The Job Search

It’s no secret that searching for work is a job in itself; however, how do you keep yourself from wallowing in a puddle of self-pity and despair after six months? Read on my friend, read on.

Tuesday, I had a final interview with the decision makers and individuals I will be working with at a small firm. I wasn’t nervous. I was not sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing. However, thought I should request some help from my prayer warriors just in case, so, I sent out a prayer request. For those of you that might not know what “prayer warriors” are, they are members of our village we ask for vigil. We ask them to hold us in prayer when we are in dire need of it. Whether it’s a test, a loan approval, traffic court, or as in my case an interview.

La bendición

As I walked out of my house my family sent me with the bendición; standard prayer when a loved one goes to work, school, store, pretty much whenever you leave the house. Some even add a sign of the cross. We are not sure if it works, but we never really want to test that theory, so we always accept it and in those rare cases when the abuela’s or mamá’s forget, we remind them “oiga y me bendición?”

My warriors all answered positively, giving me that extra rush of confidence I needed.

I wonder if it’s a good or bad sign that my kiddo had to poop before I left. I had to wipe toddler booty in my interview clothes. Again, good or bad sign? Or just a toddler handling business? #mamihood

Later that evening, everyone was texting or calling, asking and wanting to know the same thing, “how did it go?” I provided with a vague “okay,” which was not okay for many of them. They wanted more, so I heard the standard follow up questions: “well how did you feel?” with the “what did they say?” I responded the best I could to all of these questions, I know the lack of enthusiasm in my voice was killing them.

But I know what really pushed them over the edge was when they asked “Well, what do you think?” My response was a calm “I don’t know.”

I know my responses, made them feel uncomfortable, or concerned for my sake. But I had to quickly explain to them that I just didn’t know what to say anymore. I didn’t want to read into things.

It should be mentioned that I did like the organization and the folks that I interviewed with. I like the work they are doing, and I do believe I can be an asset to the organization. In short, I could really see myself working there and I am hoping that all those prayers worked.

However, I am trying to stay cool, calm, and collected.
Why?
Because I’ve had too many false-starts. I’ve had two incidents in which I came out of the interview, knowing for sure the position was mine. In one they called my references, they seemed positive and very promising. I received an email Thanksgiving week, claiming that they will keep me updated as their process takes long. I never heard back, even after reaching out to them mid-December.
The other organization, that broke my heart. Got me by surprise. I walked out of my final interview with the CEO telling me they were going to get together with their team to “put an offer together.” That to me is very clear, right? I mean, I don’t think there’s any room for confusion in that statement. The following week, I received an email letting me know “they had gone with another candidate.”

So, I’ve learned not to get excited about anything. Not to read into anything. It is, what it is.

I walk into every interview with the same mindset, “God if this is for me, then it shall be so. If it isn’t then let me be okay with that.” When I’m done, “God, it’s in your hands. You know what’s best for me.” The same goes with every phone interview I’ve had. This doesn’t mean, I don’t try, because I do.

I try my hardest. I research the organization as I do the individuals I will be meeting with or speaking with. I do my due diligence. Some have given me writing assignments, others have asked for a social media campaign on a certain topic assigned to me prior to the interview. Others have asked for writing samples.

I’ve done it all.
I have no regrets.

But by now you hopefully understand my “I don’t know” response.
It’s hard.
It’s frustrating.
It’s heartbreaking.
It’s humbling.

I’ve sent out my resume to 61 organizations. I’ve had 11 interviews, via phone, skype/Facetime, and face to face. Two job offers, one was turned down because it offered much less than what I was making before. The other because it was offered, a week before my move. I’ve had some bad experiences as well, we will talk more about that later, though.

How many would dare write something like this?
But we both know mi bella gente, that our relationship is based on REALness. Thus, this is REAL vulnerability right here.

Do I wonder if things would be different if I hadn’t moved?
I did.

Do I think I would have already been working if I hadn’t moved?
Yes.

Do I regret my decision?
Not one single bit. It was time to come back home and make an impact in my hometown. It was time to bring my skills, passion, and drive back to the people that motivated me acquire an education and be of service to my community.

When you have a family, it is no longer about you. It is about the greater good, it is about your family. My mother and my kiddo are thriving here, both are extremely happy. It might have taken me a little longer to realize, but so am I. I really am. I’m surrounded by family and I get to spend time with my friends. We all have a social life: Abuela has her people, I get to do things on my own, and my kid has play dates.

Do I wonder, “what the hell? “
Constantly.
Is it my resume? Am I not doing a good job at selling myself? Am I saying too much? Not enough? I have no idea. I’ve always believed in being ME. In being honest and truthfully Me. It helped me get my last job and that job turned out to be a gift. I’m not saying it was all unicorns and rainbows (then why am I unemployed, right?), but it taught me a lot. A lot about working with the community, philanthropy, and myself. What I like, what my values are, and what I strive to become professionally.

Oh, I should mention that I later realized that my resume would get distorted by one of the online job boards when I submitted through their site. I had already submitted many this way. Ouch!

It’s hard.
How do you sell yourself without sounding conceited or fake? I wish I could say:

“Look I’m a Rockstar. I give myself completely to my job. I am committed and passionate about everything and anything I do. I will strive to make you and the organization look good. I know a lot, but what I don’t know I research. If that doesn’t work, I’m not afraid to ask for help. My work ethics are extreme, and I hold myself to a very high standard, which means I strive for perfection in everything I do. However, I’m also flexible and acknowledge that not everything comes out as planned. Trust me, my work quality is amazing.”

I wonder if it’s cultural, we were taught not to be conceited. Especially female Latinas, we are taught to be humble and to some degree timid.

I know I don’t come off as such. I’m not quiet about many things, but I have a hard time speaking highly of myself. You know why? It’s not because I don’t believe it, because I just wrote an entire paragraph that would make me want to hire myself if I could and I’m a hard sell. But because I always question it; as in, “do they think or feel the same?”

Here’s an example, employment reviews. In my previous company, for our reviews we would have to complete a review form. We would have to answer questions such as, how do you think you improved this year? What do you need to improve? What goals do you want to set for yourself and how can your supervisor help you reach those goals? What was your biggest highlight this year? Blah, blah, blah. You are scoring yourself as well.

It was hard. Because I always thought to myself, “What if I think I’m great but my boss thinks I’m crap?” To be honest, they didn’t think I was crap. Well, they never said anything to me or wrote anything in my review form that made me believe they did. To be honest, I always got great reviews, I was always told I scored myself too low, though.

Here’s the plot twist, after you complete the review form, you have to send it over to your immediate supervisor. They answer the same questions. They might add to what you wrote, contradict what you wrote, or write something completely different.

Hmmm, it’s almost like dating.
Wait, is that an entirely different can of worms?
Girl, we are not ready to talk about dating. Not today.
I’m drinking tea, dating requires wine. A bottle, at least.

For now, I have to believe that the Universe has me holding out for the right job. Not just any job, buy my dream job. I have to believe that, right? I honestly do believe that the Universe is aligning things up for me and when It believes the time is right; I have a feeling deep within my soul that, I will be benefiting from more good than I ever thought imaginable.

In some way, I already am.

I have an amazing family and group of friends that have been supportive since day one.

I’ve spent so much time with my son. Seriously, A LOT of time. However, one friend made me realize how much of a blessing this was, “You are making up for the time that you spent away from your son because of school and work, and I bet it would still not be enough.” She’s right, it is not enough. However, I still believe I can never be a stay at home mom.

I was able to really enjoy the holidays, not be stressed or rushed. Really enjoy it. You all know how much I love this time of year, so it was extra special.

This week, I’ve been hanging out with my sister who is visiting from the East Coast. I haven’t seen her for almost three years. I get to spend time with her and visit with family. I don’t have to worry about asking for time off. That’s a blessing.

By no means am I getting use to the unemployed life. I love having benefits and getting a paycheck, I miss being useful and I miss being part of a team.

But like I said, I know the right job is coming my way.
This could mean that it is my dream job or it’s the job that introduces me to the people that will help me get to wherever I need to go.

All that I know is that I am open and receptive.
The Universe knows what it’s doing.

PS: I did write a post on how I got here, on how and why I started this new adventure. I’m sitting on it for a bit. I will post it. Just not sure when.

2 thoughts on “The Job Search

  1. Kit Pappenheimer

    Great post! SO vulnerable and gutsy. I’d hire you!! Lt me know when you get it please.

    So I realize I haven’t responded to your request. Can we have a phone chat instead?

    Kit

    Like

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