Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Interesting Blog: 100 Days of Rejection

A major aspect of being a military spouse is having to change jobs whenever your active duty spouse gets Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Orders.  I'll be perfectly blunt - this summer, I had to quit a 6 figure job that I enjoyed in order to keep the family together.  It really sucked because I knew there were no comparable jobs for the highly specialized type of work that I (used to) do in the area we now live and I'm essentially unemployable thanks to my Reserve obligation.  (Even seasonal retail jobs were out of the question with my departure date being prior to Christmas!)  I could have pitched a fit and insisted my husband take a crappy set of orders in Hawaii or stayed behind in Hawaii with the kids until I either mobilized or found something in Virginia Beach (we also own a small house here), but if you've ever prayed for an answer and come away with a response that wasn't the one you were hoping to hear, then you'll understand why it wasn't a difficult for me to accept that it was time to leave that job even though I didn't want to.

They are interviewing candidates for my old job this week, and since it was such a unique job, anyone who knows me professionally could guess it was my job and some folks who were interested in the job gave me a call or email.  Needless to say, I did my best to help anyone who asked without compromising the integrity of the interview process.  (IE I did not contact the hiring panel with any recommendations, but I did let them know who I was speaking with.  I also did not disclose interview questions or discuss other candidates that I knew were applying.)  In the end, I have nothing to do with the experience or qualifications of the candidates anyway, and I would be doing the same type of "homework" if I could even get an interview around here.

The interesting thing is that while everyone asked me what the worst part of the job was, only one person asked me what I liked most about it.  Explaining the worst part of the job was easy- I often got tagged with all the random stuff other people in the office didn't want to deal with.  (You know, the "other duties as assigned" clause.)  It made me feel like the boss didn't think I had enough work to do and that what I did wasn't as important as what everyone else was doing.  Explaining the best part was harder- my job was essentially to figure out unique, common sense, no-cost solutions to cover our capability gaps by trading favors with other organizations.  It's really rewarding to get a crazy request and figure out how to make it work.  (In retrospect, I guess that's why I got all the crap jobs, but hey- whatever.  Just because I like independent problem solving does NOT mean I should have to deal with the pain in the ass work that other people don't want to deal with.)  And that's why I "get" the lady in this video.  It's fun to get those unique requests and make them happen.  I loved my job the most when I was free to actually do my job.

Just as interesting as the Krispy Kreme lady who wouldn't say no to the crazy customer, is the guy making the video.  He decided to film himself doing "100 Days of Rejection Therapy" and blog about it.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  I have been turned down for at least that many jobs since leaving active duty in 2008.  (I've been offered and accepted 2, and been offered/low balled/turned down maybe about 3-4.)  Most of the time I don't get a response at all, and if I do get something, it's rarely more specific other than, "You are qualified but not the best qualified," or some non-committal BS.  I used to take it personally but not so much anymore.  (I actually just got one of the automated rejection letters this week for a job with duties I had previously held and gotten an award for doing!)  It's not that I'm applying to jobs I'm not qualified to do.  I just don't have any friends who are in a position to help me professionally here because of the specialized nature of my experience and other people do.  Fortunately, I have some savings and I've been able to replace a portion of my income through part time hours via Etsy.

What's interesting about the videos is that while on the first couple of days he's really shy about asking for stuff and getting turned down, now that he's in week 2, he's starting to kind of wheel and deal/bargain a little bit, trying to turn "no" into "yes."  Lately, I've been resentful of having to leave the career field that I enjoyed, but maybe it's time to stop taking the job hunt so seriously/personally and start looking for the hidden opportunities.

Please visit our Etsy store for double infinity jewelry and all kinds of upcycled accessories and jewelry, created in Hawaii!

1 comment:

Sugar Aunts said...

Hang in there! The items on your Etsy shop are lovely! I love how you say there are hidden opportunities!