Sunday, October 2, 2011

I'm a Working Gal Now!

In case you missed my update to Thursday's post, I got a job!! I am beyond excited to finally move out of my post-college life and in to my new life!

Now, I will share with y'all my job hunt story.  I didn't want to say much about it before because I didn't want to jinx anything.  This is extremely long-winded, but there are some funny things that happen that I always want to remember...

Disclaimer: I don't want y'all to think I am complaining about any of the job hunt process.  I have purposely left out the names of the places that I interviewed at to "protect the innocent." I just wanted to retell my story so that I could always remember it and maybe provide y'all with some entertainment!!

Around August 13th, I decided it was finally time to buckle down and look for a job up here.  As most of y'all may know, Tom and I moved in with his family after graduation because they didn't want us to be apart.  They were college sweethearts but his dad is a year older than his mom so they were apart for quite some time.  In fact, after he proposed he was relocated to Fort Bragg and she was left at home in Florida to plan the wedding.  As she recently told me, she wanted to get out of that house more than anything!!

Now, back to the story...

So, Tom and I are living with his family in Virginia.  It was supposed to be temporary until Tom found a job in the Sports Broadcasting/College Sports industry and we would be out facing the big bad world on our own.

However much Tom tried and however many interviews he went on, it obviously was not our time to be completely on our own because he found himself getting an internship with the Atlantic 10, not too far from his parents' home.

Here we are, three months after moving in with his family and we are going to be with them for at least another ten months.  Thank goodness we all get along!! :-)

Finally reality hit me.  We are going to be here for a year.  I need a job.  I have massive student loans that are going to come into repayment and nothing to repay them with if I don't get moving!

So, around August 13th, I started sending out resumes.  And I sent out resumes.  And more resumes.  I swear, I think I applied to at least fifty places.

After a few weeks of not hearing anything, I started to get discouraged.  I do not like feeling rejected and by not hearing I felt awful!

Finally, I heard back from a bank branch.  "Thank goodness," I thought, "I will finally be able to have a job!"  After filling out several more documents, I was approved for an interview around the end of August.  However, this was not a one on one interview; it was a group interview!  Oh my goodness, I do not like having to do anything with my peers, let alone interview for a job that could provide for my future {I like to put unneeded stress on myself, I have discovered}. Let's just say it wasn't an awful interview, but it was definitely a learning experience.

After a week of not hearing back, I just knew that I didn't make it to the next round of interviews.  {The next week I finally found out that I didn't make it to the next round...via e-mail.} I got discouraged and upset.  I started applying for retail positions even though I have zero experience and it wasn't what I wanted to do AT ALL.  I thought "oh well, it will get me out of the house and some money..." I was down in the dumps.

I got an e-mail back immediately from a car rental company wanting to discuss an opportunity with me and to let them know my availability to set up a phone call.  Sure, why not; what did I have to lose? So I e-mailed them back saying that I was available whenever they wanted to speak with me.

A few hours later, I went with my mom {I was back home during this period} to pick up my sister who had just gotten back from Outward Bound {a requirement for graduating from my old high school}.  I got a phone call on the drive back home from a number I didn't recognize, but didn't want to answer it while Mattie was retelling all of her adventure stories so I just let it go to voicemail.  During a break in the stories, I thought that I would just listen to the voicemail and decide when a good time to call them back would be.  I assumed it was just the car rental place calling me back; no big deal.  Holy cow, it was a local University calling me to set up an interview for an Administrative Assistant position! I was shocked! I had actually been selected from a job that I would love to work in!

I called them back when we got back to the house and set up an interview for the following Tuesday.

When I got back to Virginia, Tom's mom and I had to rush out to pick out the right outfit for my interview.  I really stepped up my game for this interview; it wasn't going to be a repeat of my previous interview.

While I was in the middle of preparing for this interview, I got a phone call from a local Credit Union wanting to set-up an interview with me.  Sure, what the heck!  So, I scheduled that interview for Thursday.

After that phone call, the University called me back for another job posting that they wanted me to interview for.  Absolutely, I will come back and interview for another position.  So, I set that one up for Friday.

I drove out to the first interview nervous.  I decided that I just had to get this job and there was no other way around it.  The interview was strange to say the least.  I interviewed directly with the dean and students were coming in and out throughout the entire interview.  But, I had a really good vibe throughout the interview.  I actually got a fist-bump from the dean.  I am not kidding.  I got my first fist-bump after a professional interview.  I assumed I nailed the interview.  

And I did.

On the way to the interview at the Credit Union, literally as I was exiting the highway, they called me back to have me come back to perform a background check and drug test.  I told them that I would definitely be there Friday since I already had to come back for another interview.

The interview at the Credit Union went amazing.  I assumed I had the job at the University so all the stress was gone from this interview.  I felt completely at ease and knew I would get this job, too.  She scheduled a follow-up interview with a panel the following Tuesday morning.

As I arrived at Human Resources Friday to get my background check and drug test done, I learned that they would only be performing the background check and that I would have to wait to find out if I passed before I had the drug test done.  I have a clean background and have never touched/been around drugs in my life so I knew that I would pass both tests so it completely stressed me out that I just couldn't get them over with.  So, I filled out the appropriate information for them to complete the background check on me and left for my other interview with the University.  I assumed that since I had no record, I would quickly get the results back and could go get my drug test done.

I did not like the job I interviewed for at all.  The person interviewing me actually left me sitting there alone in the MIDDLE of my interview to go talk to a colleague and forgot about me! A student worker actually had to go retrieve them so that I could actually leave.  "Oh well," I thought, "I at least have one job here."

Fast forward to the next Tuesday.  I had the best panel interview with the Credit Union.  I actually suggested a reading list to one of the interviewers.  They were lovely people and really could see myself enjoying working there.

The one drawback, the job at the University had better hours and much better pay.  So, obviously, the job with the University was at the top of the list with the Credit Union at number two.

On Wednesday, Tom's mom and I were out shopping for more work clothes for me and I realized that I still hadn't heard back about my background check.  I decided to step outside the store and give them a call.  After speaking to a rather rude worker in Human Resources, she transferred me to her supervisor. I told the supervisor what I was looking for, and she replied "Oh my goodness Ms. Strickland, your results have been sitting on my desk for a few days and I just forgot to give you a call."  I almost lost my temper.  Thank goodness, I was raised better than that.

I told Tom's mom and she told me that we would leave early the next morning and get my drug test done and then deliver it to the school.  We go and get my drug test done and head out to the University.  I drop it off with Human Resources and ask the woman when I can take my typing test, which is required for employment.  She gets on the phone with her supervisor and says that she will let me know soon.  Twenty minutes later, she tells me to go to the library across campus where I can meet with her supervisor and take the test.  I kid you not, this test was a super easy timed-typing test off of the internet.  I finished and she said "Wow, you type FAST."  She told me that the next step was to send off all of my information and hope that I can get the next start date.  They only start people on the 1st and the 15th so we were shooting for a start date of October 3rd {since the day I finished all of the information was September 15th and the 1st was a Saturday}.

Later that night, I realized that I had a voicemail from the Credit Union offering me the job.  Luckily, she wasn't going to be back in her office until Wednesday so I had until then to figure out what was going on with the University.

I called the University on the next Tuesday the 20th to find out if there had been any progress and if I actually had the job.  The lady told me that she couldn't tell me to turn down any other jobs or give my two weeks notice, but if they had made me jump through all of these hoops then yes I did have the job.

"Okay," I thought, "I will go ahead and turn down the job with the Credit Union in hopes I hear back from the school soon.

So I did.  The woman was very disappointed that I had accepted a position elsewhere.  I think she really wanted me to work there.

I was a ball of stress for the next few days.  Tom tried his best to keep me sidetracked, so he took me out shopping on Friday {his day off}.  I was so stressed, I could hardly find anything I wanted!  My phone rang while I was in a store so I let it just go to voicemail since I didn't recognize the number.  I immediately checked my voicemail and it was for a position at a local Pediatricians Office.  I called them back and set up an interview for Tuesday the 27th since I was becoming very pessimistic about the position at the University.

I kept hoping that I would hear back from the University.  I left for the interview at the Pediatricians Office very nervous because I just knew I would wind up in the same situation as with the Credit Union.

The interview was amazing!  I absolutely loved the environment, the people who worked there, and the woman that I would be working for!  It was a great job with great opportunities.

I was torn.  I didn't know if I should wait for the University to get back to me or if I should take this job {even though I hadn't found out for sure if I had it}.  Obviously, I like to over think things and stress myself out.

In an attempt to ease my mind somewhat, I called the University again.  I spoke with the same woman and asked if there had been any progress with my potential start date.  She said they were hoping for the First still, but she still had no word from the business office.  She said sometimes they don't give her back the paperwork until 4:45 the Friday before you are supposed to start the following Monday.

Thursday, the Pediatricians Office offered me the position.  I was thrilled.  I accepted.

I finally decided that I just couldn't decline ANOTHER job offer in hopes that the University would get back to me.

I am really, really excited about my new job!  Especially because I work Monday through Wednesday 7 am to 6 pm, Thursday 7 am to 5 pm, and I am off Fridays {the same day as Tom}!!! Every other Saturday I have to work 9 am to 11 am.

Friday night, Tom's family took me out to dinner at Outback to toast my last career {waitress/bartender at the Outback in my college town} with my new career.  I secretly hoped that the University would call me at 4:45 Friday afternoon to tell me I had the job just so I could see how unorganized they are, but they didn't.  I am so happy I accepted the job I did or else I would be waiting another two weeks to see if they got back to me.

Thank you guys for all the sweet messages you left me on my last post and for all of the congratulatory tweets! Y'all are awesome and every comment makes my heart smile!! :-)

Do y'all have any job hunt stories??

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9 comments :

Michaela said...

That's so great that you have a job! It took me 3 months to find a job when I was out of school...I think I sent out 10 resumes a day! Your story really inspired me and is so encouraging for everyone frustrated with their current job or looking for a first job! Thanks for sharing!

Preppy Mama said...

Wow that is quite a story! So happy for you. The job sounds great! Congrats!!

Suzanna said...

oh my goodness, what a frustrating situation with the university job! Congratulations on the job! :)

I was working with an employment agency when I was looking for my first job, and I had one really weird situation. They set up an interview with an interesting company and I was excited about the job. The interviewer was with the VP of operations or something and it went well. He said that the owner of the company was going to come in and interview me at the end, and when the guy came in he was rumpled and looked horrible. He said he had worked all night and was just going home! (at 10 am!) He talked to me for a little while and then said that he was so glad to meet me and was excited to have me joining the team! haha, he was so out of it that he thought I was the person the other guy chose. I left the interview and called the agency and explained the situation- they apologized, but I was a little bummed because I knew I wouldn't get the job after that crazy interview.

I'm not sure if I would have wanted the job after all (I mean, what a strange boss). And I found a good job about a month later.

M@coffeeandkitsch said...

i graduated in 2009 and i've just been bouncing around from temporary job to temporary job while relying on freelance for the bulk of the money that pays the bills - i'm frustrated that i'm not further along in my career. being a gypsy leaves me quite restless! finding a job in this awful economy requires EXTRA celebration!! i hope the job turns out to be something you ENJOY!

Amanda said...

Yes I read that entire post, and I am SO proud of you, Courtney! I am so excited for you! When do you start? I love that we're both starting new jobs around the same time!

yourmorninglory said...

congrats on the new job! i just started my first real after college job last month and i also live with my boyfriend an his parents(since january) we are not sure how long it will be to get our own place but sounds like a similar journey! enjoy the new job!

yourmorninglory said...

also would be nice to hear how you juggle the home life? i love justins parents but its still not always easy :)

MJ @ Teaching in Heels said...

Oh my gosh!! Stress and a half with all these companies!! Congratulations on the new job :) Sounds like it will be a lot of fun.

Sierra said...

wow! i cant believe they took so long! that's ridiculous!! So glad you got a job that you love! makes all the difference in the world! Good job lady:)

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