I have an unusual situation here that I've never seen before. I could use help with suggestions or things to consider.

A company has identified me as their 'perfect' candidate for a new role in their organization. This position has never existed before. Yesterday I interviewed with two VPs and the CEO and discovered that they're pretty much right. I've seen their exact situation before, I know the industry and I've done this work in the past.

Which is a problem. The role is fairly technical and I've expressed concerns to them that it doesn't represent career growth for me...their response "OK, tell us what you'd like to do."

I've been moving and this is really the first chance I've had to stop and think. I'm somewhat in shock. I've told them I have to think this through, but suggested that if several subordinate engineers could be placed under this role and make it more of a management position, we might have something. They are open to this. In a way, I'm going to make an offer to them, probably tomorrow evening. The issue will combine a fairly technical role with management of junior engineer working on elements related to the technical side of my role.

So - what else should I be thinking about?


jhack's picture

Wow, things move fast sometimes....

Is this new role strategically aligned with the organzation's goals?

Is the new group operationally aligned with the other groups (alternatively, would you be creating political instability)?

What is the unique contribution that you can make?

What is the measureable goal that you would set for yourself this year in the new job?

What is the career path that this puts you on?


bflynn's picture

Yes, they do move fast - this all was initated less than a week ago.

The position is critical to the company and successful execution will be critical to the success of their strategy.

Measurable goals is a good point - its something that I hadn't considered before now. Unique contribution is a good point - unique in the fact that there are no others in the company who would do this job this way.

The job is an interface between two groups who don't have the skill sets to do this function. Eventually, it absolutely grows into something more, but how much more depends a great deal on my success.

This feels like going from 65 to 120 mph overnight...


WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

Oh man! So is there really a question here? Or are you just excited and want to talk about it?

I guess since it's a new position you'll want to make responsibilities and goals clear. But it sounds like you pretty much get to write those yourself. I would suggest writing them, you don't want any misunderstandings later. But still, what a great opportunity. I hope you enjoy it!

bflynn's picture

I'm just trying to make sure that when I write something down that I do it in a way that helps ensure success later. For example, John's suggestion about thinking about measurable goals now will help ensure I get there later.

I'm also trying to think about Drucker and figure out the things I'll focus on. It would be very easy to take on too much in this role. Its a situation I've never even thought about before.


US41's picture

I have never done this kind of thing before, but I'm willing to "go creative" with you and put an idea out there.

I'd go back with a skeleton for a business at a very high level in a presentation:

* Mission statement for the job/department you are designing

* Job title for yourself and those under you and a name for your team

* Their org chart with you inserted into it and your team under you

* High level milestones for the first 30 days, 90 days, and the first year... make them MT goals... related to team set up and getting going

* MT goals surrounding your team's duties and performance as well

* Put your team in the center of a slide and circle it with other team names and show what you will input and output from and to these teams for them.

* A single slide with a process on it

* A list of deliverables or reports you will provide to management and the frequency at which they can expect them.

Then, review this 8 slide presentation and drop two of the slides to keep it down to 6 slides (don't squish content together).

As for salary, if they ask you to name it, I'd have some paper handy and scribble it down, tear it off, and hand it to them. If it is 150K, I'd just write "150". If they don't ask, I would let them come back with that in their offer. Keep it out of the presentation.

Good luck!

lazerus's picture

I like US41s advice here. My current position was created for me, much like how you describe it, Brian. They asked me how much it should pay, duties, expectations, etc. Not having an org chart, goals, and responsibilities IN WRITING has done more harm than good. I think I was too excited about a new position too think straight.

jhbchina's picture

Hi Admiral,

Glad to hear about your situation. I totally agree with US41. Think of yourself as an independent contractor submitting a proposal. Cover all the details to the level that they want to hear.

One other thing is to be confident and present yourself as the expert. Ask lots of open ended questions to funnel down their needs.

One question missing from US41 is will this role and new department be a cost center or profit center. Find a way to make it clear that you want to measure financial success as well.

If you need to write a job description just "google" a title that is close to what you will be doing. ;-)

I can send you a sample proposal/contract from some of the work I have done here in China if you are interested.

bflynn's picture

First - thank you to everyone who contributed suggestions. It was a new situation to me, but I think it isn't all that unusual.

I haven't been very active here due to work, but I wanted to provide an update on the situation. I proposed the role for this new position as a first line manager with two direct reports - these direct reports already support the function that this role would do, so having them as reports makes sense. I was very clear to sell my past management experience and current capabilities in each interview. The interviews went well, they were more like conversations than interviews. I closed and asked for the offer. Everything looked right on track.

You know there's a "but" coming. Unfortunately, the management side of this was turned into a promise for the future - come on board, go through training, get the processes set up and we'll let you manage some people in six months. I think that because my current position is consulting and not formal management, they backed away from the management aspect in my proposal. In the end, they arrived at an offer that minimized uncertainty to their company at the cost of passing that uncertainty to me. The end result was that when the offer came yesterday, I was entirely underwhelmed by the conditions of the job and despite the roughly 15% raise in compensation, there were too many uncertainties for me to accept it.

This was also a classic case of why not to take a job for money. They asked me how much more money I wanted...but this wasn't about money. If the job conditions are not right for you, more money is only getting you to accept a less than perfect situation. And after a few paychecks, even that wears off and you still have to go to work. On the other hand, if the job conditions are right, money [i]almost [/i]becomes irrelevant.

*shrug* I suppose if a company can not hire a candidate in these situations, the exact same thing is true from the candidate's point of view. If the job doesn't fit your parameters, then the answer is no.


WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

Thanks for the update Brian. Bummer that it didn't work out. You never know though, they might come back at you with another offer, or they might not. Either way, you know what you want and recognize that money isn't everything. :)

Hang in there.

bflynn's picture

Surprise! I have been asked to take a call on Monday for a counter offer.

What I'm reading now is that they were trying to minimize risk to the company (good move), but have found themselves in the situation of "take some risk" or let me go. Amazing how different the job process is when you're not looking to move quickly.

I'll find out on Monday. In the meantime, I'm on vacation this weekend and I'm not going to spend a lot of time thinking about it.

Cheers everyone.


jhbchina's picture

Hi BFlynn,

Enjoy your weekend off with the family. Glad to hear that things are back in your court to get what you want. Hang in there, the negotiations are just beginning.


lazerus's picture

[quote="bflynn"] Amazing how different the job process is when you're not looking to move quickly.


bflynn's picture

Gee, and I feel a bit like a hypocrite now as I have decided to accept their second offer.

The money is higher, but at the base, this still isn't about money, its about risk. By raising the salary, I feel like they're easing the risk to me. There are still lots of external reasons this might not be successful, but I feel like Flynn Inc. will be mostly OK regardless of the business outcome. Meanwhile, the potential upside is still tremendous, so why not?

I guess it was a little about money, but only indirectly. Complicated situation.

I resigned last night and the podcast from here once again put that in a new light. It went smoothly, even with an offer that if things didn't work out, I was welcome back. Nice to know.

In terms of Management Tools - none of this would have happened without the education Mike and Mark have given me and having everyone here helping out. I know they say that that the one in the ring gets the credit, but I also say that its the trainers and coaches who make it possible. Thank you to everyone and especially to Mike and Mark for continuing to do this.