About two weeks ago, I received a call that I wasn’t expecting. “You didn’t get the job.”
The person who called, my would-have-been-boss and a woman who I considered a mentor, threw me the biggest curve ball I’ve ever had in my career. I was waiting for her to laugh and say, “Just joking. When can you start?” But that never came.
I had been waiting for this opportunity for nearly a year and had visualized myself in the role. In fact, she was the one who told me about it. I could feel, hear, and see myself in it. Although my vitae contained everything that was “required” and “preferred”, and I felt good coming out of the three-hour interview… I didn’t get the job.
I was (and am still) heartbroken. This job would have allowed me to do some “ghost writing” for speeches and presentations, interact with alumni groups, work with strategic planning and policy development, and be a part of one of the fastest-growing academic units at my alma mater. And, in all honesty, it would also have offered a much-long-overdue salary increase, which would have boosted my retirement income.
All kinds of things are running through my mind… what did the chosen candidate have that I didn’t? What did I do to screw up the interview? Did my current boss play a part in this decision? And the big one…
“What is wrong with me?”
It’s hard going back to work and watching her walk past my door on the way to a meeting with my boss. She and I used to exchange waves and smiles; I heard her the other day and couldn’t look up because of the tears welling up in my eyes.
Why the hell does this failed job interview hurt more than the others?
Maybe it’s because I felt supported in the process and reassured by many that “this job was me to a ‘T’.” I didn’t go into it with an overconfident attitude – I was authentic and honest. Guess that wasn’t enough.
So now, I need to refocus. Big-time. Get real clear on what it is I want to do…
and freakin’ go make it happen on my own!
Sit through the webinars, take the classes, meet like-minded people, maybe even apply for a grant down the road. Figure out the “big work” because that obviously ain’t it, right?
When one door closes, sometimes you just need to have a sit-down on the porch steps, rest a bit. Refocus and recalculate that route (btw, I hate when the GPS says that to me).
And also know (and learn to believe) that there’s not a damn thing that’s wrong with me.