July 8, 2010

There's the edge of the cliff: JUMP!

This morning, we had a meeting which we assumed would be our usual departmental traffic meeting: who's doing what, how's it going, etc. When the company CEO walked through the door and joined us at the table, we knew it would be something different.

Our current creative director, Hapless, has taken another position. He leaves this coming Tuesday. During the discussion about it, our team made it clear to the CEO that Hapless needs to be replaced with two people. They've already sent out recruiters to hunt for the next Execut1ve D1rector for Cr3ative S3rvices. The missing element is a person to attend operational meetings and proactively coordinate what the rest of the company needs and run it through the design department. I've spent at least half my time since starting this job doing just that. A couple months ago I'd considered proposing a new job within the company where I organize things full-time. I discussed it with Jrex and he thought it was a good idea. I thought about it non-stop for a couple weeks, but ended up not pursuing it.

Well, during today's discussion, I couldn't stop thinking about my idea. It buys the company time while they hire a Creat1ve Dir3ctor and it moves me forward toward becoming an Art D1rector. Our company doesn't have art directors per se, but this position would give me more client-facing opportunities, teach me about managing others, and give me a taste of life without design (as an Art Director, I'd translate what the client wants and supervise designers who would create according to my direction, but I wouldn't be the hands-on designer).

Once Jrex and I move, this new position would be a launching pad toward art direction, or enough to nudge me back toward designing for a small company.

I asked Hapless if he could think of a title for the position. If I call myself a traff1c manag3r, then it looks like a step down. He suggestion: Producti0n D1rector. YES. Sounds great. I wrote up a job description which included why I'm a fit for the job and counter arguments to any concerns about me in the position (loss of my skills as a designer, etc). I gave it to him an hour ago.

He invited me into his office to give me feedback, "I'm going to miss you! This is so you! It's SO organized." I asked him whether I should ask for more pay if the CEO is interested. He said I should go for it. As a designer I can expect incremental raises, but this would be a big move. I named a number that is a significant jump. He agreed that something in that range sounds right.

He cc'd me on the email forwarding the job description to the CEO. Yee hah! (Have I totally lost my mind?!)


Liz said...

NO, you most definitely HAVE NOT lost your mind! A great option is being put right in front of you -- GO FOR IT!!!!

Snickollet said...

So exciting! You have worked so hard; it would be nice to see that rewarded with a position that is a great fit for you personally and a great move professionally. Yay!

Mama Nabi said...

It's a good leap. Take it. :-D

NGS said...

How exciting!! I can't wait to hear more...and I just know there's going to be so much more!!

mary said...

you GO GIRL!

Anonymous said...

Yes, go for it.

Are you concerned that you may be in the job only for a short time, and then you leave? Is that a moral issue for you?

It shouldn't be -- for two reasons. First, you don't know how long it will take Jrex to be hired in another research positions. Second, even if you're on the job for only a few weeks or months, your CEO will discover how important and productive the job is.

By pioneering the job slot, you'll make it much easier for him to fill it when you leave.

So, no worries.

jooliyah said...

no! sounds amazing and awesome! crossing fingers and toes for you!

Inkling said...

Cool idea and great way of just going for it! Taking initiative like that in a creative direction is fun and exhilarating, I think. To be honest, I'm hoping JRex gets a job that doesn't make you move somewhere in the middle of the States unless there are mountains nearby. =) It will be interesting to see how his job search and this new proposal of yours work together. I hope you both get what you want, and that you both find the career directions you'll end up taking life-giving and satisfying.