I asked for snow and the weather obliged: the East Coast got a blizzard last night that put Massachusetts in a state of emergency, shut down businesses (my new office included) and made travel tricky. I should be on my way to my first day of work right now, but instead I’ll make the trek tomorrow. It doesn’t bother me so much. I don’t mind having an extra day to play in the snow with Derek. And a three day work-week is not a bad way to ease into full-time work. Plus, after an emotional mid-week and a busy weekend, a day of quiet and relaxation sounds great.
So yeah, last week was intense (but in a good-for-me kind of way). I was all over the place emotionally, thinking about the potential job opportunity. None of the other interviews I’ve had on the East resulted in a second interview so I felt like I was thisclose to getting a job. I had my first interview with the company on Thursday, December 16th. I thought it went well, but I didn’t try to read too much into it because I thought some of my other interviews went well and I never heard from them again. So when they contacted me on the following Monday (a week ago from today), I was really excited but also nervous and kind of terrified. The President of the company asked me to bring in my ideas (as many and as far reaching as possible- his words exactly) on how the company could secure more accounts.Umm… okay… so do you want 5 ideas or 5 pages of ideas? His prompt was a little vague and a little open-ended. And I had no idea how many other candidates were also invited back for a second interview, so I didn’t know what my competition looked like. I just knew I had to be the best.
I spent most of the day Tuesday and all of the day Wednesday reading about the industry, researching marketing opportunities, willing myself to be creative and oscillating between “I’m definitely going to get this job” and “I don’t have any good ideas, why would they hire me?”. To be honest, I was mostly negative. I thought for sure that anything I brought to the table would be shot down or scrutinized in a way that I wouldn’t be able to defend it. Wednesday night Derek and I practiced how I would start my presentation. For over an hour we tried to prioritize my ideas and nail down the phrasing I would use. And then I hit a wall. I didn’t want to think about it anymore, I didn’t want to talk about it anymore. I just wanted to watch a movie and go to bed. I figured I’d done the most research I could and came up with as many ideas as I could. If they weren’t happy or I wasn’t the best, then the job wasn’t for me. Going over how I want to talk about Facebook participation wasn’t going to change anything.
Thursday morning came and I was still really emotional. Derek came with because he wanted to do some shopping at a nearby mall after my interview and I almost cried when he wanted to change my pre-interview ritual. I usually arrive at my interviews early (like 30 minutes to an hour early) and after I find the office, I sit in my car trying to relax. Sometimes I read a book, sometimes I talk on the phone, but I stay in my car in the nearest parking lot for fear that if I ventured off into the city something would happen and I’d be late for my interview. When Derek suggested we sit at a Starbucks about 4 blocks away for most of the 30 extra minutes, I about had a meltdown. My anxiety level was through the roof and, thankfully, he accommodated me even if he thought I was nutso.
I walked into the office a few minutes before I was scheduled to interview. The receptionist had me wait for the interviewers in the conference room. First I shared my suggestions on how they could improve their advertisements (they gave me about 6 previous ads to look through). Then the President came in and I started my presentation of ideas. He interrupted occasionally with questions and such, but I had intelligent responses. As the interview came to close, I realized that I had been talking with them for an hour and a half. Apparently the next candidate had been waiting for 30 minutes. But as we finished up the President asked me “When can you start?” and “If I called you this afternoon and offered you the position, would you say ‘yes’?” and “Would you get off the phone with me and get really excited?” I took these all to be really good signs. He ended with “I think you’re terrific. But you’ve got to scram- we have another candidate waiting to speak with us and we’ve gone into her interview time. But going over is a good thing because if I didn’t like you I wouldn’t have spent an hour and half discussing your ideas.”
I was elated when I met Derek at the car. I was 85% sure that job was mine. The other girl had only 30 minutes to impress them more than I just did. We went to the mall (not a place I usually want to be two days before Christmas, but excitement put me in a daze) and I was confident and happy with myself. I was going to wait until I heard from the President later in the day before I called to tell my Aunt what happened, but she was texting Derek with anticipation so I called and told her I thought I did great and that I should hear back sometime that afternoon.
We shopped quickly and got back on the road toward home. As the hours went on, my confidence faded and I was starting to wonder if the other candidate had done really well. Maybe I didn’t get the job. And then, when we were about 15 minutes from my Aunt’s house my phone rang. And it was the company President. I tried not to sound nervous when I answered, but I probably did. But without too much delay, he said it was a unanimous decision- they would love to have me join the iPROMOTEu team. And of course I said YES! He went over the salary and benefits and said he thought it would be best if I started right away (so that I could get the new-hire stuff over with and be ready to really get to work after the New Year). I said YES! When I got off the phone, I bear hugged Derek with a squeal. And by that point we were just minutes away from home so didn’t call my Aunt. Or anyone else. I just kept distracting Derek with bursts of excitement while he drove.
My Aunt was waiting by the door when we pulled up. We bought a bottle of champagne several weeks ago with the plan that we would open it when I got a job. She had put it in the fridge when I talked to her after the interview, so when I broke the news, she popped the cork and we toasted.
My Grandpa called a little later to see how I did and I although I had planned to wait until the next day when the whole family would be together for Christmas Eve, I ended up telling him right then. Then I called Rebecca and my mom and told them about the good news. My Aunt and Uncle took us out for Mexican food to celebrate and afterward, Derek and I did a little power-shopping so I could find a first day of work outfit.
When we finally got home and crawled into bed, I fell right to sleep. I hadn’t sleep well the two nights before because I was so nervous but now I HAD A JOB so I could sleep soundly.
And that’s how it happened. I’m eager to start work tomorrow (or whenever the weather permits) and get to know my new coworkers and settle into my first career job. I’ll post the highlights later this week.
Thank you all for being supportive. Your encouraging words helped immensely on the bad days and I’m so happy to be share this great news with everyone. I hope Santa brought you all the happiness you deserve.