Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Dates and Interviews

When a single mom goes out on a date with someone new
It always ends up feeling like a job interview
My mama always wondered if she'd ever meet someone
Who wouldn't find out about me and then turn around and run...
--"He Didn't Have To Be",  Brad Paisley

It ain't just single moms, Brad. But as someone who is currently both dating AND attending job interviews...the two really do have a resemblance. Mind you, just once I'd like to walk into a job interview and feel something like the spark you get on a good date. Start tomorrow? Can I start tonight?

I'm going to close the windows, the blinds AND the curtains on the dates, and turn out all the lights while I'm at it.  Until such time as any new partner wishes to go public -- if such time ever comes, and it won't come at my urging -- her existence and for damn sure her identity will be a closely guarded secret, known only to the members of my 'cule. I have come to understand and accept that relationships need not be  plastered all over Facebook to be legitimate: they're for the people in them, no one else.

But the job interviews? Oh, I can talk about those.

There is a real possibility I could find myself right back at the call center I was laid off from in December. I'm hoping this happens, actually. The pay was poor, but the job itself was the best I ever had by a country mile, and I seriously miss some of the people. I came out of my shell, professionally, in that place.

But I haven't had any luck with other interviews, even for jobs I feel I should have just walked right into.

Another job from my past came up: different store, same position. Felt like a sign. Did I want to retreat eighteen years into my professional history? Definitely mixed emotions on that score, but hey! I know I can do this job. I excelled at it.
Interviewed. Thought for sure I'd nailed it. Was told I'd hear "one way or the other". Never heard. Followed up. Definitely felt the rejection vibe.

Had an interview, along with fifty nine other applicants, for a position...well, um, actually, as it turned out, there were no positions. None. Not one. There might be some, six months or a year down the road, but no guarantees.
They told me that before the interview started. I tried to school my face, but a poker player I'm not: I actually felt the light go out of my eyes.

Went to a job fair. Was selected to interview for a middle management job. Thought I aced that one too. They triple-checked my email address and informed me I would get an email with a link to input my references.
Never got it.
Went back to the fair the next day and was told "oh, we've had...delays." You could SEE the brains clicking, trying to find an excuse.

It's maddening. I know it's not always about me. There could be a dozen reasons I didn't get each job and eleven of them wouldn't involve me at all. Still, it smells fishy, and on the heels of the other colossal rejection, it's a bit hard to take.

So I've reached out to the Conestoga Career Center. They've got job facilitators who actually call employers on your behalf. My resume passed muster with only minor alterations, but I'm going to schedule some mock interviews in case I am doing something wrong. Another seminar today was about job search strategies I can use myself. I took the personality assessment  they asked me to take, and it said:


Have plenty of opportunity to work through problems at your own pace.

Be able to accomplish objectives by using the ability to observe subtle social cues and your strong understanding of the motivations and feelings of others.

Be provided with very clear, established, and achievable goals.

Be able to limit subjective opinions, criticism, and unconstructive feedback from collaborators.

Have an environment/position that provides some regularity and routine to your tasks and projects - common in stable, larger, and more mature organizations.

Have less frequent social interactions with different people, colleagues, prospects, or clients - seek small teams or opportunities to work alone.

Be able to let others take the lead on tasks and projects.

Have the time and opportunity to show your care for others and offer them support, because you find this an extremely rewarding part of your work.

Have altruistic goals, tasks, and projects that make people happy.

Nailed me. And not just professionally. Much of this is transferable.

...working through problems: I'm very much a proponent of "the only way we'll fix this is if we examine it first".  The subtle social cues make me think of consent, and how vital it is for me, not just the words, but the tone and body language to go with. Goal setting doesn't work in relationships unless it's collaborative, but collaboration is wonderful because "altruistic...tasks and projects that make people happy" (smile).
Let others take the lead: yes, very much so. That too is related to consent: if she's taking the lead, it's a pretty fair bet she wants to do whatever it is we're doing. That said, I am definitely not the limp and malleable noodle I once was that way. While I will never be mistaken for a dominant, I can at least assert myself when the situation seems to call for it.
And of course caring and supporting. That's me.

I'm hoping the next blog will be to announce I have a job.


karen said...

Hey Ken, what would your actual dream job be?

Ken Breadner said...

Something I am going to have to do in my next life.


I looked into this pretty thoroughly, and money simply doesn't work. Nor do the logistics.