I Have A New Job

I have good news!

If you’re my mom, your thoughts immediately jump to “ooh has a boy decided to date you?” No. Don’t get your hopes up.

It’s official: I have a new job!

I’ve been looking for months and it has been a looong process. I hate the whole song and dance of job interviewing so much.
The finish line to this accepted job offer was mercifully short but in typical Caitlyn fashion, filled with silly. At one point my dad sighed, “I just can’t believe the life you lead. Why does this happen to you?”

I applied on a Saturday afternoon. I received an e-mail Monday afternoon asking me to complete a digital interview. Have you heard of those? It’s the way of the future, I expect. You log onto a website and film your answers to a few interview questions. You have 30 seconds to prepare and 3 minutes to answer. I sat down to film downstairs with my top half in a suit and my bottom half in sweatpants. The first question: “Why is your experience a good fit for the job?” I began to answer “My experience is a good fit for this job because….” Then nothing. A pop-up on the screen announces the connection has been lost.

The digital interview site reconnects me within minutes, and I am aghast to learn I can’t redo answers. Fine. Answer #1 submitted.  Question #2 was about how I deal with change in a professional setting. This time I said maybe four words before…same thing happens. Internet goes out. At this point I yell “WHAT THE F? OH MY GOD. F!” Then realize that my little expletive-filled tantrum was probably recorded, knowing my luck.

I stomp upstairs, still cursing, to my messy bedroom to see if internet is better up there. The last three questions are like “when can you start”, “what is salary requirement?” and naturally, my Internet works perfectly. I try to imagine the WTF expressions on the hiring team members faces as they watch my 10 second answers to the important questions. I submitted it, humbled and angered, convinced I’d never hear from them again. Off I went to the bar and regaled the bartenders with my tale of Internet connection woe. They found it hilarious, bought me too many shots, and I called sick out of work the next day. Class act.

While I was sleeping off my horrid hangover and nausea, I received a voicemail from the hiring team. They wanted me to call and schedule an interview! I was stunned. 45 minutes later, I had an e-mail sitting in my inbox because they wanted me to come in the next day! Holy hell.

I called out of work again the next day, feigning sickness again. My interview was at 11 am, the office building was 20-25 minutes away, and I left at 10 am just to be safe. If you ever invite me somewhere (please do) I will always be early. Know that. Anyhoo, I arrived at the office building at 11:45. Yeah you read that correctly. 11:45. 45 minutes after my interview was supposed to start.

Something serious (still dunno what) happened on the street where the interview was supposed to take place. There were state troopers, firetrucks, ambulances, sheriffs, police, all flying down the road. They blocked the street off, forbidding everyone to enter. I re-routed my GPS 900 times, trying different routes all with the same result. No dice. I called my interviewer at 10:40. She called me back 10 minutes later saying they had been evacuated but were now back in the building. She told me to keep trying because she thought it was safe now, not to worry, and she’ll see me when I get there.

I drove around some more. At one point I talked to a cop and said “I swear, my interview is on THIS STREET. THIS VERY STREET. I’ll show you my e-mail! Please!” no avail. Not that I thought it would work but I was desperate.

I really didn’t know what to do. They called back once more asking for an update, I kept apologizing, they kept refuting my apology, I kept driving around. I debated asking them if we could just meet at Starbucks or a Jiffy Lube because I was not going to use a personal day in vain. They eventually started letting people down the street and then my GPS got extremely confused about all the developments with office buildings and I, of course, drove around the wrong developments for about 15 minutes. I eventually made it there, practically ran into the building (in hindsight, the running was a tad dramatic). We all had a few breezy laughs about the incident. “It’s normally so boring and so quiet here,” they told me. Of course it is. Until HurriCaitlyn rolls into town.
The interview went fine. A few days later, they asked me to complete a project (they warned me about this possibility in interview) to “make sure I could do what I actually said I could do.” I spent a whole weekend working on it, reliving college where I drank copious amounts of diet pepsi wild cherry, and paced while trying to come up with ideas, convinced there was no way I could ever put anything together. “Why did I even apply? I most definitely cannot do what I said I can do. I’m a joke!” I thought. I was panicked. Welcome to Delusionville, population: Caitlyn.

Nonetheless, I soldiered on, propped up by desperation to get out of my current job and my own pride. I sent off my project, convinced it was the WORST EVER. They called three days later and offered me the job. I took the call in my office building basement. I accepted the next day, and made a palsy negotiation attempt. One of our editors walked by in the basement and I, like the ninja that I am, whipped my sunglasses out of my purse so she wouldn’t see it was me. Clark Kent. Makes total sense.

Speaking of negotiations, I read an article from an HR exec about how men always negotiate, and women rarely negotiate. I nearly had a cow about the thought of negotiating. I kept saying “I feel bad! I don’t want to look greedy! I don’t want to! I’m a happy-go-lucky kind of gal, I’ll take whatever! Team player 4ever.”  I tried it anyway. I was all proud, even though it wasn’t much. Then I heard about my brother, straight out of college with no relevant experience for his new job, negotiated with his company and he got a crazy amount out of them. I still think it’s a little crazy they gave a new college grad so much, but geos to show it’s worth a try. Stereotypes. Played right into it. So, go for it, ladies.

I start on Monday. I’m thrilled and excited, yet terrified. My earliest posts on this ol’ blog were me fretting about how I didn’t know how to fit in at my job. Now I get to redo that again. Yay. The new gig is also in a new town. So I lose my Trader Joes walks, my early morning Safeway trips with my favorite cashier, my comfortable gym (the one I go to now is 25 minutes away from my new job and it’s a traffic-heavy route), but I’ll be gaining so much more! I think this solely because I know there is a Wegmans near my new office and I hear that is life-changing.

How Did I Get Here?

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.