So, I called my old manager today to give him the heads up that while I got a call back for a second interview (which is good news) I've decided not to pursue the opportunity any further. I felt I owed at least him an explanation since he had so kindly referred me, so I very honestly told him that this role is not the direction I think I'd like to take my career.
Have you ever experienced the irony of knowing what you don't want but not what you do want? Because that's how I've been feeling about my career, but I had an "a-ha" moment last week when I came across a job posting that sounded perfect - it was a sales and marketing role developing and vetting new products. I'm not qualified enough yet to project lead, but I'm certainly on the right track towards that goal given how quickly my current role has changed.
And while I'm still not sure that staying with my current company is the right decision for me in the long-run, I'm beginning to suspect that in the short-term, it would be the best thing for me as I'm working on a project doing precisely what I hope to manage and lead one day - I'm on a team scoping out a new product for which I will eventually create a business case to determine its financial viability.
Anyway, he understood, said that as much as he would like me to return to the company, he saw that I'd probably be returning to what amounts to the same group that I had left doing similar work. He also saw that I had given this decision a lot of thought and that I shouldn't feel guilty for doing what was right for my career.
So I'm glad that we're square there. I haven't been able to get in touch with the hirning manager yet. Having to reject a potential employer is foreign territory for me and it has caused me quite a bit of stress since I don't want to burn any bridges or have anyone feel that they have been misled. So I hope to keep this upcoming conversation short and sweet.