Making it This Far

I am sad today.

Since I’ve moved to Tallahassee three months ago, I have made it to the “final round” of interviews for three mid-level Communication Specialist, Communication Coordinator, and Marketing Coordinator jobs. Each time, I have been called in for a second (or third) interview with the President/CEO. Each time, it has come down to 2-3 people, and they have told me at that final interview,

“First of all, Congratulations for making it this far” (…before going on about the number of qualified applicants and how much it means to be called in for another interview.)

Each time, I have come home feeling confident and excited, and each time I have received a follow-up phone call telling me that, unfortunately,

“We’ve decided to offer the job to another candidate.”

 …It has been an emotional and humbling experience.

People have told me that the job market is tough here, and it is. Bret keeps reminding me that it’s a good sign that I’m getting interviews, and that I’m getting called in for second interviews, and third interviews, and that’s true, too. But it is so hard not to take it personally. The “Congratulations for making it this far” thing stings with deception.

This last job hurts the most because I was going to have:

  • a good salary
  • a 5 minute commute,
  • my own huge office,
  • a work from home option on Fridays, AND my would-be supervisor was an awesome inspiring female CEO i.e. my newest mentor.

I was SO excited. I wanted it. I tried so badly not to get my hopes up, but I did. I loved the job description and potential for growth and now I’m just crushed. When the CEO called, she told me that it was a really, really difficult decision, but they’d chosen the other person. I felt like crying. I didn’t. Instead, I just drove around Tallahassee aimlessly for an hour which was weird, but I guess an alternative to going for a run when it’s August in Tallahassee. Now, I’m trying really hard to be positive and move forward.

When I moved here, I (jokingly) told Bret that if I didn’t have a job within three months, I was moving back to D.C. Here’s the worst part… I got a job offer within two weeks, but it really wasn’t a good fit and they couldn’t match my salary expectations and I had more interviews on the horizon so I TURNED IT DOWN which, in hindsight, is probably the reason karma is after me now.

While I couldn’t sleep last night, I thought about how entitled I sounded when I quit my job and moved here a few months ago. I started thinking about the kind of person I want to be (kind, optimistic, humble) and what kind of career I want (service-oriented, non-profit), and maybe all of this is happening for a reason. I miss my D.C. job. I miss those pay checks. And I’m worried about fiances and getting time off for the holidays and our wedding in 6 months… but there are so many things that are positive in my life right now. There is so much to be grateful for. And there are so many avenues that people usually go through on the way to their dream job. I can still be in a management position in 5 years; I can still be a President/CEO of an organization I really believe in in 20 years. This is an experience, not a set back.

This “time off” has not been awful. I’ve worked on my portfolio and fiction writing, decorated our apartment, started some wedding planning, and enjoyed this Florida summer. I’m still waiting to hear back from a lot of other great jobs, but in the meantime, I got some practical advice from my sister. I’m going to connect with a temp agency and see if there is something I can start doing next week. I have a lot of friends who have used temp agencies to connect with fantastic organizations that have led to excellent full-time positions so I’m hopeful.

Here’s to making it this far…

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