Day 46: Connecticut Interview Part II

Today I did a second Skype interview with the place in Connecticut.  It was shorter than the first, but I think it went well.  They are going to contact me sometime in the next week to either a) tell me I didn’t get the job, b) tell me I did get the job, or c) request an additional interview.  In the meantime, I get to patiently wait.

All of you who are job-searching know how fun it is to wait.  You get to silently imagine all the possible outcomes while still looking for other jobs.  You never know if they’ll get back to you right away or a week later or two weeks later.  It’s really special.

I shouldn’t complain, though, because the Connecticut job looks great, and if it did work out, I’d be pretty happy.  I’m ready to stop poring over job boards and start poring over apartment listings.  Apartment hunting won’t be easy, but it will be infinitely more fun than applying for jobs.  And it will feel like a forward step, concrete proof that things are moving in a new and positive direction.



Day 45: Finnish The Grant Application

No, that’s not a typo.  I didn’t mean “finish.”  I meant “Finnish.”  As in, coming from Finland.  Why?  Because today’s application was for a grant to do some creative work in Finland.

I know, I know…  A grant is not a job.  I’m obviously breaking my own rules a lot these days, but I am justifying it because a) today is a holiday and b) I couldn’t find a “real job” to apply for today.  So, I applied for the grant.

It isn’t a big or famous grant, and I’ve done things like this before, so it’s not a crazy idea.  Realistically, though, right now I need a salary with benefits more than I need money to go do something amazing, so receiving this would be bittersweet.  In fact, I’m not even sure I’d be able to accept it.

Tomorrow afternoon is the second interview with the place in Connecticut.  At this point, that opportunity looks like the best one.  Time to pray (for good luck) and power pose (for confidence).


Day 44: Shoot for the Stars

Today’s cliche title is meant ironically.  I’m feeling cynical and tired.  It’s not that any one thing has gone wrong; it’s just that some days it really sucks to be jobless.

Today’s title is also accurate in that I did apply for a job that feels like a real reach.  I don’t expect to hear back about this one, but, if I did, it would be amazing.

One of the challenges of looking for a job is deciding which things to shoot for.  I’ve realized that I could get a job teaching English abroad with a lot of different companies in a heartbeat, but I wouldn’t make much money.  I’d rather get a job here at home doing something else, but those jobs are a bit harder to come by.  So one of the tricky things is deciding whether to shoot for the stars and try to get those jobs that seem so unreachable or to just take something random that doesn’t pay well.

There is some middle ground.  Some jobs are difficult to get but not impossible.  I am working to identify those ones and make sure I do what I can to put together strong application materials for them.



Day 43: Competitive Salary

So last night I did the Skype interview to teach English in China.  The interview was fun, relaxed, informative – very positive experience.  Later on that same night they sent me a job offer with what they called a “competitive salary”.

It was slightly less than 24k.

I guess “competitive” is dependent on who your competitors are.  Maybe other companies are paying 20k.  Maybe some companies are paying even less than that.  But, from my perspective, less than 24k is not very impressive.

So, I don’t know, I guess I don’t consider that to be a real opportunity since relocating to the other side of the world just to make a fast food worker’s salary kind of seems like a joke.  It would be interesting, but would it be worth it?  My gut says no.

I applied for a job in Massachusetts today.


Day 42: Where are you?

I was supposed to have a Skype interview with an American company that hires people to teach English in Shanghai, like, right now.  Instead, I’m staring at an unresponsive Skype screen waiting for them to call.

This has actually happened to me once before, and I find it pretty unprofessional on the part of the company.  It’s OK to interview someone and then not hire them, but making them “show up” for a Skype interview and then not showing up yourself…  That is (or ought to be) embarrassing.

This was my only job search activity lined up for the day, so the day is starting to feel like a loss.  I have a feeling that not much will happen over the weekend, either, since it is Memorial Day weekend.  Fortunately, there are good things happening on other fronts, so I can feel good about that.

Oh, and we have an update.  The Skype interview will be in five minutes.  Time to stop blogging and get my game face on.





Day 41: Rhode Island Interview

This morning I had a phone interview with the place in Rhode Island.  It was short, but I felt it went well.

I thought the second interview with the place in Connecticut would be this Friday, but now we are doing it Tuesday of next week.  No problem.

I have an interview with a company that hires people to teach English in Shanghai tomorrow.

The good thing about doing so many interviews is that it cuts down on the degree to which I feel nervous about any one of them.  I am also getting a lot of practice interviewing, which is great.  In theory, I should be getting better at this game.

In some ways, it is discouraging, though, since I’ve almost lost count of the number of interviews I’ve done during this job search.  I had quite a number of them before I even started blogging, and now, of course, I’ve had even more.  I always get good feedback after interviews but never, at least not yet, a job.  At this point, I’m kind of tired of doing them.  And yet, with each new interview, there is the possibility that I will finally get hired.

In between interviews I am trying to use my time doing positive things.  Actually, I was inspired by Aimless Panther’s post about flourishing.  One of the good things about unemployment is that you have time to do things like exercise.  I’ve had some problems with my foot that make it difficult to run, but today I went to the pool and did some aqua jogging.  It was inelegant (because I’m not naturally athletic), but I did it, and I feel pleasantly exhausted now.



Day 40: UK Interview

Today’s interview was with a UK-based company that trains people to teach English as a second language.  If you complete one of their training programs, they guarantee you full-time employment in the country where you train.  I interviewed for their program in Prague, and at the end of the interview, they told me they were happy to offer me a spot in the program.

So it all sounds wonderful, but I have some concerns.  The biggest one is money, since you have to pay to participate in the training program.  The cost of the course is not exorbitant, but it is nothing to sneeze at, either.  So do I want this opportunity badly enough to pay for it up front and then hope I’m happy with it?  I don’t know.

One interesting thing about the Czech Republic is that it is supposed to be much easier to get papers to work legally there than it is in other European countries.  I am a rule-follower, so that appeals to me.

I have updates about other interviews as well.  The place in Connecticut has requested a second Skype interview this Friday, and the place in Rhode Island (which I applied for on DAY 31) has requested a phone interview for this Thursday.  I am getting a lot of practice interviewing!

On a somewhat different note, the New York Times has an interesting bit about Millennials today.  I count myself a member of this generation, so I’m always curious what people are saying about us now.  I like the fact that this article acknowledges the diversity within my generation and doesn’t make broad, negative generalizations about us.  I also really like this quote from the guy who runs human resources at Google:

“Every single human being wants the same thing in the workplace — we want to be treated with respect, we want to have a sense of meaning and agency and impact, and we want our boss to just leave us alone so we can get our work done.”



Day 39: Connecticut Interview

I felt like I connected well with my interviewers during today’s Skype interview.  It is difficult to do that, since talking via Skype is itself somewhat unnatural.  It’s hard not to be distracted by the little image of your own face in the corner of the screen.  I talk with my hands a lot, and whenever I see them flashing across the screen, I wonder if I’m coming across as too ecstatic.  I suppose there are worse ways to come across.

The problem with this job is that it would be part-time for the first year and then maybe become full-time.  Relocating for a part-time job sounds absurd, but, in this case, it might not be.  The job has the potential to be extremely rewarding, I think.  I suspect I would also learn a lot in a position like this one, so that is appealing as well.

I find interviews, even short Skype interviews, utterly exhausting.  I’m not usually the type of person who sleeps during the day, but interviews make me feel absolutely catatonic.  When I have to travel for an interview, I usually fall asleep on the plane ride home, if not in the airport.

On that note, I’m calling it a day.



Day 38: Bohemian Rhapsody

I already have a Skype interview scheduled this Wednesday for the job I applied for on DAY 36.  Today’s task was researching that opportunity.  I’m concerned that the job is more the kind of thing recent college graduates usually do.  It looks like an adventure, and I would certainly get my fill of castles and beer in Bohemia, but I might also feel like, “Why am I running around Europe without a long-term plan?”  The more I read about living in the Czech Republic, the more I feel like it is something I should do as a vacation, not as a job.

Tomorrow I have the long-awaited Skype interview with the people who contacted me on DAY 26.  At this point, that is the job that looks most appealing to me.  It is in Connecticut, which seems like a nice place to live, and I think I would enjoy the work.



Day 37: Good Thoughts

Today’s application is headed to Ohio.  It doesn’t look like a perfect job, but voting in a swing state would be a perk.  Gotta make a difference however you can!

I now have interviews scheduled for both Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.  Time to iron a shirt and find a well-lit corner to sit in, because I need to give the Skype performances of my life.

Speaking of which, here is a quote from the philosopher (okay, he’s just a children’s book author) Roald Dahl that I think applies to interviews:

“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

I don’t think it is necessary to look pretty for an interview, but I do think it is important to look lovely in the sense of having a kind face.  People want to work with a person who is full of graciousness and warmth, not someone who exudes negativity.