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  • Monday, November 24, 2008

    By way of explanation...

    So here’s why I was asking for positive vibes – and why I also said on Friday that I was giving up.

    I was in the final running for a new job.  It was not only a new job for me, but also a newly-created job with some very interesting responsibilities.  And I really wanted that job.  It sounded like a fantastic opportunity.  It sounded like something I would really enjoy.  And yes, it was a great exit from my current situation, which is almost intolerable some days.

    I went in for two interviews.  The first was with three folks – two “supervisors” for the different areas of responsibility and a senior colleague.  They asked all sorts of questions and wanted a writing sample.  It went fairly well, although they were a tough bunch to read.

    But, I guess it went well enough because I got called back for a second interview with the director.  That interview went amazingly well.  He and I hit it off, and, at the close of the interview, he even said that it had been a “joy” to speak with me.  I figured that I did okay when he said that.  I mean, who says that after interviewing a prospective employee unless it was an atypically interesting conversation?  And, one of the admin folks bumped into me in the hall afterwards and made some positive comments too.  I came away from there feeling very excited, especially since I had overheard the tail end of the interview with the woman before me.  It was very sedate and blah and unremarkable – a stark contrast to my interaction with the director.  And, mine was the final interview of that day, so I figured that I was the final impression that would stick with him (easier to remember the last person than the first).

    Also, during the course of the interview, the director told me that the position had attracted more than 300 applicants.  That number was culled down to 30 who were qualified.  And then the first team interview about 20 folks.  From that, they passed along 6 for the final interview.  So I made it from 300 to the final 6.  I was pretty happy about that.  I think I was also the first person they called for a second interview, so I figured that I was close to the top of their list.  The director told me that he expected to make a decision by the end of that week.

    The next day, I got a call asking for my last performance appraisal.  I took that as a positive sign, that he was still considering me for the position after the interview.  Hiring officials don’t waste their time calling references for everyone, only the final serious contenders.  So I think I made it to the final 3.  At least, I felt pretty confident that I had done better than the mousey woman before me.

    But that was all last week.  I sent him my performance appraisal late on Wednesday.  And I haven’t heard a peep since.  Considering how quickly everything else moved along before… considering that he expected to make a decision by Thursday… well, I haven’t heard boo.   So I’ve gotta figure that I’ve got a form letter coming in the next coupla' weeks.

    I made it down to the final 3 -- top 1% of the pool -- but I didn’t make it to #1.  I can be proud that I got as far as I did.  But second doesn’t count for squat in these situations.  Just ask John McCain.

    SM tells me to think positively – that I made it that far with this one, so that shows I’ve got the skills and personality to be hired.  This one didn’t work out, but there will be others.  And he’s right: I did my job.  I presented myself well on all occasions – in my application, my interviews and my writing sample.  I can’t control who else is being interviewed or what their qualifications are.  I can’t control what the office wants in a new employee.  So, I will try to think positively moving forward.  I will remind myself that there will be other really cool jobs out there, especially with the change of administration.

    But I cannot help but feel really down about this.  This is the second sooooooooooo close, near miss.  I was a finalist for another position in the spring (which didn’t work out for political reasons), so losing out again really does stink.  Especially since I really wanted this one.  It wasn’t just another job to get out of my current situation; I was excited about the actual job (not just the prospect of it).

    And while I haven’t gotten the final word… my brain keeps coming up with reasons why I haven’t gotten the call yet – like he had a compressed work week and had Friday off (but who would take this past Friday off when next Friday is a natural to take off instead?)…  but I also haven’t heard from my friends and others listed on my resume as supervisors that they’ve gotten calls about me either.

    So this all tells me to give up.  Stop waiting for a call.  Expect the form letter.

    But it’s so hard.  It’s so disappointing.  I was thinking positively and trying to envision the outcome I wanted to somehow force it into reality (which is quite the balancing act when you’re also trying to manage expectations to avoid serious disappointment…. Guess I didn’t do that so well.).  Now I’m trying to come back down to reality.  I went from being almost there to falling down the longest chute back to start.  And that’s what’s so hard.  I feel knocked down. Having progressed so far along only to have to start from scratch again truly stinks.  I went from fast forward momentum to slamming on the brakes.  It’s jolting, and I’m trying to recover.

    So I need to get more job applications out there.  I have hope something will come along with the new administration (because hope is, after all, the message of our president-elect).  I will try to manage my expectations better next time.  I will try not to feel so diminished by my current situation.  I will remember that I am lucky to have a secure job in this economy.  I will focus on other, happy things.

    Most of all, I will try not to feel so freakin’ sorry for myself.  There’s nothing more I could have done to get this job.

    So there ya’ have it.

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