I’m sorry for my long absence, but the last six weeks have been a roller coaster. Actually I feel like things have been a roller coaster for quite some time.
Let me just start at the beginning. About 15 months ago, I started looking for a new job. I hadn’t been happy at my current job for a while, but the thought of interviewing for a job is terrifying and I’ve been in the same department for almost 21 years and well, change is just really scary for me. But I just felt this restlessness; I didn’t feel fulfilled, but mainly, I was feeling like I was being pulled away from the career path I had set for myself over 10 years ago. I knew it was time for a change.
I finally found the courage to apply for a job that checked all of my boxes and the interview went okay, but I was extremely nervous and while there were parts of the interview that went well, there were also moments when my nerves got the best of me and my mind would just go blank. When your mind goes blank in the middle of a job interview, it is the WORST. FEELING. EVER.
I didn’t get the job.
It took almost another year before I found the courage to apply for another job. For this interview, I prepared, I practiced what I would say about myself, and since it was with the same department that I had interviewed with before, I could anticipate a lot of the questions that would be asked of me. I ROCKED that interview. When do I start?
Again, I didn’t get the job.
I was devastated. And I knew, I just knew, I couldn’t be vulnerable again and put myself out there, only to be rejected.
I went to a dark place for a while. I’m 55 and I started thinking that no one wanted me because I’m old. I’ve hit my peak professionally. This is as good as it’s going to get.
Luckily, I didn’t sit in that mental space for too long. When I got the bad news about the last job interview, the HR person encouraged me to apply for another job position that had opened up. I looked at the job description and thought that it wasn’t right for me, so I didn’t apply.
But the job just kept popping up on the jobline. And every night I’d go to bed thinking about this job and processing in my head what it would be like. I thought about what an incredible opportunity for growth it would be for me. I started to feel scared and again, I was letting fear hold me back. I can’t do it. It’s too hard.
Every morning I’d wake up and think to myself, “If the job is still up on the jobline today, it’s fate telling me I need to apply and I’ll apply.” And I’d look and there the job would be and yet I’d put it off for another day.
Finally after days of doing this, of continuing to put it off, I applied. I got an interview. I prepared. My nerves popped up again during the interview and I remember telling my husband, “I screwed up on so many questions. I’m not getting the job.” This is what my mind does, though. It beelines in on the answers I gave that weren’t great, but I gave so many great answers, too. I can do this job and I have the qualifications and yet all I could think about was how nervous I felt and the (what I felt were) poor answers that I gave to the interview questions.
Two days later I got a call for a second interview. At that interview, I talked with people that I had met at previous interviews and for some reason, I had this feeling that this was it. I felt comfortable talking to them. Two hours after that interview, I got a call offering me the job.
It’s a promotion.
I’ll be working remotely from home.
But most of all, I’ll be doing what I love, what I’ve worked towards these last 10 years. It’s an incredible opportunity for growth. It will be challenging. I’m scared, but also excited. I start on March 1st. I’m counting down the days.
And you know the best part, the “I know the Universe is looking out for me” part? When the woman, who will be my boss, offered me the job, she thanked me for sticking with the interview process. She said it was extremely close every time I interviewed and that they knew I would be a great addition to their team. The right position just had to open up.
So the moral of my story is: don’t let fear stop you from going for something that you want. You may not get it the first time and trust me, rejection is soul-crushing. Especially at 55 when you start to feel like your options are limited. But guess what? Your options aren’t limited and if you desire change, then go for it! You are not a tree. You can move. You can change jobs. Listen to that voice that is telling you to do it.
You aren’t too old.
You haven’t reached your peak.
Go for it.
May your glass always be full,