Editor's Note, March 2018:
You'll notice that this blog was written in June 2017, but I'm just now announcing this a whole eight months later. This is a prime example of putting the cart before the horse. I just knew I got this job during the summer, so I wrote and published this so I could announce the new journey in a cool way. Well...I was wrong...at least for the moment. That role was either filled or put on a looooooong hold. However...I'm glad I didn't delete it, because here we are. I accepted my offer last week when I landed in Rome for a mini-vacation. Timing was perfect for a celebration! So keep in mind that this blog was written from the perspective of the 'Summer 2017 Gary.' If you would have asked me a month ago, I would have told you I wasn't interested in the role anymore because my current work environment improved exponentially, but when I got the offer, it was truly something I couldn't refuse.
Okay. Now read!
My days at work have been pretty busy, but I still had been taking time during my lunches, evenings and weekends to invest in myself. I would work on my resume, LinkedIn profile, and garybushrod.com any chance I could. I was receiving calls and emails from recruiters pretty frequently, and even met with a few hiring managers to discuss possible positions outside of my firm. However, most of those interviews resulted in me not being a good fit for the position, them not being able to offer my desired salary, or me deciding that I wasn't actually interested. See, while I was unhappy in my current role [for a specific period of time], I decided that I would not leave unless I found something that was a significant step forward in my career and fostered a culture that matched what was important to me.
In early May, a recruiter reached out to me about a position I had not even applied for. She located my profile in their career database because of a couple other positions I viewed on their Careers site. I took a few minutes to speak with her, and then reviewed the job description later that day. It was the perfect position for me! I printed it out, and took a highlighter (yes, I still use those) and highlighted all of the line items in the job description that I had experience with. Almost every line item was highlighted! The position seemed to call for nearly everything I already had a proven record of doing on a day-to-day basis...but on a more senior level. Note: One of the most frustrating things at my current job, was that despite my experience and competitive salary, I was considered a "junior" employee to some extent. I am, however, not a junior employee...
Anyway, to make a long story short:
After a phone interview with the hiring manager while I was walking around my floor frantically looking for an empty conference room, trying to act like I was not out of breath, sweating, and with no access to my notes...
...an online candidate assessment that tested both verbal and numeric reasoning...
...a six-hour interview, where I met with five different people, attended a lunch with the hiring manager in the executive dining room, and completed an on-the-spot case study (Fun fact: We don't have to wear suits at my current job, so it would have looked suspicious if I came to work with a suit and tie on. So, I left my jacket and tie in a closet on a different floor. When it was almost time for my interview, I went downstairs, swiped them up, went in a bathroom stall and changed like Superman, and then sauntered out of the building and right across the street, where the interview was conveniently located)...
...a last-minute call with the Managing Vice President of HR...
...three final interviews/discussions with HR Business Partners... (at this point, it had been almost ten hours of interviews)
...waiting...and waiting...and waiting...
I accepted the role of
Client Learning Manager of Commercial Banking
at Capital One!
Aside from the job responsibilities, and the firm being named #17 of Forbes' Best 100 Places to Work, here are a few things that really attracted me to the position:
I've done so much research on the culture at Capital One. Most reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed were positive as it related to the corporate offices and roles. The hiring manager mentioned that he typically wears jeans to work. He said he only put on a suit that day because he was meeting me. I wish he would have told me beforehand, as I would have come in something more comfortable, LOL. Capital One seems to "get it" when it comes to holding onto their values while cultivating a progressive and forward-thinking culture that appeals to people in all walks of life. In fact, when I interviewed with the Managing Vice President, she mentioned that during the interviews, they pay close attention to whether the candidate can fit in and thrive with their culture. For them, job skills and experience aren't the only deciding factors when hiring new employees. I mentioned garybushrod.com to the hiring manager, and explained to him that I decided that on my professional profile, I would not only highlight my educational background and professional experience, but that I wanted to display "Gary, the person" as well, so that potential employers would know exactly who they were hiring. He said he loved it because, it shows the human behind the applicant. As of recent, I really do try to live by the motto, "Bring your whole self to work." Use that bit of info as a #ProTip if you'd like.
The Office Environment
Although during my interview, I only got to see a the lobby and conference rooms in the New York location, I researched online and saw that most of the Capital One offices were pretty dope. Working environments (as long as they aren't a distraction from unfair compensation) are kind of important to me. I actually turned down a job offer recently, because I felt that their office was a bit dismal and I couldn't see myself looking forward to going there everyday.
When attending the interviews, a great number of the team members I met with via Skype were working from their homes. Note: I love collaborating with team members virtually, so this was a big 'plus' in my book. While at lunch, I mentioned to the hiring manager that it would be bittersweet to leave my current job because we were moving to a Brooklyn office, which was right in my neighborhood. Then, he mentioned that he works from home twice a week, himself...
Of course, this perk most likely comes after you've been in the office long enough to get comfortable with your day-to-day activities, and have established the necessary work relationships, but this flexibility is important to me.
Everyone I met with during that very long day of interviews seemed personable, relatable, friendly, and passionate about what they do. Most notably, they were all learning & development professionals. This is especially important to me because I welcome the opportunity to learn and grow as a learning professional. In my current role, I am the only person on my team with a learning and development background, and that can sometimes a bit frustrating because although I've learned so much as a Program Manager, I feel as though I have not been growing in my profession of L&D. The hiring manager seems like the most kind person I'll ever work with. Not only does he have a couple decades of learning & development under his belt, his method of management seems direct, contemporary, and understanding. He understands work-life balance, and he encourages innovation and creativity. I'm excited to join the team.
Of course the money is much better! I would not have considered a position that was a lateral move. However, I find myself more excited about the challenges and opportunities at the firm, than I do compensation. I will certainly miss my current co-workers, and am so encouraged by their support and championing of my choice to move on. Here's to new journeys!