Have you ever been hired then before you get your first day, fired? Maybe not fired but let go. Suddenly a role pops up then it’s gone. Please say yes. Tell me I’m not the only one…
This was pretty early on in my hunt for employment but dragged for months. This job was not only close to home with the opportunity to rub shoulders and spend time with pretty influential and important people but in my field! I’ve now come to realise that that’s going to be a rarity.
So I apply and get a call back for an interview which was to include a presentation from yours truly. This makes me a little nervous but hey, I’ve done plenty of presentations and I’ll be honest, I’m pretty good at them. Distinctions all ’round.
So I start my research, again no biggy having been to college and university and a journalist for years. Research is my thing. I spend a couple of days putting an idea together and run it by a few friends and acquaintances in the field or in a similar role who all give me the thumbs up.
I get to the interview, early as always, and go through my folder. Not only did I put this presentation together but I printed out the slides creating a booklet that included lines for each person on the panel to make notes. As you can tell I really wanted to impress. I also brought along snippets from my portfolio with relevant articles I had written for the head of office to keep.
The panel started out formal but as we got talking and I was answering questions, the room relaxed. They had had a few technical problems throughout the morning and were relieved when it didn’t phase me. Thank God for my print-outs. Luckily I was able to do my presentation without any technical issues and everything ran smoothly. It turned out the main person I would be working with, head of the office, loves print-outs and prints every presentation she has to attend (little victory). She then flicked through the papers as I was setting up and got excited when she saw my ‘main hook’ (another little victory).
The rest of the panel looked slightly concerned when she laughed at my papers but later enjoyed the ‘main hook’ themselves (larger victory). The interview ended with a couple more questions, a look through my articles and some friendly small talk.
I left feeling pretty good but as the head of office is, as I said, influential and pretty important locally, I still had my doubts. I was told that I would hear by the end of the week and start working the week after, two weeks tops.
A week passes and I hadn’t heard anything so I assumed I didn’t get the job. I was a little let down after doing well, or so I had thought, I hadn’t even been offered feedback but hey, that’s the world we live in.
I continued to look for work which you can read about in one of my previous blogs; The Company That Never Was, that obviously worked out well considering I’m still looking for work. But that’s another story.
As I’m being caught up with the other company, not as influential, important or in my field, I get an email from one of the panel members from this interview saying that the office is being restructured resulting in the delayed contact but I’m at the top of the list to be hired once the dust has settled. Yes! Relief!
This coincided with a long weekend so I called the office once it resumed to clarify their new timeline. The panel member who had emailed me was unable to comment because they had quit… Hence the office shuffle. The receptionist didn’t know any details since they hadn’t filled his position yet and hiring couldn’t officially take place until then. I was reassured everything in the email was correct but as for a starting date, it would be within “the next coming weeks”. It was this line that bothered me the most throughout the process;
The next coming weeks…
… Could mean weeks or months and whilst I didn’t want to lose this position, I also need money to survive so continued to look for work and take the little guidance I had been given.
I continued searching and applying for other positions for a few more weeks before calling this office to touch base. Again, I was reassured everything was correct. The role was mine but they were still trying to replace the panel member who had left and until then nothing could progress. Unfortunate but comforting that I was still on the radar.
A few more weeks passed equaling about two months since I had been told I would be working within “the next coming weeks” but finally I got the call from the replacement of the man who had quit. She congratulated me and revealed that it was the head of the company, the one I was going to be working closely with, that requested me specifically to fill the position… Except the position was no longer available. It wasn’t filled, it was mine, it just didn’t exist any more.
It took me a second to realise that she was congratulating me on my patience to hold out for a job that I wasn’t going to have. As I felt the tears roll down my face, I thanked her and asked for my resume to be kept on file. She reassured me that the head of the company had already requested that and as soon as any position opens, it’s mine.
Where have I heard that before?
This was the first and at this point, the only time, I’ve been upset about how a hiring process played out. I had been told that I was hired before by an illegal company that had recruited me in hopes I would continue their illegal activity (The Company That Never Was), yet this was more heartbreaking.
Everything about this role was perfect and the fact that my feedback was just bad luck and out of my control was the hardest part. Not only did I think that I had found a job that would grow into a strong career within my field of study but the people were lovely and just as eager to work with me.
I realised that I had spent months being led on by different companies and given ‘constructive criticism’ telling me it’s just my luck, it’s just the timing, basically everything they could tell me that was ‘unfortunately out of my control’.
So I decided I wasn’t going to spend my time crying over too-good-to-be-true opportunities and booked a week away. Though it was just domestic, I needed a break from writing cover letters, sending out my resume, filling out application forms asking me to write essays on my time management, what great customer service means, and a time I went above and beyond as if I’m Buzz Lightyear.
I would still love to work in that office however no positions have since opened. It’s been at least a month since I was congratulated on the ghost job. I have returned from my week away and continue the hunt for employment. The show must go on.