An eventful two weeks

In which our hero recaps an action-packed 14 days, heralding the end of this era and the beginning of the next.

Let’s be clear from the start: this is going to be a looooong scatterthought. Maybe loooooooooonger. And, as with all scatterthoughts, it’s not for you. It’s for me. So buckle up or bail out, because it’s about to get real.

Seriously though, that bit about endings and beginnings? Yeah, that’s actually true.

Let’s start with the jobs interviews.

My job search started in earnest this past January, but between then and April I only managed to get one interview (and obviously didn’t get the job). As I’ve often said, I don’t mind getting passed over when I feel like I’ve done my best in an interview, but it was getting a bit frustrating that I couldn’t even get that far. Around mid-April, I started to think that I was one of three things:

  • Depressed over my inability to get interviews
  • Completely fine with it, since I knew it would take time to find the right job
  • Repressing my depression, because of my oft-mentioned need to be in control

Truth is, it was probably some combination of the three. But you know how difficult it is for me to express negative thoughts and emotions, so it was probably mostly the latter. I’m totally willing to admit that.

Anyway, things changed in May. After making some slight changes to my resume, I suddenly went 4-for-4 on applications. Two interviews happened before I left for a trip to Ontario, one happened while I was away, and one was cancelled.

The first interview was to do luxury car sales, and while I walked out knowing that it wasn’t going to happen, I consider the experience to be valuable. It came down to this: I can certainly talk about cars, and I can certainly build relationships with customers. But what I can’t do is bring myself to say that the bottom line is selling cars. And when your business is selling cars, that’s a problem.

The thing is, I think the same approach that I used to recruit university students would work for me in car sales, but there would undoubtedly come a point when I had to convince someone that the car in front of them was right for them. And I don’t think I could do that if I don’t believe it to be true. So, lesson learned. I’ve never done sales before, and now I’m satisfied that I never should.

The second interview was for a small web-design firm, and I really liked the jack-of-all-trades role they advertised. I hit it off well with the interviewers, and it turned out that we knew people in common. However, it was also apparent that I was overqualified for what they wanted, and we agreed that I wouldn’t be satisfied with the job as it’s written. Hence, they went in another direction.

The fourth interview got cancelled, and that’s okay because I really, really, really wasn’t interested in the job. It was basically to be a communications adviser in a corporation, and I’m fairly certain it would have bored me to tears.

And then there’s the third interview.

In truth, this was the one I wanted all along, so I was excited when I got a call about it. Unfortunately, the interview dates also coincided with my trip to Ontario to participate in the Robin in the Hood Medieval Festival, which meant that I had to do the interview via video conference.

I left for Ontario on Friday, May 23, and spent the weekend visiting with as many friends as possible in Kitchener-Waterloo. When Monday rolled around, I parked myself in my friends’ guest bedroom and spoke with the people in Victoria, after which I completed a short writing assignment.

On Tuesday, I got a request for references. And on Wednesday afternoon, I got a call with a job offer. While standing on one of the bleachers that we had set up around the tournament ring earlier that day, I accepted the offer, hung up, saw my friend Matt across the field, and yelled, “Matt, I got a job!”

This caused some confusion, because Matt (who coordinates all of the site activities for Robin in the Hood) often comes up to people and says, “I have a job for you”, meaning a task for setting up the festival. Realizing this, I followed up with, “I’m employed!”

And then it was back to work on the festival. We had perfect weather throughout the week, leading to a wonderful Education Day on the Thursday, a great Family Night on Friday evening, a fantastic Festival Day on Saturday, and a fun cast party on Sunday. Then it was onto an airplane, and back to Victoria on Sunday evening.

So, the job. I’m going to be a Web Content Specialist at the University of Victoria, in the Student Marketing and Communications team. Basically, I’m going to develop online content for recruiting students. And now you see why I really wanted this job, because I’m right where I’d hoped to be, back in student recruitment for one of Canada’s best universities.

And I start tomorrow.

So yeah, like I said. It’s the end of an era. My 11 months of sem-retirement are over. No more late weeknights of reading or watching TV, followed by sleeping in on weekday mornings. Back to commuting in the mornings and afternoons (I already have my parking pass).

It’s time for me to become productive once again. And I look forward to it. I’ve enjoyed my time off, but when people have asked how I’m finding Victoria, it’s been hard for me to answer. After all, without a job, I wasn’t really “settled in”. Now, I’m a step closer to knowing if my future involves being here, or eventually returning to my friends in KW. And I’m excited about that.

I think that’s enough for now. There’s more to say about the past two weeks, but I’ll leave those thoughts for another scatterthought.