Approximately five years ago, I took a new job. It was a good job. A job I really liked. A job I felt I could grow in. But I got impatient. Mighty impatient. And I found myself growing frustrated at the fact that I wasn’t able to move up in the position as quickly as I had wanted. Which was dumb, to be honest, because I was already on a pretty fast rise.
And about four years ago, I made a really dumb decision…an incredibly stupid one.
I went back to the job I had before that one.
I left the department of my company which was making all sorts of plans in how they were going to use me, and went to the department of the company which I knew had no use for me and would abuse me.
And abuse me they did.
Or, rather…more accurately, they forgot about me.
Pretty quickly I realized how much of an utter mistake I had made, but I was stuck. I couldn’t take it back. I only had to move forward.
So, I began the job hunt. A job hunt that consisted of applying for easily over a hundred jobs over the course of four years and probably not to far away from 50 interviews.
A job hunt that I quickly realized must be cursed.
I mean, seriously! Prior to this hunt, I had been turned down for employment from maybe a handful of jobs I actually applied for. If I had interviewed, I think the number of jobs I didn’t get went down to one or two. Suddenly, I couldn’t land any job. No matter how excited they seemed in the interview to hire me, no matter how perfectly qualified I was for the position, no matter how desperate they were in needing to get someone there.
So I continued to expand my horizons, seeking out further and further for job ideas in order to find something that might take me. And my actual job kept getting worse.
For three years I sat on this hunt until my employer finally made me have to take drastic measures. I’m not going into the nitty gritty details, but it finally became dreadfully obvious that they weren’t going to do anything to try to make my employed life any better. And I had to make a stand.
I don’t know how many people actually remember much for specifics from The Drew Carey Show. I wasn’t even a regular viewer. But I remember one specific episode where Drew was expecting a promotion. He knew he was the one who should get it. He had been in his positon for ten years or something and he was a hard worker, and he was definitely the right person for the job. Only for them to hire someone completely different, completely unqualified, and ultimately, not him.
I didn’t want to be that guy. I couldn’t be that guy. I was (and am) an incredibly hard worker, always putting my best foot forward and almost always succeeding at the tasks given to me, no matter how far outside of my wheelhouse they might be.
I had to quit, because I couldn’t be the guy who just continues to get shoved into the corner.
And believe me, it was a difficult decision. Not entirely because of the money, although we had some big plans we were in the midst of which were completely changed because of this decision. But because, it was a cushy job. I worked from home. I could watch Netflix all day while doing the mindless tasks they gave me. And…I had more than enough time available to focus on writing and selling books. In fact, I’ve spent more than enough time since this past March considering how much I probably should have just stayed in the position and focused on my writing career.
But I don’t like wasting my time. And even if I was using my time wisely for myself, it was pointless for me to stay there.
So I quit, deciding to watch the kids in order to save money on childcare and spend some time rebooting while also attempting to figure out a new direction.
And I sent out applications everywhere. I found some places that I didn’t even know existed which seemed perfectly suited to my background. Places that would either ignore me completely, or somehow decide that I wasn’t a good fit after a stellar interview (explanations were never given).
I had decided this early on: I was cursed.
I wasn’t just unemployable, I was cursed to not be able to land a job. After years and years of incredible luck when it came down to the job hunt, time and again landing jobs that were well outside of my experience, I suddenly couldn’t get a single one, no matter how much I was the perfect employee. I mean, in the past, people were taking chances on me, now, there was no risk involved, I was obviously a perfect candidate for so many of these positions…but they just didn’t work out.
Now, don’t get me wrong here, I’m not complaining. Sooner or later it became obvious that there was something at work here, some sort of deus ex machina, or curse, or who the heck knows what, which was keeping me from being able to get a job, possibly because of the stupid decision I made approximately four years ago.
But then I took a leap. I went after a job I had thought would be a fantastic one back when I was a kid. You know, one of those silly positions that kids look up to. It was a bit of a plunge, as there was some travel involved in even getting an interview, but I went for it.
And applied for as many positions in that job realm as I could.
And not only did I get interviews, but I got job offers. Four, to be exact. All of which I couldn’t take for one reason or another…mostly because of unstated job requirements which would be reckless of me as a father of three.
To clear this up for you a bit, I got offered a job for every single one of the jobs I interviewed for…except one. The one that didn’t have these requirements.
The curse was active. I had finally been offered a job…four, in fact, and I couldn’t even take them. How much more cursed can you get?
But here’s the thing, I still had one more application out there. This one for the same position, but in my town, where the position I was denied was in a different, very nearby, town.
This was the last possible option for me. I knew if I didn’t get this job, I was doomed. Hopefully it was all a ruse to get me focused on writing which would someday become successful (remember: I don’t write to be successful, I write to be sane). If I didn’t get this job, it was obvious that it was pointless to even try any longer.
Well, to make a long story short:
I interviewed Monday, yet another amazing interview. She said she’d make decisions and I would hear whether I got the job or not on Tuesday. I was feeling the curse was probably still hanging on, so I didn’t get my hopes up. Five pm rolled around on Tuesday (yesterday) and I started feeling anxious that I hadn’t heard anything.
And then it happened.
I got the e-mail.
I got the job!
Well…technically it’s a conditional offer based on things like background checks and whatnot, but I’m clear on all the stuff they’re looking for. However, since it’s conditional, I’ll keep from noting what I’ll be doing..for now.
But after four years of trying to land a job, and working very hard at it, I got one of my childhood dream jobs. Not one that’s all that spectacular. Not on that I’m really all that qualified for. Not one that really should have any interest in me at all, considering my recent job history. But one that speaks pretty darn perfectly to my sensibilities.
So, I’m happy…I think. I mean, are artists ever truly happy? But seriously, there is a certain weight lifted off my shoulders knowing that I was able to break the curse…at least temporarily. And this job has a lot in the way of rewarding those who can prove themselves. And if there’s something I believe I’m best at, it’s proving myself.
But that means I’ve got a lot of work to do in order to make sure my books get out in time…so I should get back to work.
Have fun out there!