Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Another Soggy Wednesday

This just in: Maine had the wettest September on record since 1871. And October started amidst the raindrops.

Because it was so gray today, for my interview I wore the brightest blazer I own. The blazer is a shade of red that's more on the coral side than the fire engine side. I feel good when I wear it. I paired it with a white long-sleeved jewel-neck shirt. Then I donned black slacks and my favorite beaded necklace.

I was as ready as I could be. I asked someone to read the job description and share her impressions; I used her insights and questions to prepare for the interview. I reviewed the organization's website and, in my mind, made connections to other projects and organizations I have worked with.

The interview was in the same building complex I worked in last year, which made it easy to get there and find parking. I was greeted by a receptionist behind a solid glass window, and she called the woman who had scheduled the interview. We proceeded through a door, that opened with a security code, to the "pink wing" where the rooms have been painted different shades of pink to bring some color to the maze of small office spaces. We went into a small room painted a deep rose color, just big enough for a round table that seats four people.

Small talk. Then the first question: Do I have a reliable car? Yes, I do. Why? Because this job requires miles and miles of travel all over the state of Maine. To put that in perspective - I live an hour and a half from the southern border of Maine and at least six hours from the northernmost border. That's not to say I would need to drive that far, but she mentioned towns that are four hours from my house.

The interview continued with a number of questions about how I would go into a community, one that I have never visited and where I know no one, and start a youth advisory group. Those are tough questions to answer. It's one thing to have connections and a place to begin. It's another thing to start cold calling to ask community members to recommend young people who may (or may not) be interested in joining an effort to create a group to advise adults on the mental health needs of youth.

I was asked questions based on situations the interviewer has faced herself. I answered the best I could. She has already faced these situations. She already knows what she did when she was faced with disgruntled community members and schedule conflicts.

It was my turn to ask questions, and I asked if she and I would be working together. Ummmm... not so much. She is juggling multiple projects and wants someone else to manage this grant. We would have a chance to talk, but for the most part the person hired for this job will be working on their own.

Well, this wasn't exactly what I had in mind. I'm looking for a job where I am part of a team. I want to share ideas and work with other people toward a common goal. I am disappointed that this is not part of this job.

My son was the first person home this evening. He asked me how the interview went, and I explained to him what I have written here. Then I asked him if he could see me doing a job like that. He said he only knows me as a teacher, so he really doesn't know.... Then he asked me if I would take the job if it was offered to me, and I didn't know how to answer him.

I have no way of knowing who else was interviewed or what their qualifications are. This grant project was supposed to begin two months ago, so time is short. The person hired needs to hit the ground running. The person who interviewed me has had things happen in her personal life that will push back hiring someone until next week, at the earliest. Would I take the job if it was offered to me?

I really don't know. This is not what I want to do, and it would be an 18-month commitment. There aren't that many openings for the kind of work I want to do, so would it be wise to pass up any opportunity to work in the social service field? I will put that question out to the universe if an offer comes my way.

After the job interview I met with the store owner who is interested in carrying my product in her store. That was the best part of my day - talking product development with someone who wants to work with me. That's what I want to do. Maybe that's the answer. It's not a paycheck, but it does fulfill my wish to work with people toward a common goal. It would be wonderful to be paid for the work I love to do. Maybe that's not meant to be right now....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We're looking for a clinician where I work! But it's about 3 hours away from the sounds of it! You'll figure it all out I'm sure!