Note regarding Google Friends Connect: As of March 1, Google Friends Connect will be discontinued for any non-Blogger blogs, which includes mine. What does this means for YOU? If you “follow” my blog using that feature, you will no longer be able to do so. I encourage you to subscribe either with RSS feed or via email. You can find both options just to the right on the sidebar. (Click on the orange icon for RSS feed or the green envelope icon for email subscriptions.) Alternately, you can subscribe to the feed by clicking on “Entries RSS” under “Administrative Stuff” further down the sidebar. Please email me if you have questions or need help!
Just typing that title makes me sigh heavily. I’ve had some unexpected excitement in my life recently and the outcome, which I will share with you here, is equally unexpected.
I’ll cut to the chase: On whim I applied for a job. I got an interview. I wanted the job. I waited anxiously and stressfully to hear back. I got the call and the news is, basically, nothing yet. They are holding out for someone with more experience but haven’t rejected me.
Now, because you know I have it in me, the long story, for anyone who cares to know more.
Once upon a time I had a career. In Human Resources. Then I had kids. And I was lucky enough to be able to balance the two by working part-time. But, after 10 years with the same company, I decided to stay home full-time with my boys. That was almost 15 years ago.
Mostly, I was happy. Fulfilled enough with being a mom. Volunteering at the school; spending years as a Cub Scout Leader; taxiing my boys around town until they were old enough to drive themselves; finding “projects” to keep myself occupied.
But, gradually, that’s changed. And my nest is empty. Which I love. But I’m bored.
Off and on in the past few years I’ve thought about going back to work.
But I’ve had a million reasons (or excuses) not to. (I have bad feet and can’t wear “dress” shoes. My husband and I want to travel and I won’t have flexible or enough vacation time. It will interfere with my workouts. My memory is so bad that I won’t be able to learn whatever I need to learn. Yada, yada, yada.) And I hear Oprah’s voice in my head telling me to find my passion. So I wondered what work I could do that would be more than just a job, but something I enjoyed, something I looked forward to when I woke up each day, something that fulfilled me in some way. If I was going to change my life (and, yes, disrupt my routine,) I wanted it to be for something more than “just a job to fill the hours and bring in a few bucks.”
I actually came close to accepting two different HR positions in the past few years. But each time I was scared. And not sure I wanted to do the job. And questioning myself about my outdated knowledge and skills. And about all sorts of things. Clearly either the timing or the opportunities or something were just not right.
Fast forward to last fall. I was in a store, splurging on new exercise pants (for my spa trip), chatting with a friendly salesperson, noticing that she was wearing workout clothes. And I left the store thinking to myself, “This might be a fun place to work.” Just like that, the spark was lit. I got online and, coincidentally, the store had an opening for a salesperson. But, my feet were cold. Or the timing wasn’t right. Whatever, I did nothing. Sometime later I checked again and the position was no longer posted. Off and on for the past few months I thought about it. A bit. And wondered if I wished I’d pulled the trigger or was relieved that I hadn’t.
And then, a week ago Friday, I got a (standard marketing) email from the company, announcing a sale. I went to the site, but rather than looking for something to buy, I clicked on the career page. And, lo and behold, will wonders never cease, there was once again a job opening posted.
Was this fate?
I applied online, hesitantly attaching my resume that had nothing to say about work experience in the past 15 years or connected to retail, answering the questions about why I wanted to work there and how I defined customer service, and including a quickly drafted cover letter. Pressed “submit.” Went about my day. No expectations.
Within hours I had heard back. (The manager later told me it is unusual that she even sees an application that quickly.) She wanted to meet me! We chatted as we set a time and I felt good. I liked her. I thought we connected. I felt excitement. Tingly.
And I spent my weekend in eager anticipation. Imagining myself already working at the store. And stocking up on their brand of workout attire, required to wear on the job. I thought about telling my sons, who think my life is as boring as it is, but who always ask, “What’s new with you” when we talk. I drafted my Facebook status update in my head. I thought about how I’d balance a job with blogging. I even had a blog post title in mind for when I shared my news with you all! And what healthy snacks/meals I’d pack with me for longer shifts. I was picturing myself and my future. I could see myself at work. I liked what I saw.
I felt good. Not nervous. Yet. It felt right. I was excited.
I don’t know what it is about this particular job. But there’s something. The spark had grown. It was glimmering. Shining. I felt something unidentifiable and indescribable. I need to think about it more. But I liked it. And it felt… right. And unlike anything I’d felt in a very long time.
The day before the interview I called an old friend to ask her to be one of my references. And, surprise! Turns out she knows the person who would be interviewing me! Kismet? Was it meant to be? How could I not get the job now:)
I don’t believe in fate. I don’t really believe that I could jinx myself. But, just in case, I did NOT try on my exercise pants from that store in anticipation of wearing them my first day of work! Okay, I admit it, I DID take them out of the drawer and put them on top of my dresser. But that was all.
By the time the interview rolled around I had worked myself up into a small case of nerves. And had a big case of diarrhea of the mouth. But I walked out after and felt good. I liked them – the manager and the assistant manager. I thought they liked me. It still felt right. For about an hour or so. Then the self-doubt kicked in. And kept on kicking.
As I walked out, the manager said she’d probably call me “tomorrow.” I waited. No call. I waited the next day. No call. By then I had talked myself out of the job. I had gone over all the stupid things I’d said during the interview. I was sure I’d scared them off. I felt regret. And stress. And disappointment. And stress. I still didn’t try on my pants.
Finally, Thursday, the phone rang. It was the manager. She was very nice. Let me down easy. Told me that she hadn’t made a decision yet and was holding out for someone with current retail experience. I said something about understanding and that I hoped I was still in the running if she didn’t find anyone. And I added something, I have no idea what, about wanting the job. My husband says I did a good job. Said all the right things. My mind is a bit of a blur. I had rehearsed in my head my eager acceptance. I had rehearsed my disappointed reaction to being told I didn’t get the job and a follow-up to ask for feedback as to why not. I had NOT thought to rehearse for this particular indeterminate scenario.
The good news is that I’m not stressed anymore:) The other good news is that I wasn’t rejected. I can wait. And I can take advantage of the next couple of weeks spent waiting to drop those last few pounds so that when I get that job with its clothing discount, and have to buy all sorts of things to wear to work, I’ll be having fun in the dressing room:) I’m not excited anymore. But I’d still take the job if they offer. I’m a bit drained by it all. And someday, maybe soon and maybe not, I’ll reflect on this whole experience and ask myself what it tells me, what I should do next, and what I want to be when I grow up.