It’s June and I’m working late in the office preparing for a new launch project call. Having an 8 am to 5 pm contract doesn’t mean anything when you’re heading up recruitment for multiple countries.
As an international company, if there’s a global call there’s always compromise from someone waking up at 4 am, staying until 9 pm or delegating. However this time I’d been in the office from 6:30am and it was about 9pm.
Having only been in the company for about 4 weeks; 2 of them, training, 1 on an EMEA round trip and another getting up to speed with things, the proverbial shit hits the fan.
Before I explain more, let me take you back a few days prior. Earlier in the week, my lead recruiter in Sofia hands her notice in and with the strange Bulgarian laws, she buys herself out of her contract.
Basically, this means a very short notice period. Now in a notice period, you expect some slowdown but I’ve seen quicker snails. Not really understand the company, Bulgaria or the situation in Sofia, I really was up the creek without a paddle.
Around this time, we have a huge global launch of a world-renowned client and one that we’ve pulled all the stops out to win. With the biggest focus being on Sofia. On the call, I was asked questions that someone in my position should have known the answers to but on the other hand, I was new, and my advocate for Sofia was leaving.
In the industry that I work, there are massive contractual penalties for non-delivery of launch dates as it loses our clients millions in lost revenue.
What would you do?
I did the only thing that I could think of. Call the wife.
Mrs P has had some serious account management experience and dealt with senior stakeholders at some of the biggest brands globally. I’m tired have a million ideas going through my head, solutions and possibilities on how to fix the problems. Someone who understands the corporate world, who also knows the home life and can control my spontaneous nature is the perfect sounding board.
The solutions were threefold:
- Increase recruitment agency in Sofia – After looking at performance stats they were massively underperforming and couldn’t be relied on.
- Send one of our recruiters from another site – As a manager of teams this would throw off the balance and new initiatives created in their centre.
- Go to Sofia and recruit myself – With a friend’s wedding, Just So festival and my family summer, this was a big sacrifice.
Based on my options what would you have done?
I’m a leader that leads from the front and needs to know what’s happening on a daily basis to be able to block and tackle to ensure the teams can do what they do best. There was only one option that Mrs P and I agreed on. I had to go. I work tirelessly until the work is finished and that’s 24/7 wherever I am. (Including a bar if needs be)
One thing that I’ve been really good at throughout my career is influencing key stakeholders. I take ownership of my decisions and can deliver ROI based discussions and this was no different. My boss, the global leader, said No, absolutely not. He is a family man like me and also has a 2-year-old and knows the sacrifice that would need to make. My response was simple.
“I’m new to the company, here on a contract and this is my opportunity to create visibility on a global scale, deliver on one of the biggest projects for 2018 and ultimately keep my job. If I don’t, when it fails I cannot hand on heart say I did everything in my power to make it succeed. My job is holding up our family and ensuring that the bills are paid and I need to do what I need to do.”
What would you say to that?
When I told a friend their response was “what would happen if you got hit by a bus tomorrow, the company would continue to trade?”
This is technically true but my family would have no source of income, would probably end up selling the family home and their world would be instantly changed for the worse forever. It’s not always about the actions it’s the consequences of inaction.
So for all of you wondering where I’ve been, to the nosey neighbours thinking I’ve disappeared, friends that I’ve missed and those that read my drivel; This is why. Unfortunately, it’s not over until I create an infrastructure that will support my new team in Sofia and have them up to capacity. I’m back now, but how long for I’m unsure.