Thursday, April 30, 2009

Long Hiatus - Careful Decisions

After failing the Oral Assessment in December, 2006, I had asked the Assessors what they recommended I do to prepare for 'next time'. Obviously, they were unable to give me any direct feedback, but what they did tell me was very helpful: "think about your performance today, and how you might be able to improve" [paraphrased].

Since I had not passed any of the three sections, I began by self-evaluating my performance on the SI portion of the OA. As I mentally replayed the interview again and again, I perceived that I had made the mistake of approaching it woefully unprepared and overconfident.

The GE & CM portions stumped me as I had difficulty identifying areas in which I could have done better. This led me to the realization that I may have been 'missing the boat' all along as to what BEX was requiring.

I had been working in a cubicle for the past seven years or so, problem solving with clients for a retail/printing company. Although not a bad job in its' own right, it provided little or no experience for me to tackle issues as part of a team or to analyze a situation and make recommendations. The GE & CM were technically outside the realm of my experience and would likely lead to another failure were I to jump back into the ring unprepared.

There were no opportunities to develop at my employer, so I made the conscious decision to transition into a new career. There were other factors, lack of challenge being one, but this was my primary motivator. In mid-2007, I began a satisfying job that put me directly into a case management position, and which also involved working on several projects that required research, presentation, consensus, etc. I was challenged, active, and developing my 13-D's. What could be better?

Since I had only just begun my job, and was still learning the ropes, I made the decision to skip the 2007 FSOT testing window and wait another year.

A year later, in 2008, I was just beginning to feel comfortable in my role, and wished to develop it further, and decided to forgo the FSOT that year as well. 2009 was my target year!