"You really should apply," my manager said over lunch in mid-December.
"But there's no relocation," I replied.
"Apply. Get your name out there."
And so I did, throwing my hat in the ring for a promotion that would require a move to the west coast. My California friends were ecstatic at the prospect of me heading in their direction. Leslie panicked. I wanted nothing more than to put my head down and do my job. But I went through the process, answering questions and politely bowing out when it was confirmed I would be responsible for moving myself west.
"You really should apply," my senior manager said two weeks later when my then-manager announced her resignation.
"For her vacancy in DC?" I asked.
"Apply. You have a great shot."
And I did, making it all the way to the final round. I flew to Chicago in early January to sit down with senior leadership. One meeting went incredibly well. The other clued me into the reality that, no matter how tight my Spanx sucked me in, I wasn't getting the job. Though my qualifications far surpassed those of my competition, this was a game of politics and I didn't have a shot in hell.
"Which jobs do you want to go for?" my new manager asked in late January, my inbox flooded with postings he'd sent along.
"I just got to San Francisco for a 24-hour work trip. Let me rinse off this airplane smell, find some food and review what you sent over."
"Apply. You're hot right now. People want you!"
And apply away I did, submitting an application for the third time in two months for a job I was finally interested in pursuing. It was a promotion to a completely different division, removing me from the drama and uncertainty plaguing my current team. It was a title change that would bring with it greater job stability and a very nice salary increase. It was also an opportunity that allowed me to remain in Atlanta, a place that was finally starting to feel like home.
I sailed through phone screens and thoroughly enjoyed my face-to-face interviews, something most people fear like the plague. My scheduled forty-five-minute conversation with the Director ran an hour and fifteen. Peers and managers, both current and former, excitedly reached out to vouch for my competency. With two recent application efforts in my rearview mirror, my interviewing process was a well oiled machine.
"Paige, it's David. Is now a good time to talk?" the recruiter asked yesterday afternoon when I answered the phone.
"It is!" I answered.
"But is it a good time to talk about a promotion? I'm calling to make you an offer."
"It is indeed."