I got the job! I still can’t believe it. What a roller coaster ride! And I cannot express the wave of relief that has come over me and the joy that has returned to my soul. I feel twenty pounds lighter.
I started looking a year ago but didn’t put all my effort into my search until about five months ago when I reached a turning point and knew I could not continue on in my current position. I was fortunate to have jobs to apply for; that was not the case in 2008 (and up until 2011) the last time I found myself searching for a job.
This search was a test of my faith and patience. It was a test of the love my husband and I have for each other. And it was a refresher course in what I want in life and whether I believe in myself enough to fight for that.
Searching for a job is such a challenging experience. You have to overlook your faults and find a “bragging” comfort zone; accept your imperfections while at the same time figure out a way to gloss over them in a ninety-second “elevator” speech; face the truth about what you’ve accomplished as you put together a resume; honor yourself at a time when you are dealing with depression, anxiety, fear; practice patience; allow yourself to hope and dream; remember that you are not the only one on this earth, and your spouse needs affirmation of your love.
At times I felt the process was similar to being placed naked in front of a full-length mirror under spotlights. Other times I felt I was buried to my waist in quicksand and my life depended on my ability to get out. Some days, I never recognized that the sun rose. I had to assume it was there even though I was so mired in depression that I couldn’t see it.
Faith. Hope. Love. They sustained me. And once again I feel I’m a survivor.
For the record, I got the job that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. First I wrote about preparing for a phone interview and then about how I had completely blown the editing test that was part of my in-person interview. It turns out, I did blow the test. Technically. But I passed it in how I responded when I learned I had blown it. Tricks of the trade, I’m told. Brutal, but effective.
When I told my current manager I was leaving, he was shocked. I don’t know why he didn’t see it coming. Then he proceeded to tell me this was an inconvenient time for him because he’ll be traveling most of the rest of the month. He asked if I thought his secretary could fill in for me for a few weeks until he can get someone in the job. And then for the third time in less than a year, he asked me what it is exactly that I do. I have to admit, I fought the urge to ask him, “Why do you care?”
It didn’t take long for the news to spread. Soon I was getting calls and emails from managers in all of the divisions that I interact with. “What are we going to do? How are we going to replace you?” It was wonderful to know there were indeed people who comprehend my value. And it was fascinating to sit back and watch the flood of email conversations coming through, co-workers holding my manager accountable and making demands that this time he takes action quickly because without someone in my role things will unravel faster than anyone can imagine.
Several mantras started repeating in my head. Be humble. Be grateful. Be professional. Be respectful. Honor this gift and give thanks.
I still have the image in my mind of the day I sat in my car, hyperventilating, waiting for my cell phone to ring so I could have a phone interview with my soon-to-be manager, when a lone cardinal appeared. It was a powerful spiritual moment for me. And now that I know the outcome, that moment has taken on even greater importance in this whole journey. Without faith, I am nothing. With it, I have everything I need to survive.