Navigating two job postings
May 27, 2023 10:20 PM   Subscribe

How do you handle applying for two jobs at a company when job A closes first, but job B perhaps suits you better?

Over 20+ years, I've acquired a very particular set of skills in a specialized sub-sub technical/professional discipline. I really like my work, in particular the technical aspects. However, my small company is frankly in hard times and I'm not entirely sure it'll be there next year. There are not a lot of job opportunities around in my specialty, and very very few locally.

I've been contacted by local government regarding a job posting for a leadership position; it's low-level leadership, overseeing a team of a dozen or so experienced staff, doing some management work as well as some technical oversight. That posting closes on Monday.

A second posting has also appeared, for a senior technical person in the same group (reporting to the leader) doing a lot of the kinds of technical work I enjoy and am very good at. That posting closes a week later.

I think I could do the leadership aspect, although it wouldn't necessarily be my strongest suit. I don't know if I'd enjoy doing it, though. I honestly think on one hand that a leadership position facing the rest of the organization advocating for the technical work and managing a skilled team could be fulfilling; on the other hand, I think that doing a lot of bureaucracy and working within structures and internal politics plays to my weaknesses, that I might chafe at the organizational structure and that I'd miss the technical work terribly.

I'm fortunate enough that the money difference between roles doesn't need to be a major consideration; the difference in salary between them is much smaller than the difference between them and my current wages. Because of my specific technical history, I think I'm likely to be one of the strongest candidates for either position; this is a technology I've helped create.

How should I approach the two jobs? I assume that the leadership position will be interviewed and probably filled first, because of the deadline (and because I think that they might want at least some input on the new staff member) but I think I'd prefer the senior technical position more.

And more specifically, how do I handle juggling two applications when the first one is my second choice? How should I frame this in an interview or on paper?
posted by Sockerkaka to Work & Money (5 answers total)
I think that doing a lot of bureaucracy and working within structures and internal politics plays to my weaknesses

Time to test that. Any bureaucracy that cannot manage the same person applying to two different jobs that close only a week between each other - especially for two senior positions - is horribly non-functional. Take this as an opportunity for them to demonstrate how their bureaucracy is not broken. Ask them what you should do. If they don't have an answer that makes you satisfied, you will be dissatisfied at both jobs, as you'll be dealing with the same bureaucracy at both jobs.
posted by saeculorum at 10:25 PM on May 27 [1 favorite]

Honestly I wouldn't worry about the closing dates at all. This only becomes a problem when you get offered one or both. You don't know which one you'll find out about first. There may be more applicants for the leadership position, and the interviews might involve more senior people so they take longer to schedule and get through. Who knows. Apply for both. Don't mention the other job in either of the paper applications. Bring it up in the interview if they don't. I'd briefly mention that I'd applied for both roles (and describe how each suited me perfectly at this stage in my career, in different ways) at the end of the opening "Why did you apply for this job?" question.
posted by happyfrog at 11:52 PM on May 27 [16 favorites]

Apply for both ANYWAY. I applied for a job MONTHS ago, they only recently gotten back to me like 3 plus months later. Most resumes I sent don't even get a "no thanks" response.
posted by kschang at 12:33 AM on May 28 [3 favorites]

I got the second job in this situation and the second job wasn't even posted yet when I applied for the first. I was interviewed for both jobs by the same people. That meant by the time i interviewed for the second job we had good rapport going. In my second interview for the first job they actually said "maybe actually you'd be a good fit for this other job we're going to post."

Just apply for both.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:07 AM on May 28 [2 favorites]

There is likely 90% overlap in the hiring process for both jobs. At my day job, with roles that close in the same org the recruiter you'd be dealing with would literally be the same person. So, just be up front that you are going to be waiting for both offers to be made (or not made) before you make a decision. If one hiring manager is worried about the extra week, they know who to talk to in order to get things rolling faster.
posted by Back At It Again At Krispy Kreme at 12:29 PM on May 28

« Older Best films/tv series of Lesley Manville?   |   Murder most horrid Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments