Sunday, March 22, 2009

The jobs I didn't get

My husband often makes fun of me because I'm constantly cataloging events of the past and infusing them with meaning. Case in point: jobs I didn't get. There are several jobs in my career history that I applied for and really felt I should have gotten, but did not. In each case "not getting the job" paved the way for a bigger, better, or more interesting opportunities. Coincidence? You decide...

The first time around, I was a 22 year old promotion assistant at a TV station in Boston. After about a year on the job, I saw a listing for a position in the station's LA branch writing descriptions of TV for the blind. As a creative writing major and TV lover, I instantly thought it was the perfect job for me. Plus, I was dying to leave Boston. I interofficed my resume to HR and gave my boss a heads-up that I might be leaving soon (cocky, right?). A few weeks passed and nothing. Then, the job's no longer posted. Then, I found out someone else in my department got the job. So, I stayed in Boston and a mere two months later met my future husband at a birthday party (hey, it would have been impossible to attend if I was living in LA).

Next time around, I was a 25 year old cultural arts publicist looking for a new job (preferably one that did not mandate grueling weekend & night performance duty in addition to 9-5 office hours). I applied for a PR position at a local hospital. Made it past two rounds of interviews and felt primed to go all the way. Sent endearing, perfect thank-you cards to all involved. Two weeks later I found out they picked the other finalist. Darn. But then four weeks later, I was offered a PR job at another TV station. where I really wanted to be.

And finally there was last year, I was a 29 year old laid off mom pining over a position at a national broadcast agency. The job description felt like I had written it myself, that's how closely aligned it was with my goals and experience, but what I didn't realize (what I couldn't have known) was that the job was specific for a reason: they had an internal candidate. I didn't even make it past the first interview. The afternoon I got the email was one of my lowest in the job hunt. But (as mentioned in a previous post) a mere five hours later I was offered an invitation to apply for a position as COO of a multimedia non-profit. And you know where that got me...

In short, the universe acts in mysterious ways. Sometimes you just have to accept that what seems like the right fit, is not. There's something else in store for you.

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