Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Promotion! I think...

Well, it's more responsibility and a more defined career path with more opportunities for advancement. That has to be good. But there's not actually any more money (yet) or any change in job title. But it's a start.

Let me explain. At the moment there are three of us in my immediate team. Myself, my boss and her husband. I'm the least experienced (coming up to three years qualified), and he drives me MAD. As does their relationship with each other. I don't mind the firm or the work, but sometimes I think I must be crazy for working in that team, it seems like it's sometimes just arranged for their benefit.

I've considered leaving, and blogged about it on here. Then, at the start of January it looked like there might be changes afoot. There was talk of a similar sized team coming in from outside to complement what we do and double the size of the team. That would have been interesting, but it fell through.

So I was in limbo. I have no clear idea of where I'm going, and the husband (let's call him N) was sitting in the middle of the team blocking my way internally. He likes to have control over the people below him, and he was never going to make partner. Overtaking him would be nigh on impossible, meaning that should I get any lofty ambitions he'd be in the way (lucky those ambitions never arrived!)

But, it turns out N's leaving, which gives me a great opportunity. Instead of replacing him I'm going to step up to be second in command, with any replacement coming in below my level. I have a clear gap between me and partner level, and my boss has said she'll start grooming me for the associate appointment process, which is something that might not have happened with him there. (I think in the US and some London firms you start as an associate, it's only a title at the end of the day, but in my firm it's used as the level between assistant (me) and partner. It doesn't really affect your pay or workload as such, but it's a sort of recognition and you get a couple of extra perks).

I will get more autonomy and control over my files, without him constantly checking up on me (I much prefer the supervision I get from my actual boss which is far more trusting, just looking at the overall strategic aspects of what I'm doing rather than the fine detail). My boss has said that she thinks I'm ready to step up a level work wise and take more responsibility for the day to day conduct of files without fine tooth supervision. I'll also be more involved in the "management" side (we've already had a chat about the sort of person we want to recruit to fill the gap, and whether the current trainee would fit the bill). I've got a clear gap to move into as my career progresses. Applying for associate isn't really going to happen this year, but by next year I should be more firmly established as 2nd in command, and in a far better position than I would have been as bottom of a team of three.

The team will also be better balanced without the husband and wife part of it, and should be taken more seriously by the rest of the firm because it will look less like a cosy bed of nepotism. The change might be precisely what we need.

In the short term it will probably be more work for no extra benefits (at least until pay review time comes round in May), but long term it's definitely made me feel more optimistic and enthusiastic about staying where I am and seeing whether I can carve out a role for myself that will keep me interested and stimulated. Finally there's a career path mapping itself out for me to aim towards, rather than feeling like I'm at a dead end.

I'm still not certain that this is what I want to do for the rest of my career, but at least if it is, the changes should benefit me long term. So I'm cautiously optimistic.


Blogger Pamela @ MyBodyMyBlog said...

hey, good news! I'd read your earlier post about your work situation (working with husband and wife) and though it sounded like a bit of a nightmare. So glad for you that this is resolving itself. (Long time lurker, first time commenter...)

10:42 PM  
Blogger kathrynoh said...

Wonderful. Even with the extra work, it sounds like your job will become much easier :) There is nothing more tiring than having to deal with office politics and all that shite.

11:15 PM  
Blogger VTH said...

Congratulations! I remember your earlier post about your team and it just sounded crazy. Yuck. Difficult situation regardless of how professional all parties are. This sounds like a great opportunity. Congrats again!

11:31 PM  

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