Jobless – Part 20

It’s been 483 days since I had a job. Yep, it’s frustrating.

I heard last week that I did not get yet another job, after going through three interviews.

I want to share a bit about this one because I think my experience could be helpful to some. You need a plan going into every interview.

The third interview was a systems demo with one of the company executives who I had talked to before, and a woman already in the job for which I was applying. She was running the demo.

My thought going into the interview was that the demo was for us to see if I could use their system effectively and to make sure I was at the proper skill level for what the job required on the data side. Therefore I focused on the data and its manipulation through the system during the demo.

I asked questions. I thought they were good questions that showed I was paying attention and had a good handle on things. I was not overwhelmed and was comfortable throughout the interview.

I love data and I love systems that make it easy to get answers to questions easily. I liked their system and was excited that it didn’t require knowledge I didn’t possess. I knew I could get up to speed quickly and serve clients well, Plus there was a three-month training period. I knew I could master the system. I signed off the Zoom feeling good about things.

Following my interview I talked to my recruiter after he had a chance to talk to them. Frankly, I blew it.

They thought I wasn’t excited enough about their system. From thinking through some of the feedback he gave me, I believe they wanted my reactions to the system to be more in line with what a potential client would be. I was approaching it from the job for which I had applied. They also remarked I appeared tired. I wasn’t tired, I was thinking. I was focusing on the demo instead of paying enough attention to the people interviewing me. Ugh. Embarrassing.

Here’s a few things I could have done differently.

* I could have asked before the demo started what their goals were for the time. I didn’t think through enough all of the things they may be evaluating. To me it was simply a systems thing. Asking them would have given me a greater insight and shown me I was on the wrong path.

* I got a bit too comfortable. Their style was casual, so I thought “we’re all friends here”. No, they were still interviewing me for a job and were trying to evaluate me for the job,. I should have paid more attention to them and a bit less to the system.

* I’m an introvert who typically acts like an extrovert when I am working. Especially working with clients. I act more like an introvert when dealing with data. I should have realized they needed to see more of my extrovert side, and more of the person clients would see in a presentation. Client management was a large part of the position, and I did not give them a strong enough picture of how I would interact with clients. Instead I geeked out on the data, thinking about (but not always verbalizing) cool things I could do for clients once I learned the system.

So I didn’t get this job and I can’t get a redo (which is a shame because I am a fan of the company and was excited about the prospect of working for them), but you learn and go on. I took away valuable info that I will be mindful of during my next interviews.

I am most grateful for the recruiter I worked with on this job. He was blunt and to the point, yet encouraging. I thought he saw my strengths and appreciated my experience. The fact that he got me feedback was a gift. I’ve spoken before that the lack of this feedback is invaluable in the job hunting process, but rare. I hope I get to work with him again.

In other news, I still haven’t found out if I qualify for the extra 12 weeks of unemployment benefits plus the special federal benefit. Last week I had to catch up on weekly unemployment certifications going back to the first of November (after my last unemployment benefits ended). That was fun! There were so many weeks between then and now! But I am all caught up now.

COVID-19 is definitely impacting available jobs open for applications. I just need one job, so am trying not to get discouraged. But I’d love to see some more great jobs for experienced people.

On the good side, isolation is a budget stretcher!

Hopefully a job is found before the end of July when my COBRA runs out. Premiums for the Marketplace (Obamacare) will be in excess of $1,000 a month. I can’t afford that. To make matters worse, I turn 60 in July (more God humor), so premiums will increase even higher. I’ll be looking for options, but even though I have advised so many people never to go without health insurance I must keep that option on the table. Because of my severance last year, even with no income this year I do not qualify for a subsidy.

So praying people there’s a couple of specifics you can pray for. I’d love to find that job with a company who sees me as a valuable and vibrant asset. I still trust at the right time it will come along. In the meantime, I take one step at a time.

Insurance folks, let me hear if you know of any potential jobs. I can relocate if necessary. Oh, and if you know of a good COBRA alternative, I am trying to figure that out, too.

Thank you all for the support and kindness. I am grateful for you.

“None of us has control over the economy, the job market, or anything else in the global sense. But we are 100% in charge of how we respond to challenges that come our way, be it the loss of a job, a career derailment, or some other disappointment.” – Edward Whitaker Jr.

2 Comments

  1. I try to keep up with your job search. You are the most inspiring and encouraging person I know. You have probably been a role model to more people than you realize. You should be the headhunter. Keep on keeping on. Sadly we will not see you this summer. VJC has cancelled their summer session. We are living in some really difficult times. Hugs friend. You know you are welcome to come visit and get a change of scenery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kathy! I’m trying to be honest so people who may go through it may feel less alone. Luckily I was raised by an engineer dad who taught me life is easier when you remove yourself from the emotion and look at the logic. It has helped this feel more like an interesting time in life rather than a series of personal disasters.

      Like

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