Remember the reader back in August who was mortified and felt he needed to apologize to an interviewer who called him — unscheduled — at a bad time? He was at the store when he got the call and had just found out he needed to take his brother to the ER, so he obviously couldn’t talk … but he worried he’d blown the job by saying so. I told him that you never need to feel mortified over not being able to take an unscheduled phone call.
Here’s his update on what’s happened since then:
I wanted to write and update you on my current situation. As I stated in the comments of that post, I was offered and accepted the job, but, unfortunately, the story does not have a happy ending. I had been warned by a member of my network (a former medical director of the agency) that there was a lot of upheaval at the agency, and I heard nothing but grumbling and comments about how the agency that I was at was “not a good place to work at right now” (this was from a man who has been at that agency since 1980).
So I started with a sort of heightened sense of job insecurity, which probably affected how I conducted myself. I worked at this agency for around two months, and, due to budgetary issues, the position was eliminated, and I lost the job. I wish I could say why, other than that I was the newest hire, and the upheaval led to a great many moving parts. I asked my manager if the decision was performance-related, and she said that she had had no worries about my performance, it was just an unfortunate situation that could not be prevented.
So, I am back to square one with the job hunt, but I am in a new city with some experience to show for it, along with now being licensed as a social worker and having a good network. Using the skills I have learned from AAM and my knowledge that I can be an effective social worker, I have already had two interviews, with the first leading to a rejection, but also great feedback and being added to this gentleman’s network (he is an executive director at a nonprofit). The second has led to a second interview next week, and I am still applying to other jobs and doing my due diligence.
What led me to finally write in and update is the recent discussion on how upbringing can lead to how we perform in the workplace. I assumed my “kowtowing” was due to my own anxiety issues, but I also wonder if my upbringing did not play a role. I had a very difficult time growing up, with blue collar parents who struggle financially to this day, and I am the first in my family to have any sort of college education. I was always encouraged in my studies, and had good role models, but I tend to operate with a blue collar mindset.
Thus, I viewed the hiring manager as holding all the cards, and it’s only now that I know to view interviews and the job search as a search for a mutually beneficial business arrangement. I’ve been taught only to survive, by any means possible, for so long, that it’s only now, having found this website, that I am able to better view the white collar world. Even in grad school, I felt out of place, and I thought that everyone would see me as that country bumpkin who went to the junior college and the state directional school, and was helping to support a family back home (as they were having to file bankruptcy and losing their home to foreclosure).
In sum, I’m incredibly lucky and blessed, and I am struck with what the last hiring manager said when he rejected me and gave feedback. He said that it’s not a matter of whether I will get a job, but a matter of when. I have lived with uncertainty and instability for so long that that type of encouragement affects me a great deal. So Alison and those who comment, thanks for all your help, and I can’t begin to say how much of a help you have all been.
That is great to hear. And I think you’re on the right track with starting to see interviews as a two-way street. It can really make a huge difference in how you approach your job search and how you come across to employers — as well as whether you end up in a job you’re happy in.
Please keep us posted!