Job Hunting: Offer #1

jobhunting

July 19, 2018

We arrived in New York about four months ago from Georgia with the hope of finding our dream jobs and careers. I know that the first job we get may not be the “dream” job, but could possibly help us get there.

As a reminder, we moved to NY so we could chase our dreams – mine of being a writer for television.

A little over a month ago, Daniel (my husband), got a job in the village of Katonah at a clothing store. Daniel accepted the position in order to help replenish money that we had to transfer from Savings to our Checking account each month. The money has been helpful and Daniel can walk to work – easy peasy.

My job search finally resulted in a couple of interviews. In the last two weeks, I had an interview with two different companies. One interview was with a television network in the city; the other with a production company (not in the city). Both positions are entry-level assistant positions.

I was offered a job from the production company. I turned it down.

This was a very difficult decision. The salary offer was great – a little bit more than what I was recently making in Georgia as a manager. I could drive to work – saving myself money and time rather than using the train as an option. The owner of the company seemed really excited about me and the atmosphere of the job all seemed ideal.

Why did I turn it down? 

  1. The job is not in the city. While accessible by train (and additional walking), the commute would not be ideal when we ultimately end up in the city.
  2. While I would learn a lot about production, the job – I feel – would not adequately prepare me for television positions.
  3. I would be losing time in applying for other jobs that would best fit my situation.
  4. No benefits.
  5. NOTE: the production company produces content for other clients – this is not really in the realm of TV/film.

Why not just take the job and leave when a better offer comes around? I don’t think I have it in me to accept a position then bail if something better comes along. I realize that any company could immediately (and easily) replace me if they wanted to. Most importantly, going back to working full-time would take time away from my job search routine.

I do miss having a steady income, but right now we are still financially comfortable and I am in no rush to just take any job. I may regret this decision in a few months, but right now I feel I made the best decision. Plus, I liked the company and its owner. I would feel too guilty taking advantage of their seven-person company for a little bit then leaving.

What about the television network job? No word yet. The original interview was two weeks ago. I called and left the “Thanks for meeting with me. I just wanted to follow-up with my interview” message with an assistant twice. On my third call, I did finally reach the manager. He explained that due to his vacation and the office physically moving within the building, there had been been no time to make his final decision. He said he would make his decision next week.

I am extremely nervous that I am NOT going to be offered this position. This assistant position may not be the dream job, but it puts me in television. The whole point of moving to NY was so I could learn more about the television industry and network.

The interview I had was the only one in my history of interviews that I could not read well. I have never had an interview where I was not offered the job. I may have to accept that I am not as likable as I think I am. This is big hit to my ego.

My anxiety is also telling me different things as to why I won’t get this job.

I was five minutes late to the interview. UGH! I have always been twenty minutes early to every appointment – EVER! That day, I arrived at Grand Central forty-five minutes prior to the interview. But I was nervous, the day was extremely hot, and it was my first time in NYC alone. I trusted Google Maps to get me to the interview with fifteen minutes left to spare. But I had a difficult time following the directions, as my app seemed to constantly refresh itself and tell me different routes to take. To be completely honest, if I had just kept moving and trusted my phone, I would have arrived on time. But my fear forced me to ask construction workers if I was going in the right direction. Each time, yes, I was going in the right direction. When I finally got to the right subway, I missed the train and had to wait about eight minutes for the next one. While I waited for the train, I did talk with a very nice and helpful woman who showed me how to use and understand the app better.

NOTE: I now feel more comfortable navigating the city by myself. I recently went to the city to visit with friends and had a great go of navigating the city and using the subway.

When I finally arrived at the building, I had to go through the check-in process with security. This was my only time to quickly change out of my sneakers for my high heels. No time to freshen up, unfortunately. An assistant arrived to escort me to the proper floor while I was trying to wipe sweat from my face. I was still sweating by the time the elevator reached the eleventh floor and I shook hands with the manager. Thank goodness I had not smeared my red lipstick on my gross face.

The interview itself was pretty casual. As this was my first interview in four years, I was expecting the regular interview questions, “What are your strengths?”, “Tell me a time you handled a certain situation…” etc. etc.  I explained why we left Georgia, how we sold our house and a car to prep for the move, and how my dream is to work for television. I felt the conversation itself went very well.

But I did not get that “He totally wants to hire me” feeling. Maybe my tardiness instantly put him off? I did call him ten minutes prior to the interview time that I was in the subway waiting for a train. I apologized profusely. He told me on the phone that he understood and to take my time. I also asked about advancement opportunities. Maybe he just wants to hire newly college-graduated kids? While my professional background should easily make me a great candidate for an assistant position, maybe the manager just wanted to see if his personality was a good fit with mine? Again, I have to accept that he thought my personality was not a good fit with his.

I’m not getting my hopes up and I am still actively applying to jobs every day.

What makes me feel hopeful – – I applied to this television network job about two months ago. I am enthusiastic that my older job applications may finally be reviewed.

Daniel and I are still happy in Katonah, NY. We have a great situation living with our uncle and his children. Again, there is currently no stress in finding income right now. Daniel’s in-town job helps – although, just like my fear of taking the production job, Daniel has been a bit behind on job applications. But we sat down together, edited resumes, and I know he is going to put more effort into job hunting.

I am grateful to those that I called to get different perspectives on the production company job before I turned it down. Everyone gave me similar responses – don’t just take any job; trust your gut; wait for the right job.

In the next few months or so, Daniel and I may have to reevaluate our situation and have to start applying for ANY jobs to get us into the city. But we’ll see.

That’s the biggest update so far. I’ll continue to post about other job interviews and offers.

I’d love to hear from you! Maybe you have had similar experiences with job interviews? Did you turn down a job offer and regret it later? Maybe you have suggestions if I should use a company that edits your resume/cover letter for you? I am always open to different perspectives.

Thanks for reading!

-Laura

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