12 November 2013

Employment Process

As I said in my last post, I am still employed, thank goodness.  In the time that I learned about these lay-offs and now, I decided to put double sided tape on my resume and throw it in all directions, just to see if it sticks anywhere.
Short story is that it hasn't.  But I have only heard back officially from one place.  I applied to a job I was mostly qualified for for the local government of my town.  I guess they're in a rush because I was asked to interview within a week of applying.  I caught the closing date just in time, which was one of those silly things that made me think "It's meant to be!" despite that I don't believe in that.
But anyway.  I put on my absolute best and absolute only business-type outfit and drove the five minutes to the interview.  A job that's five minutes from my door again reiterated "It's meant to be!".  Silly me.

I was nervous.  Really nervous.  All of my previous job interviews were laughably easy and informal.
"Hi, I'm Ellie."
"Great to meet you.  We reviewed your resume and wondered when you could start."
"Tomorrow."
"See you then."
Or something like that.  To say that I am unprepared for a formal job interview would be a woeful understatement.  But, after research and cover letter writing and applying and learning the salary, I really wanted this job.  I felt prepared.  Well, until the HR lady came to collect me and told me I was about to sit for a panel interview.  My first.
I entered, infinitely grateful for flats and sat before six potential colleagues for an administrative position.  As I settled into the room and was introduced to everyone, I had about 30 seconds of sheer panic.  Relentless thoughts of "They will see right through me!"  But then my "fake it 'til you make it." philosophy kicked in and I was off.  Although, I didn't drink from the water they left from me for fear that my shaking hands would give me away.
Still worried about what to say about what my greatest weakness was, I was almost gleeful to see that the interview was comprised of only scenario based questions to talk my way through.  I emerged feeling fairly confident about the interview and even more confident that I could do the actual job.

The problem with these jobs that I am 'mostly qualifed' for is that they allow me to fantasize.  Even a little fantasy is dangerous.  Fantasy about the commute, the new clothes, how comfortable I would be with this new salary.  I convinced myself that I could do the job and give up my beloved current one.  All of the bad things about EMS began to shine brightly. How great it would be to never do a 3am emergency call, never drag a poo covered person out of their third floor apartment, never argue with a drunk person again?
It was shockingly easy to talk myself into the 9-5 gig.  All of the things I thought I'd hate about it seemed so acceptable.  Meetings, pant suits, getting a 'case of the mondays' all of which are completely foreign to me, but suddenly doable.

At the moment, it's a moot point.  I didn't get this job, but in a way even getting as far as I did changed the way I look at employment.  It certainly changed the way I look at what I could actually do, or would at least be willing to try. 

07 November 2013

Redundancy

It is a sobering thought when you realize that everything you have and maintain you have because of your job.  Sobering, scary, and very adult.
It is one thing to realize this when gamely and happily employed.  At that point, it's something to muse about and help to motivate you to do your best to maintain that job.  It is quite another thing to realize this at the same time your job is suddenly hanging in the balance.

Many people avoid making adulthood career changes.  It makes sense to stay:  retirement plans, steady incomes, climbing that ladder, but what if that ladder is taken away while you're nearing the top?

I've been thinking about this problem a lot recently, as it came to light that my part time and full time jobs would be downsizing at the end of the year. 

I want to make enough money and I want to be proud of the patch on my shoulder.  I started this post when all this silliness at work was happening.  For about a week I convinced myself that I would not survive the lay-offs we were going through.  I have never felt so anxious in my life and that's the truth.  In the end, I was not laid off and will continue to work where I work for as long as I can.  Change is hard at the best of times, but change that is forced upon you is the most difficult. 

That said, my ear is as close to the ground as it has ever been concerning jobs.  But that's a story for another post.