As you may recall, back in February I wrote a blog post about wanting to find a job that I'm passionate about. "After spending a lot of years working just to get a paycheck, I think I owe it to myself to follow my heart now," I said. Little did I know just how hard following my heart would be.
But last month I interviewed for a job that would've totally fulfilled my passion requirements. It was a position with an organization that I'm truly passionate about and believe in 100 percent. They do amazing things for people. I was incredibly confident that I could land this job and thought I did great in the interview. When I left their offices that day I was pretty damn optimistic.
This feeling was kind of new to me, at least when it comes to employment opportunities. For a lot of years, I lacked confidence in myself when it came to work-related things. I tend to be a perfectionist--not as much now as I used to be--and I found it hard to believe that I had talent and skills people appreciated. I was, by far, my harshest critic.
So I was proud of myself and of how I felt after the interview. I interviewed with three different people simultaneously and spent more than two hours answering questions and talking about myself. Surprisingly, when it was over I didn't second guess a single thing I said. In my mind, I nailed it.
Yesterday I talked to the person doing the hiring. They hired someone else.
When I hung up the phone, I felt all kinds of emotions: disappointment, shock, inadequacy, etc. I wasn't bitter, though. I respect the organization's decision and hope the person they hired turns out to be exactly what they were looking for, because I want the organization to continue to succeed and move forward.
I think my youngest sister put it best when she replied to my email that told her I didn't get the job:
"I think I know how much you wanted it… Mentally, you seemed to be there already, so it’s almost like someone took it away from you."
Mentally, I was already there. In fact, I plead guilty to the charge of being a little over confident. But after so many years of not having a whole lot of confidence in myself, feeling good about myself was a pleasant change of pace. And I think now that I'd rather have a little too much confidence than not enough (or none at all).
So, yeah, yesterday was tough. So was last night. My wife took my younger son and a friend to the mall last night and I was home alone feeling pretty low. I called my wife and asked her if she could stop at the grocery store on the way home. "What do you want?" she asked. "Don't judge me," I told her. Then I asked her to pick me up a jar of Nutella and some Nilla Wafers. Yes, this is what I "drowned my sorrows" in last night (while lying in bed, no less):
Today is a new day and when I woke up I still felt some disappointment. But several things are helping me work through that disappointment and move on.
First of all, I know deep down in my heart that I did the absolute best I could've done in that job interview. I did nail it. I just happened to run up against a candidate with more experience in some very specific areas. While that sucks for me, I totally "get" it and wish nothing but the best for the person who beat me out. And for the organization. They made the decision that they felt was best for them and I respect that.
But above everything else, a little bit of reflection on my life is helping me ease through the sadness.
I didn't get a job I really wanted, but:
*My older son is more than two years clean and sober, working full-time, and is a tremendous young man.
*My younger son leaves for college in less than two weeks, is maturing more every day, and is a tremendous young man.
*My amazing wife continues to be more supportive than I could've ever imagined and still puts up with me after more than 26 years.
When I look at those three things above, I come to this conclusion: Yes, I am unemployed. But, damn...I am incredibly blessed.
I will continue to keep my faith and hope alive, and maybe my higher power (are you listening Anne Lamott????) will send that perfect job my way. Or maybe she won't, and I'll have to suck it up and go back to working just for a paycheck. In any case, I will continue to be grateful for the blessings that have been bestowed on me.
"I don't know what obstacles you are facing in your life right now. But whatever they are doesn't matter. What does matter is that your life can change if you're willing to look at failure differently. You have the potential to overcome any problems, mistakes, or misfortunes. All you have to do is learn to fail forward." --John C. Maxwell (from his book Failing Forward: How to Make the Most of Your Mistakes)
P.S. When I woke up this morning and scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed, I came across this image that someone had posted. I found it rather appropriate after the events of yesterday. And it made me chuckle. Maybe some of you can relate to it, too. :)
P.P.S. If anyone out there thinks they might want to hire me, feel free to check out my LinkedIn profile. (#ShamlessPlug)