At the beginning of the year, a link a blogger posted caught my eye and I clicked on it – like I usually do – out of curiosity. It was literally the day after I decided that this year I was going to live by the wisdom of J.K. Rowling and Donald Miller and quit not trying because of fear.
What I saw was the description of a dream job for me – doing what I love doing, in a sport that I love.
The only problem? My lack of experience in sport (my work background is customer service, community education and non-profit management). And the fact that the job was 300 miles away. Based in the countryside of Englandshire.
As I applied, I don’t know which prospect was more scary – being rejected or getting the job. I knew that if I got the job, there were going to be a number of issues. I’d have to leave our Senior Section without a Unit Leader (and we’re not on our feet yet – discovering all this stuff I should have been told before I started and realising that’s why it’s been such a struggle). The things I’m supposed to be in charge of this term at Guides. Leaving my current roles in the organisations I work for. Trying to find the money to buy a car. Trying to find a place to live in an area where I know nobody. Leaving my friends behind. How upset my mother was going to be. Trying to be a Landlord from even further away.
On the other hand, I was already dreaming of being able to live independently again on an actual living waged salary. That comes into my bank account every month! No more waiting for authorised signatories to be in the office to sign my cheque, and taking it into the bank and waiting for it to clear. Or being afraid of the cheque bouncing. I dreamt of the new challenges of making new friends and being in this amazing job. Getting to do what I love.
And so last Wednesday night I travelled down to England to stay with my friend. We stayed up chatting until 2.30 a.m. (oops). I got up 5 hours later, showered, ate breakfast, applied make up, put on my suit and drove to my interview 1.5 hour drive away from my friend’s house. Everyone I met there was so welcoming, so lovely. The interview process didn’t go the way I expected (I truly messed up on their in-tray exercise that was not what I had anticipated and after using a mac for 7+ years, I struggled to navigate a PC laptop at the same speed I usually work at, which did not help the situation). I drove home for 6 hours alone pretty exhausted as the weather got colder and I struggled to find ‘koala-friendly’ food in the service stations and was vaguely aware of the constant beeping of my phone alerting me to text messages being sent to me.
I didn’t get the job. It’s the first time ever I’ve made it to an interview stage and not been offered a job with the company afterward. The two times I’ve been unsuccessful at interview stage I’ve been told ‘sorry you didn’t get this job, but we really want to give you a different one, is that ok?‘. I was sitting on my friend’s sofa when I got the call. I knew because of the time the call was to say ‘Thank you, but no thank you’. They were super nice and said they’d like me to apply if I see opportunites in the future. And I might do because it seems like a good environment to work in from what I saw while I was there.
I thought I’d be upset, but actually I felt peace. Yes, I was sad that I didn’t get the dream job. But I was also happy not to have to be making this huge upheaval of my life so early in the year. I get to stay in the job I love doing. I get to stay working with Guides and Senior Section. And it means I don’t have to find money for flat repairs AND a car at the same time. Phew.
Annoyingly I’m now £90 out of pocket (thanks to my Mum’s petrol guzzling car and the most gross and expensive macaroni cheese in all the UK), but it was actually a great experience to just go for it. And somehow, despite rejection, I feel more confident to just go for what I want and ask for it. They said ‘no’ and I’m still here.