the Mammal Chronicles: Riding the Whirlwind

when it comes right down to it, ya lactate or ya don't.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Riding the Whirlwind

Here I am again, the day after a job interview, and I am drained. Job interviews are a drug, a performance high, maybe a runner's high (not that I've ever run, but I imagine it involves a similar pushing of your limits and releases the same sort of endorphins). I adore everything about the process: looking for the positions that don't know they are looking for me with my odd background, positions I have to narrate my way into in order to show them how perfect a fit I am for them even when they did not imagine me when they crafted the announcement. I love the rush I get when I'm notified that I made the cut. Phone interviews are more odd and awkward than anything -- a hurdle to jump. Once I've made it to the fly me out stage, that's where the real excitement begins. I love dressing for the interview (all thrift: suit $8, shirt $1.99, shoes $8, and three pairs of retail priced black tights to bear the cold of the East coast). I love the endless, whirlwind day without a break, sometimes preceded by the awkward, not yet an interview but really part of the interview dinner with the search committee the previous night. Time to be as much yourself as you can be, begin to let them see the real, quirky yet uber-qualified you. Then, the next day, interview after interview with individuals and whole conference rooms full of people who have a vested interest in bringing in a person they can work with. Worrying that the one guy on the search committee isn't too keen on your quirkiness, then having him ask you to repeat the story you thought he hated to another group. The open forums that often almost no one comes to, or the lunch with students where they have to drag in random folks wandering the halls who have no idea who you are or what your position is about. The woman who asks the hard questions, then tells you at the end of the day that she loved your spunk and how you gave it right back to her. Getting as happy inside as a toddler given a compliment when someone remarks on what a good question you asked, or when a previous answer you gave is quoted back to you as an answer. The woman who walks in late and jokingly asks what the question was because "that was such an interesting answer."

Still, despite the positive feedback, you never really know after it's all over if you will get the offer. Yet that doesn't really temper your enjoyment but for a moment when you are rejected. It is all practice for the next one, and when you do get an offer, you know who they want is really you -- you have flown your freak flag at full mast and shown them how you are unexpected but ideal.

I have two potential new jobs: the one I interviewed for yesterday in a small city on the East coast and another in a bigger city in the Rockies. Prior to going yesterday, I'd thought I'd like the job of this one better but the circumstances of the other more. After exploring the area and the position, I think I would indeed like the circumstances of the other more but the job about as much. And, if the one in the Rockies somehow falls through, I could be happy at the other. It's not a bad position to be in. Let's just hope that both don't fall through. If that happens, well... given the state of things personally and professionally, I don't know what will happen. I suppose though, it's on to the next challenge, freak flag flying high.

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OpenID dalbino83 said...

Email me - I want to know where on the east coast!

3:20 PM


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