Sixth Time’s a Charm

I have been hired for what is technically my sixth job this year.  They have been as follows:

  • Non-profit jack-of-all-trades [result: mutual separation]
  • Substitute teacher [result: job I said I did but really never did]
  • Retail sales jockey [result: left for greener pastures and/or paychecks]
  • Temporary employee for insurance company [result: terminated]
  • Call center desk jockey [result: never started due to job #6]
  • Non-profit jack-of-all-trades [result of an an agonizing interview process]

It’s funny how you can end up exactly where you started, despite all the bouncing around and uncertainty and angst.

Of course, I’m not exactly where I was in March.  For one, this new non-profit position is for a much larger organization in terms of the scale of the project and the responsibilities.  Also, I had to relocate for this job – a first for me!  I am currently living [aka crashing at a friend’s place] in our nation’s capital!  Luckily, I happen to love D.C. and it’s only a short drive/bus trip from my real home here in the Blue Ridge, so it’s totally ideal.

Because it has all happened so quickly – two weeks from the day the resume was sent to the job offer – people are naturally curious as to how I managed to snag such a sweet deal.  I’m going to be truthful here, folks.  It’s really just dumb luck. The chain of events is fairly simple:

1.  I had to apply for jobs weekly for unemployment and my own sanity.
2.  My roommate had given me a few “sad bastard days” post-termination, which I had exhausted, so I had to get serious about my future.
3.  I randomly selected 5 non-profit job listings from the Washingon, DC craiglist.
4.  One of the jobs happened to be a great fit and was so enthusiastic in the phone interview, they asked me to come up to meet in person.
5.  During the face-to-face, they asked if I was willing and able to move in 7-10 days.  I lied and said yes.
6.  When I got the job offer, I had to force myself to be willing and able to move.

You know from reading this blog that job-hunting is not easy but it when it does happen, it happens fast and my best piece of advice is to say yes, yes, yes – and then force yourself to live up to your word.

Of course, I’m not pretending that I’m made in shade yet.  No job is permanent and luckily, I can keep my “country estate” in the Blue Ridge [as I’m calling it] just in case.  And I might actually “save” my “money” for a rainy day this time.  Be sure to keep reading – this next chapter might be the most exciting yet!

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The Agony and the Ecstasy

I find job hunting to be a bit of an exercise in sadomasochism.  I love the thrill that a new job holds and perusing job listings can practically be a game of “imagine my life if…”  Being a nerd, I enjoy crafting the perfect cover letter and as a crossword/Jeopardy enthusiast, I take pleasure in the challenge of pummeling my resume into something that resembles an actual career progression.  For someone with a bit of OCD in them, job hunting can set you on a control high.

But then.  How quickly things change.  Once you’ve sent your resume, once it’s out of your hands, the torture begins.  The first step – waiting – isn’t the worst.  I generally play the game of lowered expectations – they won’t want me, I’m not the right fit, I don’t care about this job anyway.  It’s the next phase – the follow-up, the interviews, the samples, the so-close-you-can-taste-it that kills me.

I could write an entire post about job interviews (and probably will) because I hate them.  They’re like bad first dates – awkward, uncomfortable, forced, and with all the power in the hands of the more attractive party (in this case, the employer.)  Phone interviews are even worse – you lose all the important conversational clues we rely on to make a good impression.   Every step in the process is trial by fire – impress them enough on the phone, you get to submit writing samples, the samples are good, so you have to impress them in person, possibly multiple times – it’s exhausting!

Naturally, this is on my mind because I have a job interview today for a job that I very much want but would like to pretend that I don’t to prepare myself if I don’t get it.  The process has been a hurts so good combination of exciting and stressful.  If I don’t get it, I’ll be very disappointed and back to square one – but at least I have a plan for square one.  If I do get, I have to relocate quickly, tackle some major financial hurdles in a short amount of time, and make a strong impression immediately to hold on to the  position.

Despite my attempts to play it cool, I want this job.  Badly. It would be worth the stress and complications and difficulties for what I think could be the next serious chapter in my life.  So, I’m throwing myself into today’s interview.  Keep your fingers crossed!