Word on a Whim

What began as a blog about writing and publishing has become a blog of whatever I feel like writing. Jules Lucton.

And the phone did ring…

The phone rang a few times – mostly about the same job. This sudden interest coincided with the media reports that we are coming out of recession; this was a “newly created” position that matched my CV very well – and also matched the CV of sixty other applicants. It particularly appealed because it was a small company where I felt I could make a positive difference and I was fairly sure that I could do the job well. It was me they were looking for!
I attended three interviews, at a cost of three days’ holiday and two hundred and seventy miles of petrol, with their final choice being between me and just one other. It seemed (according to the agency) that we both fitted the job description but had “different strengths”.
The Company was struggling to choose between the two of us. I told them I felt a bit gutted about this as I was sure the other guy was equally keen (managed not to say “desperate”) and I wished we could somehow share the job and our combined strengths to provide a solution that would be beneficial all round. They dismissed it, but kindly, saying that unfortunately there was only one available position. One of the interviewers remarked that I should not have been told it was between just two of us. I couldn’t agree more – even if I’d got the job it would have been difficult to celebrate knowing it was at someone else’s loss. But I didn’t get it. The feedback was that the other guy came across more “high profile” than me. I think that might mean he was more confident and self-assertive, but I’m not sure…
So now I must celebrate not having to do that bugger of a journey. The final interview was late afternoon and it took fifteen minutes just to get off the industrial estate. It was a typical new development; massive place, new construction but only two exit roads, and a good twenty minutes before I felt that I was heading home. Not that I had anything special planned for those particular twenty minutes – but there’s something about being stuck in traffic that makes minutes feel very precious. Other than that, there’s nothing to celebrate about not getting the job other than maybe the other guy might need it more than I do.
There was a good feeling about that place and the folks I met, and after three visits I had a sense of belonging. They did try to cushion the blow by saying (via the agent) something like “it’s only no for now but if another vacancy comes up we’ll be in touch”, which is a nice thing to say, I suppose, but I don’t envisage going back there ever again.
Such a cost attached to job hunting. It’s not only three days’ holiday/unpaid leave and two hundred and seventy miles of petrol it’s the massive amount of emotional investment; looking at new houses and cars, brushing up my IT skills and willing the phone to ring … and I bet it won’t cross their minds that it’s cost me anything.

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5 thoughts on “And the phone did ring…

  1. Oh Jules, I’m so sorry. Anyone who’s worked in IT has gone through similar situations, and it’s always unpleasant. You make such good points – especially the bit about not being able to celebrate if there was only one other person involved and they didn’t get it. (Although, to be honest, even if it IS a good point, personally, I never had a problem with it, but then I’m a bit of a cold hearted bastard!)

    It’s hard for me to know what to say in these situations apart from keep looking and try and remain positive. Did you think about Salesforce.com at all??

    Another great post, really exposing to those that don’t know, how hard it is to get a job in I.T….

    • Thanks Simon as always for your empathy – right there as always on the wavelength. Still haven’t looked at Salesforce but keep meaning to! This role was good old fashioned iSeries/AS400 and it would have felt like going home. Like a pterodactyl finding a suitable place to land 😉 xxx

  2. Hi Jules! Seems so unfair to me that you didn’t get the job. Hope something better comes along soon. Like Simon says, you just gotta keep lookin, I guess. God knows what they meant by ‘high profile’. Is he a celebrity then? Maybe he’ll turn out to be too high profile for them 😉

    Stay positive! Some lucky company will get you eventually xx

  3. Cheers Dean! I don’t really know what ‘high profile’ is and am fed up of people spouting such things like we’re supposed to know what they’re on about. Having chatted with the receptionist three times when I was early and the the interviewer was late, I think maybe they wanted someone who didn’t give a shit about the reasons why people hadn’t had time to test the software etc. Oh well, like you say, some lucky company will get me eventually! 🙂 xxx Thank you.

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