Monday, March 8, 2010


Somewhere amidst 1000 boxes, I am trying to hold together enough of an apartment to manage to look interview-ready in 30 minutes or less. It's a strange challenge, because packing makes you want to box up all but your grungiest denim, and somehow, I have to ensure I have rapid access to two colors of heels. And hair gel.

But, at least each task distracts from the other, meaning that I need not fret about finding a box big enough for the lamp because I have to fret about whether or not my interviews will go well. And vice versa. This morning, I woke up far too early to get all dolled up, and with my free time, am considering the process of finding a job.

One thing that's different this time is that I'm "out." Not gay, so much as openly interviewing. It's been a long time (since grad school) since I've been able to scream "I'm looking for a job!" from the rooftops. Usually it is a covert operation done through "doctors appointments" and "working from home" efforts, while trying to preserve the day job. To everyone, you have to say "I'm keeping this quiet" or "Please be discrete," lest your current boss find out. Once I inadvertently even interviewed with the best man of my current boss (at the time), and while the gig wasn't for me, I commend the hiring manager on his discretion. This time, there is no risk, and it significantly lowers stress levels.

The challenge this time is something of a volume problem. Not being ungrateful, there are just a fair few positions I'm looking at, and they are very different along many parameters. Some have a long commute. Others have travel. Some have more or less seniority. Some are for more or less stable companies. Some have organizational risk (potential wierdos), and others are well-vetted on those lines. Some might be popular answers while others are definitely the strange choice. 

As someone who likes to close things out, I find myself stack ranking on an ongoing basis, which fills my mind with unnecessary clutter. Externalities like timing and other candidates interfere with my certainty of getting an offer. New alternatives crop up to muddy the waters. The whole thing is far too scrambled to call a winner with any degree of surety, but then, I'm definitely not a fan of transitional periods. I like to call a winner. 

I'd like to think it will all work out. Or, in my mind, I will become the most prolific backyard farmer in history. Maybe that's my winner. Bring on the chickens!

1 comment:

Priya said...

There are a few rules when it comes to interviewing that have worked for me. I think they should suit your desire for closure very well:

1) Ignore the reaction of your current colleagues, boss, etc. Depending on their level of arrogance they are slightly jealous, slightly afraid of their soon to be workload, or outright pissed that you dared to quit. Whatever their reaction, the tendency is to turn to petty manipulation.

2) Do not make a decision before a decision is placed in front of you. You really don't know what a company is capable either positive or negative, until then. They may take 5 weeks to put an offer letter together, but that's cuz they love you and want a great offer letter. They may slap together an insulting offer, even if they said they loved you before.

3) Make the decision that is right for YOU. I know this sounds obvious, but too often we are tempted to go with what is considered correct in a misguided attempt to follow the social norms we've been handed.

4) Once you've made the decision, don't EVER LOOK BACK. Not ever.