The Day I Didn’t Get That Job

She’s morphine. Queen of my vaccine.

“Breezeblocks” by Alt-J

Hard to believe it’s already October. Feels like only a couple weeks ago that I was in Istanbul. Feels like yesterday that Jenny and I spent a final weekend in Busan. Yet here we are, nearly at the eve of Halloween, and the year is winding down. It’s been one of the best years of my life. It will be fun to see what it shapes into by sundown on December 31st.

What’s interesting about right now, I suppose, is the job hunt.

For the first couple years of my working life, I had a flawless interview record. Any job that called me in for an interview, that was the job I walked away with. Sure they were just a bunch of coffee-shops, but the success rate went to my head. The self-assuredness went unnoticed, however, until the day I interviewed for a job outside of my comfort zone, away from the espresso machine. Suddenly I saw that interviews for “real” jobs are a little different. Instead of one interviewer, there could be as many as five, and there might be a test involved, and you might have to adlib responses to questions about scenarios you’ve never encountered. Confidence alone won’t get you a job like this.

The brutal truth is: I suck at interviews.

I’ve had at least six interviews this year. That might not sound like a lot, but three of those were from the past month, the only time of the year when a job was truly possible / necessary. Studying abroad, a job wasn’t needed, though I did snag a small-time tutoring gig to add a bullet point to my CV. Out in Korea, I added another bullet point, probably my most significant bullet point, but the value of that experience has yet to reveal itself during the job search. Personally, I feel responsible and savvy enough to handle a job in the field of education, but I’m not as qualified on paper as I feel I am in my head. So for all the education-themed positions that I’ve interviewed for, the results have been the same.

I don’t see this as a complete defeat. I’ve only really pursued such positions during my short time back in the States. Facts are facts. I am on my way to becoming a teacher, but I’m not the most attractive candidate for a teaching job right now. Doesn’t help that my class schedule conflicts with any After School Program that’s looking for an early-afternoon teacher. Basically, I’m doing the best with what I’ve got. Highlighting what I know looks good. I’m clinging to that Korea experience.

Trouble is, my confidence is dropping. I can feel it.

After the position I applied for on Monday was given to another candidate, I felt a real loss. There went a job that I really would’ve enjoyed. An editor/writer/promoter for an on-campus organization called One World Initiative. Not a ton of work but a good amount of responsibility. It would’ve been a good way to actually bond with my campus. It would’ve been a lot like my internship with Sacramento Press. But, as I found out this morning, the job was given away.

My perfect interview track record is done for. My success rate is below forty percent.

I don’t feel nervous during the interview. Not substantially so, at least. I’ve gotten better at improvising responses. I think I say the right thing, most of the time. I worry that I might seem too dry, so I often use a bit of humor, but not too much. I always feel like we end on a good note. What comes up too often is experience.

But I’m patient.

My motivation for Grad School is on the upswing, thankfully. Maybe that’s because assignments and tests are fast approaching and I tend to pay more attention when the pressure is on.

The new place is still awesome. It’s looking more and more lived-in every day. Can’t wait to have Jenny around, too. I’m looking forward to the extra dimension she’ll bring. Living with Iven has been calm and relaxed. It’s good to have a smooth flow about the place. Also we’re addicted to watching Breaking Bad. We already have rituals.

Got my phone back. Finished my phonology assignment.

Trying to write something for Niche Magazine.

Keeping up with Thousand Thoughts.

Other than the interview failures, things are good.

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