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Thread: Missed opportunity?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Missed opportunity?

    While I am educated as a planner, for the past 4+ years, I've been working on the economic development side of things, specifically handling research and site selection type work. At meetings of various organizations I belong to or committees I am on, which are usually made up mostly of demographers and economists, I routinely run into a few of the same people over and over.

    One gentleman, who is a senior economist for a large local energy provider contacts me a few times a year looking for data or my municipality's take on certain issues. Last week he told me he was planning to be in my neighborhood today and invited me out to lunch to, "pick my brain" and for an "exchange of ideas". He and one of his coworkers, his firm's manager of energy forecasting, came today and about 3 minutes into meeting the other guy, I learned that he is currently interviewing folks for an analyst position and the travails of how that's going and how inadequate the applicants have been thus far. The rest of the time I was with them, they only spent about 5 more minutes discussing data sources and our modeling software, the rest of the 60+ minutes was spent discussing how I feel about my bosses, how I like the organization, etc. etc.

    Was I secretly being interviewed? If I was interested, I probably should have spoke up when they mentioned the analyst position but I'm pretty thick headed sometimes and didn't. I have already contacted both gentlemen with some data examples that they asked about and will be following up with more tomorrow or Friday.

    Would it be unseemly to inquiry about the analyst position that they mentioned? (Nothing relevant is listed on their firm's website) Even if I don't want to switch positions, now my interest is definitely piqued.

    What to do? Did I miss my chance to explore this further? (Both of these gentlemen are aware that I am not an economist, accountant, or finance person)
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  2. #2
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Yes, I think you were being pre-interviewed or at least eyed with interest (hard to say if it was planned or not on their part - maybe they connected the dots on the spot there as well). This same thing happened to me about 6 months ago and I, too, being a little slow on the uptake, did not snap to what was happening at the time. But don't fret - if you are interested, send a nice e-mail saying you were thinking about the conversation and are interested in hearing more about that position if they are still looking. Do it soon. You're not obligating to anything, of course, but you are expressing your interest. You also don't need to explicitly say anything about their perceived interest in you or not picking up on the subtext. Just say you are interested in learning more. If they were eyeing you, they will take the lead in pushing the process forward.

    FTR, this is now my third day at said job for which I was recruited at an "innocent" lunch. It all worked out and I'm pretty happy so far. The money is the same as my previous employer, but I am much more excited about the work and, so far, it seems to have one of the healthiest office environments I have worked in. That's worth the change alone. Some of the places I've worked...

    Good luck!
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    I would call your contact and pick up the discussion. I would say you were reflecting on the discussion you had over lunch and are interested in learning more about the analyst position mentioned. Ask his opinion if he feels you would be a good fit and why. Be honest in that your are not sure you want to leave but want to explore options and what they mentioned sounds like a great opportunity.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  4. #4
    Listen up: wahday and Brocktoon speak truth and wisely. You are nuts if you don't listen to their sage advice. Good luck and keep us in the loop!
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  5. #5
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    Listen up: wahday and Brocktoon speak truth and wisely. You are nuts if you don't listen to their sage advice. Good luck and keep us in the loop!
    I can't add much more.

    You were just interviewed and didn't realize it.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  6. #6
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    Listen up: wahday and Brocktoon speak truth and wisely. You are nuts if you don't listen to their sage advice. Good luck and keep us in the loop!
    Word. Frreals.

    [dang minimum character limit]

  7. #7
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Well, I contacted the one who mentioned the position letting him know I would be interested in learning more about it if he was still looking for applicants. I got his voicemail though. But at least the ball is in his court now and I've put myself out there.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  8. #8
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    With that, I would lay low for a while.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    I couldnt agree more with the suggestions already listed and I think that you did exactly the right thing from the time of the orginal conversation at lunch to the message, and the advice to wait and see what happens next. Hope everything works out for you.

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