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Monday, August 10, 2009

Recap from the Blog-Slacker

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Since May 2, 2009, I have been officially contributing to the unemployment rate. Today, my first day of work, I remove myself from that statistic. But before I excite you with my success story, allow me to entertain you with the numerous failures that led to it. 

I will lead with the fact that things generally work out for me. I'm not bragging, I'm just being honest. I got into the college I wanted to, excelled, made friends, went abroad, and graduated in four too-short years; then, the economy crashed. I guess I was due. 

With the shrinking job market, I frantically started to look for jobs. To my good fortune, a few of them contacted me to schedule an interview.  I went to my very first interview on the Monday after my graduation. I should have realized what I was getting myself into when the company contacted me within 24 hours of receiving my application. My interview went as follows:

Job Interview #1, listed on Monster as "Event Marketing Brand Manager"

Donning my newest white pant suit from Nordstrom, I walk into the smallest office I have ever seen. There are already six people my age in the waiting area filling out forms, most of them wearing jeans. As the receptionist hands me a clipboard with a form to fill out, I sneak a peak at her computer. I see an Excel Sheet with a schedule; interviews are scheduled at every 10-minute interval from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Awesome. 

When it's my turn, a man named Jimmy leads me to his office. He shakes my hand, looks at my resume, and begins to tell me about a type of car wax that also washes. Light bulb. This is what I would be selling from a booth at State Fair type events. After about three minutes of rapid fire questions concerning my ambitions to have an office like Jimmy's and to manage people who sell car wax (the company's one product), he invites me to a second interview the following day in which I would be attending an event with other "managers." He asks if I had any questions. I say, "That was quick." He says, "That's how I do interviews." I say, "It was nice to meet you," and walk out. I called the company from a Starbucks on my way home to cancel the next interview. Back to square one.

Interviews #2-3: Heartbreak

After a few weeks of applications (now weeding through the dozens of companies like Jimmy's)
I receive a phone call from my Mothership, Conde Nast Publications. I had applied months earlier to an entry level position and was finally being contacted for an interview. Jackpot. To make a long story short, after making it through two rounds of interviews and telling my references to be ready to be contacted, the job went to someone with experience. I may have cried. But not to be dismayed, I scheduled an interview the very next day from a company who had contacted me while I waited to hear from Conde Nast: Playboy.

Interview # 4: Porn?

OK, so it wasn't exactly Playboy, it was a company that did ad sales for them... although they did give me a Playboy to read as I sat in the waiting room. Enlightening. It turned out to be another no-go as the women whom I was supposed to meet with remained on a conference call the entire time I was there and I had to meet with Irene, a woman who had never conducted an interview before. I struggled to go through my resume while she explained to me the office hours (9-5, Monday thru Friday... does this call for explanation?) instead of asking me questions. I left knowing I would never be contacted.

Today: Employed

You may be wondering how four failed interviews eventually led me to employment. I'll tell you. I was contacted by a company in my hometown Blackfoot, Idaho, looking for a West Coast marketing manager to work with brokers for its new product- a job that is far beyond entry level and probably far beyond my qualifications. The company would allow me to live in Southern California (my home for the past four years), and do marketing for a product in that region. How did I land this job, you ask? My dad hired me. It's his company, and a company I never thought I would be working for, but here I am, doing a job that will hopefully be rewarding and challenging while I am able to live amongst my wonderful college friends in a place that is perpetually sunny. I am blessed. 

My following posts will document the trials, challenges, and hopefully little victories as I begin my journey through my very first big kid job. I continue to question what my true ambitions are, and hope that this opportunity will allow me to find them-whether it be in this industry or in something completely different. 

And now, back to work.