With the calendar flip into September, I became suddenly aware of the passing of time. On August 31st, it was totally fine that I didn’t have a full time job lined up yet; I was in the internship till October! Plenty of time! Hakuna matata! And then suddenly, it was September, and I was out of a job next month – nay, six weeks! – Quite abruptly, unemployment was staring me in the face. So I’ve started to get really stressed about that, especially when, on Tuesday, I heard that another intern (who has only been here 3 months to my 8 or now 9), got an interview for a position with a different division of our company – a position that I had also applied for. Granted, it was a position that, big picture, I didn’t want; I knew some of my would-be coworkers, and they would have driven me nuts, and the job was largely unrelated to what I want to do long term. But still, the awareness that he got an interview and I didn’t, especially in the face of my prospective unemployment, just piled on the emotional chaos train just as it was pulling out of the station. There also aren’t many positions open at this point; 3 in the past month and a half that I was qualified to apply for – 2 I didn’t get an interview for (one of them the one I just mentioned), and the other I hadn’t heard anything on, though it had been a couple weeks.
No new postings have gone up in a while, and I’ve been starting to look outside of THEM, and outside of my field; especially now that I have an apartment with a bed and that $2 Chinese vase I bought last week (every time I look at it, I’m glad I got it), I really don’t want to leave the area. I just got started working with a skating coach here, I’m starting to make acquaintances at the rink (friends seems like a bit of a stretch, given that I don’t see them outside of the rink), and I love my gym and the community; I really feel like this is where I’m meant to be long term, so I really don’t want to head home. But I also don’t particularly want to work in a call center, but with no prospective jobs with THEM, I had to begin asking myself what I was willing to do to stay here, and at what point I needed to start applying at Starbucks and McDonald’s.
It’s also been a really stressful week at work; we are now three weeks out from the big event and there’s SO MUCH to get done. Indicative of how this week has been is how it ended the week before – our boss kicked everyone out of the office at 3 last Friday for the holiday weekend, but my immediate supervisor and I were there until 6 working on issues with event registration. So this was the longest short week ever – I’ve been up to my ears in spreadsheets, and made a couple stupid errors (verifying info based on an outdated spreadsheet, rather than a new one – admittedly, they were only 9 hours apart, but a lot of stuff had changed), and I’ve been so swamped (combined with having to train the new intern who started this week) I had to miss lunchtime yoga and zumba this week, which just added insult to injury.
I once told you that unless you’re at the point where you want to curl up in a ball and forget about the world at least twice a week, you’re doing life wrong; I’ve hit that point every day this week. It’s been a long time since I’ve looked forward to the weekend that much.
So by Friday, I was just relieved that I’d survived. And riding the elevator down from the top floor of the parking garage, looking out at the mountains and thinking about how much I didn’t want to leave them, I thought, “Lord, please just give me a sign if I should start applying for jobs at call centers and Starbucks to stay here”. That was immediately followed by the thought, “Ha, be careful what you wish for, signs are never what you think they’re going to be”. I get into work and check my email, verify another spreadsheet, and then quickly pull up my personal gmail – and there’s an email from someone I don’t know with the subject line “THEM DIVISION” (the one I applied for a job in). So I immediately assumed that this was the sign, and a rejection. But no! Instead, it was from the supervisor of the position who asked if I’d be able to come over to their office that afternoon to meet casually with them!
So after working through cross-checking three different spreadsheets and missing lunchtime Zumba, I headed over to their office; they’re in the same corporation, but a different location, so my commute would almost double if I worked for them (okay, so only from a 5 minute drive to 10…). And their office is small (no more than 15 people), but everyone was really nice and we got along wonderfully. It was basically a pre-screening interview, and it went really well. I think the job would be a good fit – getting to work with several different departments, managing events and regional programs, with some travel involved (MAYBE TO NEW YORK CITY!). And it’s a new position and the start of a new department for them, which means that I would get to help develop the position and the department, and that there’s a lot of potential for growth. It sounds great, and I’m really excited about it; they are doing more interviews next week, and then second round interviews the week after. I’ll have a second round interview probably between the 15th and 17th, and I think she said they’re hoping to have a decision by the end of that week. So the timing will likely work out perfectly with the end of my internship. It sounds really great but I’m trying not to get my hopes up; haven’t gotten the job offer yet, though I kind of feel like it’s meant to be. So I’m praying it is, but in the meantime, trying to learn as much about their division as possible and come up with good questions to ask for next week (!).
I told you how much I’d be making; for someone in investment banking or software engineering, it’s not very much, but for someone currently on an intern salary, the jump would be huge. This would be my first real job with a real paycheck to go along with it. Which is really mind boggling to me, because I’d have so much money. I could buy a latte occasionally! I could buy cute binders instead of the plain white ones! I could buy more stuff for my apartment, I could even get wifi! (Just kidding, I kind of liken not having internet in the apartment. Certainly makes me more productive). Everything I’ve looked at and said, “I don’t need it” and put it back, I could get! Bear in mind, these aren’t bank-breaking purchases here – we’re talking like an $8 binder, a $30 end table. But it’s hard to justify those purchases when you’re on an intern salary with student loans and buying $700 figure skates. And admittedly, a lot of things wouldn’t really change: I’d still be buying a lot of pasta-roni and cheap instant coffee, because skating and student loans are more important. But to not be at the point of yikes-4-dollars-for-a-pumpkin-spice-latte would be really nice (because I love pumpkin spice lattes).
Getting the job would also relieve two (or three) major forms of stress, by 1.) giving me a permanent job so I don’t need to worry about where I’m going to be in two months, 2.) paying me enough money to live on, and 3.) providing full healthcare (which, while I’m not really stressed about, would be really nice to have – I’m fine without it right now, because I’m a perfectly healthy young person, but as an athlete – what if tear my ACL or have a freak fall and get a bad concussion? Because if you’re writhing on the floor in pain or completely unconscious, people aren’t going to listen when you say, “I can’t go to the doctor, I don’t have insurance – I’ll just walk it off!!”). And removing those stressors, which as I noted above, I’ve been feeling a lot lately, would allow me to focus on having stress in more important areas, like my application for Oz and when I’m going to land a quadruple toe loop.
Funny how one email on Friday turned the whole week around.
Also – know that as rough as this week has been, I’ve also woken up excited to get out of bed each morning – mainly because with school starting, the rink is busy in the mornings again, and I get to see everyone and laugh at the boards and be involved in all the ice rink hijinks that go on. And I still love working for THEM; even just moving over to a different division would make me sad, because I love the group of people I work with. But getting to stay here and working for THEM would be a tremendous relief and really exciting.