Although many of you should probably be aware of my attempts to make changes to my career with regards to my attempts to become one of those authors who don’t cheer whenever they finally get a check for the books they’ve sold while at the same time crying because of the size of those checks (with Amazon’s new change that sends out checks every month no matter how much you’ve made (as long as it’s not zero), I get to have this amazing emotion combination every month!), you might not be aware of the fact that I’ve also been working on changing my occupational role in the more normal avenues as well.
Just a little over a year ago, I came to the final realization that I wasn’t actually respected with my current employer and decided that I had to do whatever I could to get myself out of there. However, I gave myself one rule to changing jobs…I had to ensure that whatever job I went to would be something that I believed could stand the test of time a bit better. That means, not only would it be financially feasible, but also something that I actually thought I would enjoy doing. Those of you who know me well have probably heard the story of how when I initially started my employment with my current employer, I had only intended to work there for 6 months in order to make up some extra cash. That couldn’t be the case with whatever new job I would get. It would have to be something I honestly believed I could stick with, something I actually wanted to do.
Unfortunately, this severely limits the playing field for a(n) (uneducated) guy like me. I may be smart and clever and awesome, but most employers who offer the types of jobs that I’d be capable of enjoying want a piece of paper with their smart, clever, and awesome applicants.
Yet, with all of that being said, all of those limitations in place, I’ve actually managed to find myself in the midst of dozens of interviews over the course of the last year. Well, maybe not dozens plural…I’m really not interested enough in getting a number to count. However, it’s been a lot. And…they always seem to come in groups, possibly because I usually find myself applying for several jobs at the same time after a particularly trying day with my current employer. Needless to say, I’ve had what I consider to be a helluva lot of interviews over the past 12 months.
I hate interviews.
Obviously there’s the whole initial discomfort that can come into place as you meet someone you’re trying to determine whether you might want as your future manager. They’re interviewing you, obviously, but at the same time, when you’re in the place I’m in, you’re trying to figure out what you can about them to see if they run the type of ship you’d really want to sail in. Of course, it’s pretty out of place to ‘interview’ them back, so, you have to be somewhat clever about it, which can be difficult when trying to impress them about yourself at the same time.
In fact, the entire interview process itself, when done truly well, is a rather difficult dance of not saying exactly what you want to say while also trying to get very precise ideas across, all done in response to an incredibly stupid question that you could never be expected to answer truthfully to. I mean, seriously, when they ask what your greatest faults are, you’re not going to answer with, “Well, I have a severe drinking problem and tend to harm those around me”. No, you’re going to try to come up with something that could also be seen as a positive. It’s BS, and hopefully those who are doing the interviewing realize this. In the end, you’re all just trying to figure out what type of person the other person in the room is.
And it’s tiresome.
I find myself attempting to utilize my storytelling experience in developing a story for myself, trying to build an ideal of Adam in the minds of the people interviewing. It’s a rather interesting exercise. I’ve found that when done well, it can be very similar to being in the theatre. People will respond well to those things that they agree with, turn off and change the subject to those things that they don’t want to hear, and, ultimately ask for more if you’re doing well. I’ve been told on multiple occasions that my interviews last longer than other people’s and I believe that is simply due to this method. I work hard to build an image of myself.
Of course, with this all being said, one may wonder how I’ve had so many interviews over such a long period of time and still be employed at the same location. I’d love to say that this is due to me being a picky person and turning places down when I’ve decided that they weren’t right for me. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. I’ve been turned down time and time again by places that I was, in most of these cases, certain that I was going to get the job, not only from my qualifications, but also from my totally kicking butt in that interview room.
In more than a few of these occasions, I’ve been offered the reasons why someone else was chosen over me. In more than a few of these examples, I’ve been able to determine that the reasons are absolutely BS. That’s not to be unexpected. It’s hard to turn down an applicant and tell them that you simply didn’t like them. There’s a lot of subjectiveness that comes into choosing a new employee. I get it.
However, I like to believe that the reasons I haven’t gotten these jobs as of this point is due more to how I work the interview process. You see, while crafting this story of myself, I also tend to develop my expectations of management, those things that I believe a worthwhile employer would be doing, and those things that I believe I could do to help any employer reach their ultimate goals. I like to believe that the reasons I haven’t gotten these jobs I’ve been applying for come down to the simple fact that these employers are the types of folks who work the same way I do, that they aren’t the types of employers that I could ultimately be happy working for.
In a few examples, I have found this to be true, since several of the positions were for other departments within my current company. I’ve sighed in relief over the bullets I’ve dodged many times now.
That being said…I’m really ready to be done with this hunt. I have a few opportunities ahead of me at the moment, a few people I’m eagerly waiting to hear back from. I’ve gone through the interview process on two already and have come out believing that I could work quite well with the management in question. Of course, at least one of these jobs will take a fair amount of sacrifice on my behalf, well…I think so…I’m actually not even certain what one of these jobs is. And there is a severe fear on my mind that they will come back with an offer that is frightening below what I can honestly take at this time…which could be partially my fault because of how things were discussed within the interview…
But that’s getting into specifics, and we won’t do that here. At least not right now.
For now, let’s just say that the future is rosy…just waiting to get there. Luckily there’s still plenty to enjoy in the present whilst I do my waiting.
Have fun out there!