Playing the Long Game   Leave a comment

With a couple job interviews under my belt, I …. am as confused as ever about this whole process.  I know that the very act of making it onto the short list of interviewees is an achievement.  Walking out of the interviews, I felt good about the process.  Was it perfect?  No.  Were there some questions that I’d like a second go at?  Yes.  But I felt that I had presented myself well and given them a good sense of who I was and what I could bring to a team.  And yet …

And yet, they did not result in employment.  And this is hard for me.  I know that I don’t get the job with the first interview.  Just like I don’t get the interview with every application.  But with each interview, I walked out really wanting that job.  Really hoping that I had done well and succeeded.  But the sad reality is that I had not.  They may not have been terrible interviews, but they were not good enough to set me apart from the rest of the pack.  At least not in a good way.   And that’s going to take a little getting used to.

School had been labor intensive.  I worked harder than I had in years, but the payoff for that labor was relatively immediate.  These uncharted waters of cover letters and interviews are terrifyingly foreign to me.  Results seem to take forever – doubly frustrating in the land of immediate gratification that is 21st century America.  And I’m faced with a quandary.  All around me people preach patience and confidence:

– The right job is out there.

– Any library would be lucky to have me on their team.

But those words of comfort can be mortally wounded pretty quickly by rejection.  I start to question everything.  Am I going about this all wrong?  Have I made a horrible mistake?  What was I thinking?  I don’t want to be patient.  I don’t want to wait for the right job.

There’s nothing quite so poisonous as the loss of self-confidence and its accompanying panic.  Now, make no mistake, these are very kind and gentle rejections.  We are talking about librarians here.  But still, they awaken a shrill and panicked voice that is terrified of patience and just wants to do something.  Anything.

But when I embarked on this journey, I made a promise to myself of patience.  At too many points in my life, I felt that I had taken the first opportunity, out of impatience and fear.  Crying over lost mythical opportunities is not productive and not something I tend to engage in, but I did feel that  I would benefit from being patient past my  comfort zone and not snatching at the first opportunity that presents itself without the promise of a reasonably good fit.  All of which sounds far more terrifying now, than it did when this day was two years away.

The real issue is that this is all far scarier than I had anticipated,  or even prepared myself for.  And every morning as I open my email, looking for responses to the numerous resumes and cover letters I’ve sent out, I have to remind myself to be calm.  That I am looking for a team, not an employer.  That I am looking for a community, not a paycheck.  That I am looking for the right job, not a job.

It’s all a bit Stuart Smalley.  But it’s also true.

Some days  the temptation to fling yourself at the moving merry-go-round is overwhelming, but I swear, this time I'm going to wait for it to stop and choose my steed with care.

Some days the temptation to fling yourself at the moving merry-go-round is overwhelming, but I swear, this time I’m going to wait for it to stop and choose my steed with care.

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Posted July 5, 2013 by batgirltrainee in Professional Pursuits

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