53 applications. That’s how many jobs I’ve applied for in the last 3 months. You should see the spreadsheet I created to keep track of all of them in case I am audited by the Department of Labor while I collect unemployment benefits. It’s even color coded: red for stop/no, green for proceed/yes, white for haven’t heard a thing. I was able to get my foot in the door for interviews with 5 companies, a feat in and of itself considering the level of competition for jobs vs the number of openings there are.
My first interview was for a technical writer position. I started getting ready several hours in advance so that I wouldn’t feel rushed. If I feel rushed, my sweating becomes much worse, and it’s automatically much worse anyway if I’m getting ready for an interview. It was the middle of November when I had this interview, yet I still used a fan on the floor of the bathroom as I was getting ready. Between my blow dryer and flat iron, it gets a bit warm in there. My hands were sweating as I applied my makeup, too, so I had a hand towel on the sink to wipe my fingers off in between dabs of my foundation. After the beauty routine was over (I swear, life would be so much easier if I were a dude), next came the dreaded business attire. Bleck. It makes me sweat just thinking about it. I hate dress clothes, but they are a necessary evil when it comes to job interviews.
So, I get dressed in my pants suit and go to put on my dress socks and shoes. It’s a struggle to get my socks on, as my feet are already dripping. Somehow I manage and then put my shoes on. It’s probably only 40-something degrees outside as I drive to the interview, but I’ve taken off my suit jacket and am driving with just my short sleeve shirt on and the cool air blasting from the AC vents, which are strategically angled directly on my hands as they grip the steering wheel (which has an absorbent cover on it) and on my feet. I arrive about 20 minutes early, again because of the whole rushing scenario and because you should be a few minutes early to an interview.
I sit in my car for a few minutes and review the copy of the job description, my resume, and my portfolio containing samples of my work. Since this is my first interview in 4 years, I’m pretty nervous and trying not to focus on the fact that I’m pretty annoyed I’ve been placed in this situation to begin with. I’ve been taken out of my comfort zone, laid off, and now I’m supposed to go inside and act like life’s great and put on a happy face? Yes, I’m totally playing the victim scenario in my head for the few minutes I’m sitting in the car, and that’s okay. I’m pretty sure that’s normal.
When I had the phone interview for this position, the woman told me that it wouldn’t be a typical job interview, that the owner of the company basically liked to talk about himself and what he’s created with his company and not ask too many questions of the interviewee. So, I was prepared to listen, which was good. And listen, I did. Your life speaks to you in whispers. Pay attention to those whispers so they don’t have to turn into pebbles, or bricks, or brick walls before you finally get it. When the VP of the company said to me, “So and so will bite your head off if she doesn’t like what you’ve done, and if you’re working on something with her you won’t leave until it’s done. But she’s a really great resource if you have any questions…”, I took that as a sign of what it would be like to work there. There is certainly no perfect work environment, but I don’t thrive when I’m told things like that, or am warned that most of their employees are Type A and will bite your head off in company-wide meetings if they don’t like what you’re presenting. It was a very linear-thinking environment, which makes sense considering what they do there. Lesson learned. They offered me the job, but I turned it down. I didn’t want to accept a job out of fear that it was the only offer I’d get. I didn’t want to settle just to get a paycheck.
Stay tuned. Next I’ll be discussing the awesome set of interviews I had with the next company. I got to educate them about hyperhidrosis!
Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle