"Regretfully, we have offered the position to someone else."
It was all I could muster up in the moment. She started talking and I was able to get myself together enough to ask for feedback. I watched Teno walk out of the restaurant with a big ole grin, and I just turned away as the tears started rolling down my cheeks, right there in the middle of the parking lot. I mean, I am a huge crybaby, but this wasn't your average "Sorry, you didn't get the job."
This was one of those situations where I thought the stars had perfectly aligned for me, where I just knew, JUST KNEW, God was serving me what was for me on grandma's finest china.
A little context...
I had started getting bored in Albany and feeling unstimulated and unchallenged at my current job. I don't make jack squat down here and there are very few opportunities for growth and advancement. So my husband and I put this plan together where I would aim to move to Houston and buy our next investment property there in February/March 2018 and he would follow in the late spring or summer.
It was mid-July, the wedding was a month later and I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off tying up loose ends for the wedding. I got curious and decided to just browse and see what types of jobs and organizations there were in Houston that I'd actually have a desire to spend 40 hours per week at.
I'm extremely picky and I have these weird interests that don't really go together. Plus, I don't really care for some of the typical jobs that fit my personality and natural skills, so the job search process is the absolute WORST. I hate it with a passion, struggle bus from start to finish...
I wasn't really finding anything, but no surprise there. I finally checked Idealist, my favorite job search engine for bigger cities that often has way more interesting jobs than many other sites, and voila! I hit the mother load. It was an operations position at a non-profit.
I started reading the job description and was blown away. Definitely not your average job posting. I had never read a job description like this before. It was more about the culture and fit with the organization as opposed to the required skills and qualifications. And the mission of the organization was so in line with core values of social work. When I tell you this was thee perfect match, that is not an exaggeration.
Now, shall I remind you that it was mid-July and our wedding in another country was the following month? How in the hell was I going to finish wedding planning and apply and interview for an out of state position while getting everything done at work before vacation?
Welp, I decided to be me, stress myself out, and apply. I was not passing this up.
At the end of the 1st interview, the founder said that there would be an in-person group interview, work assignment AND a final solo interview....
The in-person group interview was on August 15th in Houston and I was scheduled to leave the country on the 16th.
I made it happen though. That group interview entailed driving 3 hours to Atlanta to catch my flight to Houston on Monday evening, attending the group interview on Tuesday afternoon, flying back to Atlanta that same night, staying the night at my bridesmaid's house, pulling an all-nighter with her, then flying to Cabo Wednesday morning with a layover in Dallas.
I might be a little effing crazy.
Fast forward. I was on my honeymoon waiting for a response like....
A few days after I was supposed to hear back, I said to my husband during breakfast, "I don't know what I'm going to do if I have to go back to my job at home." In the same breath I refreshed my email for the 19th time and there was my invite for the 3rd and final round! And they were going to let me do my final interview via video chat.
Outside of everything lining up perfectly, this organization's culture was everything I wanted and everything I wasn't getting. Not to mention that me interviewing or potentially moving this early was not the original plan. The plan was 6-12 months out, not September right after the wedding.
Turns out we didn't have to worry about that because I was handed a big fat rejection. Which brings us back to me balling in the parking lot. I cried outside in the parking lot, the whole ride home from happy hour after we had food and drinks (the tequila shots probably didn't help), and as I laid atop my husband that night. I never wanted anything more. This was my way out of Albany. My immediate way out. No delayed gratification. And it was gone.
So what now?
Everything happens for a reason right? Maybe, Maybe not. But I think it's our way of giving meaning to our experiences and the things we go through. I had to find meaning in this, if only to make myself feel better. There must be a reason why even though I tried to avoid Albany multiple times, God still brought me here, and when I tried to leave in September, that door didn't open. Needless to say, I came up with two things the day after my rejection call.
Maybe I was put in a place to be exposed to a different, more empowering type of organizational culture so that I could bring it to my department and agency and change things here. (It's partially a selfish thing because I've figured out that I'm not a fit with the agency culture and the effects have manifested in a negative way in terms of my happiness, motivation, and satisfaction at work) -OR-
I'm not supposed to rely on someone else to employ me and give me a paycheck. Is this the last time I call myself somebody's employee?
We shall soon see.