You may recall from some of my previous posts that I was unhappy with my current job. The obvious comments I received were to simply find a new job. An easy fix for sure, but I knew it wouldn’t solve the problem. Over a 15 year span I was exposed to dangerous chemicals, fumes, asbestos, extreme heat, extreme cold, and many other dangerous working conditions. I don’t remember seeing trades people working like this in the career catalogs or employment websites. My real problem was: I really disliked my chosen career path and it felt like I was stuck there.
I applied for several different jobs over the past 2 years that I was both over and under qualified for, hoping someone would take a chance on a dedicated and hard working candidate. I guess not because I had not received any responses over that two year period; not even one interview. It was downright discouraging and I started to question both my skill set and qualifications. Maybe I wasn’t cut out to be in my particular field and I was lucky I still had my current job. Then I began to think of all the nephews and under-skilled people with the right connections who were probably offered the jobs instead of me and it made me really angry. I didn’t have any connections or family members who could get me any of the jobs that I wanted. Here I was, over qualified for an entry level position and I never heard a peep from anyone.
I received an automatic email from a prospective employer stating: “Even though we were impressed with your qualifications, we have decided to hire a different candidate for this position.”
The story of my life! I had received many of these emails over the last two years so as usual, I deleted it and thought nothing more about it. Months past by and I began to face facts and came to terms that I was stuck in a job that I disliked, so I better make the best of it. Then one day after I came home from another crappy day at work, the phone rang and it was a gentleman from the company who had sent out that particular email. It turns out there was a glitch in the system and the position was still open. He was calling to schedule an interview!
After two years of applying for a new job I finally got an interview. Normally one doesn’t get this excited over an interview but it was the only glimmer of hope I had. Now came the hard part: I’ve never been to a proper interview before. In the past I would be called in and asked if I knew how to do certain tasks, then they offered me the job on the spot. I’ve even been offered a job over the phone without the employer even seeing me in person! My wife helped me prepare for the interview and I laughed at the questions she asked me because I’ve never dealt with them before. I did my best to answer these strange questions and picked out a nice outfit to wear.
The day finally came and after a two hour drive I arrived at their offices and headed in for my interview. I was lucky I prepared prior because they asked the same strange questions that trades people normally aren’t exposed to during the interview process. I answered the questions as honestly as I could and had an overall good feeling about the whole process. Near the end they mentioned they were looking for someone with more experience in a particular field, and it was experience that I never was able attain from my current employer. I left the interview feeling good but in the back of my mind I felt they would choose someone else because I didn’t have experience in that certain field they were looking for. Overall it was a good experience for me because I learned how proper interviews are done and it prepared me for any interviews in the future.
A week went by and the phone rang as I was walking in the door. It was a gentleman from the interview and he was calling to offer me the job! He explained that they were impressed with my skills and qualifications, and even though I lacked skill in a certain field, they were willing to hire me at a lower level and train me on the job. It felt like a huge shackle was opened and that the chains that were holding me back fell from my shoulders. This was a career where I had an opportunity to advance and it felt amazing.
After two long years of disappointment my perseverance had finally paid off. I could have given up and stayed at the same job or switched to a different company, but I would have still been unhappy with that same career path. Now I have a great job with excellent benefits and compensation. I even have something now that I’ve longed for ever since I’ve started working: a pension!