I figured since I’ve mentioned in every other post how much I currently adore my job, coupled with the fact that I am fresh out of college, there should probably be a post on how I wound up in my dream job.
I applied to 100 jobs from February 1 to August 1st.
And it all came down to Friday, August 3rd.
So here’s the sitch down to every last juicy detail: Company A and I had been talking since June 4th. Every week the recruiter promised to call. Never did. So I’d call her. Lather, rinse, repeat every week until finally at the end of July I drove the 3 hours to do an interview. Everyone was so very friendly, and I knew I aced the interview. Company A was so alluring with its salary and stability. The very next day, I had an interview with Company B in a different city. Company B and I found each other when someone from Company B saw an interview I did with C-SPAN (holla!) and recruited me to apply for a position. Within a week, I was interviewing. Company B had an outstanding reputation, but the position was a full-time, unpaid internship and it was the only way that they hired at the entry level.
Cue to Monday, July 30th, a week after my interviews. Company B calls to offer me the position. I defer deciding until Company B’s final deadline, Friday, August 3rd. I immediately call Company A who demurred that “Well we don’t make any offers without a second interview” so I pushed (politely) for an interview the next day. I drove up, interviewed for 45 minutes, felt I aced that interview as well, but was disheartened when they said I still had to talk to two more people. At this point I’m (again, politely) pushing them, reminding them about my Company B deadline looming in two days.
They arranged for a phone interview with one of the “need to talk to” people the next day (Thursday). She was extremely nice, but as she described the position in a different outlook than the others had, I began to doubt if this was the job for me. It didn’t sound like what I thought it was.
By Thursday afternoon, Company A told me they wanted to make me an offer, but wouldn’t know salary or benefits until next week. So we’d do a verbal commitment. Then they dropped the bombshell that I wouldn’t see the offer sheet until I drove up there to sign it. I had to sign it that day after the CEO presented it to me. I couldn’t take it home, study it some more and sleep on it. At this point, a knot started gnawing in my stomach. I began thinking “This does not feel right, this does not feel right.” I’m driving 3 hours to sign something I’ve never seen before?! I was not okay with that. This was not how it happened with all my friends, who were e-mailed or Fed-Ex’ed their offer sheets and given a week to think it over, ask questions and mail it back.
(Seriously, comment if this is normal procedure?)
There I am, Thursday night, combing through all the information about both positions. Company B wanted an answer by the next day (Friday). The breakdown was that Company A offered a nice salary (or so I was assuming at this point), stability, and a job I wasn’t sure I’d like. Company B offered a job I was pretty sure I’d love, with zero income to live off and no stability. Both in completely different towns.
I made a long pros and cons list that offered no help. I felt as if I was in the age old “Do What You Love vs. Pick the Money Stupid, Do You Know What The Economy Is Like?” conundrum.
My dad wandered in to the living room where I was camped out, staring holes into my pros and con list, and asked me if I’d made a choice. In response, I burst into tears, which is the most uncharacteristic response for me as I have been dubbed the “cold fish” by most family members for my lack of emotion.
I felt so stuck.
My parents helped me talk out the pros and cons, played devil’s advocate, offered insight, but refused to give me their opinion as they knew this was a decision I had to make on my own.
Now you have to know these two things about me. I am not a decision maker. When it comes to making group decisions, I pretend to be doing something, like mindlessly opening apps or typing jibberish on my I-phone, so other people will just make the decision. At most, I’ll offer a listless response of “I don’t care, whatever, you guys decide.” I break out into a sweat at the thought of picking from menus, and so I always pick the same food item. Which leads to my next trait….
I am also not a risk taker. I have my nice little comfort zone and to ask me to step out of it is daunting and might involve me vomiting or breaking out into hives. Company B was a huge risk. I also knew the economy was a huge risk (especially in an election year), and Company A offered stability, which I loved.
What the heck was I going to do?! I had maybe 12 hours left to decide, would spend all day Friday in the car on the way to New Hampshire and every time I made a decision, I started talking myself out of it.