuinely would be what I make of it. Big emphasis on creativity too, and blue sky stuff. This would be poles apart from the much more formulaic role at the mega firm I interviewed at on Monday (and at the place my ex-boss has offered which I’m due to start at on Monday).
To all intents and purposes they have formally offered. The CEO just needs to run it past his number two (out of courtesy) but he basically asked when I could start and said that HR would be in touch either this afternoon or tomorrow morning to finalise the details. The role will initially be a 6 month contract (which is totally fine, especially as this is their first time having someone in this role) and I’m more than happy with that. If both sides are happy it would go permanent.
Very, very exciting times. I’m excited – genuinely – about this role in a way that I couldn’t be about the others because the others were abstract. Unless you are a lawyer, an accountant, a banker – much of professional services is boring to the professional support teams, regardless of how senior you may be. This role is entirely different though, as it’s about people (and no, it’s not a recruitment firm! Been there done that got the t-shirt. This is far better than that). I will do a private blog post with more details when it’s all sorted.
I feel good about things for the first time in a long time.
Oh, in other news – the contract for the job I’d verbally accepted (job 2!) which starts on Monday arrived today… they want that signed, witnessed and sent back asap!!! Of course I’m not doing that. I’ll wait until I’ve had final/final confirmation on this job (4) and then I’ll phone my ex-boss and explain why – 5 days before I’m due to start with him – I won’t be. Hopefully he’ll take it OK. If he doesn’t? Well, that’s not my problem at the end of the day.