Thursday, November 20, 2014

how to make money at a job interview + life lately

new ikea slippers. utterly ridiculous yet ridiculously comfy.
The last few days have been introspective and quiet. Quiet is good. When things gets emotionally complicated, as was true for us the last couple weeks, it's nice to be able to say life is uneventful. Boring, even.

Mario is in the land of bread, cheese and berets for eight days. France, I mean. (I'm such a silly American with my stereotyping.) Which means Kiddo and I are holding down the fort. As often happens when Husband is on an extended business trip, we have fallen into an easy rhythm.

these soup mixes! kiddo and i are obsessed.
keep me away from the mint oreos. i'm begging you.
The weather has been cold, but not New England cold—one must keep perspective—which lends itself to these quiet, simpler days I've been waxing about. Meals have been warm, nurturing and simple; clothing and footwear soft, wooly and insulated; beverages hot and herbal. (There's just something about carrying a steaming cup of tea around all day, you know?)

After my announcement the other day (made mostly for my own benefit), I started thinking: I should do something. Right now. (True Sarah form right there.)  You see, it dawned on me that Kiddo is getting braces in two weeks (I should have been an orthodontist), we just forked over four digits in vet bills, and oh yeah how about that cash Christmas we aspire to.

So in a streak of boldness very opposite my nature, I got to work. I composed a Craiglist ad selling my tutoring services (it starts something like, Need a boost before finals? Trust me, it's marketing gold.). Because it turns out I have a degree and happen to know a thing or two about science, math, and writing.

Then, while still aboard the bravery train, I threw together a quick and dirty (but thoroughly impressive) resume and, before I could shrivel up under the uncertainty, applied for a job as a catering barista. It's pretty much the perfect job: no commitment, high pay, and little to no training above my current skill level. Thanksgiving is fast approaching (Kiddo has 5 whole days off!), and we are spending Christmas at my in-law's lake house in Montana, so it doesn't make sense to dive into a grownup job right now anyway.

After years of intense academia and a cross country move and a lengthy transition period and and and, it sounds nice to do something simple. For now anyway. And while a more career-focused job is in the very near future, I like the idea of going backward a little bit. I liked being a barista. It's a great way to meet people, it's lighthearted and creative, and at the end of the day you get to shut it down and go home to your family.

I'm trying to be really honest with myself these days. And also kinder. Stopping self-judgement in its tracks. In doing so, I realized that it's perfectly okay to revisit a past job. To choose something because of what it offers now, as opposite to how it fits into my five-year plan. (Though in the spirit of full-disclosure, I have to admit that I spent some time yesterday researching the Biology graduate program at Portland State. A leopard and its spots and all that.)

In the end I scored an interview. I was nervous and doubtful and took a few extra hours to reply to their request, but I did it and that's all that matters. I was never very good at putting myself out there; it's simply not in my (mostly) introverted nature. So, yesterday morning I put on a skirt (and my lucky ankle booties, of course) and steadied my resolve. (First job interview in 8+ years, folks. Thankfully, this one was low risk and presented a non-threatening way to relearn the art of wooing an employer.)

I was a little rusty at using a stripped down manual espresso maker. (Counting a 20 second shot and steaming milk based solely on sound and touch kind of stripped down.) But I gave it my all and, go figure, had fun. At a job interview. The business owner simply could not have been nicer, and I even scored a five dollar tip from the workers next door after I practiced making mochas for them. Have you ever made money at a job interview? Me neither. (A little awkward + very funny.)

If a more (recently) experienced barista applied, I would expect them to get the job. No hurt feelings. I practiced being bold and took the first step toward reentry into the working world. Though I've gotten more tenacious and outgoing with age and experience, I'm still more timid than I'd like to be.

I'm working on it.

my last evening walk with jack. it was a good one.

1 comment:

  1. You, my friend, are going to love the lightness of the job!! Swear! With so many thoughts about your career and so much sadness and so much wondering about the world of high school.......this will be exactly what the dr ordered!
    Easy. Tranquil. FUN talking to people who you are not responsible for.
    Believe me....you have plenty of time later to dig deeply into that career. Or really? do you really want to or do you just feel obligated to?
    Ex: I worked my ass off to put my husband thru Vet school. 3 yrs into the practice, we decided it was not what he or the rest of the family wanted. He went into business with his brother in the oil field. Um....hello??? A little switch there mr. We could not have been more happy with the switch. And that was 34 yrs ago.
    It will all work out. Honest.
    Sidenote: awesome image of leaves up there!!

    ReplyDelete

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